I had a maddening issue in Windows Media Player on my Windows 10 machine where I could only rip CDs at a maximum bit rate of 192 kbps. Since storage is so cheap anymore, I prefer to rip at 320 kbps. Here’s how to enable 320kbps bitrate MP3s in Windows Media Player in Windows 10.
For whatever reason, on my Windows 10 machine, the default rip format was set to WMA instead of MP3. I don’t know why WMA’s maximum rate is 192 kbps.
Changing the default format and bitrate
To change the default format to MP3, hit the ALT key, then click Tools, then Options. From the options menu, click Rip Music. There you can choose MP3 as your format, and scroll the slider all the way to the right to get 320 kbps.
That fixes the problem.
If you want higher quality audio than MP3, you can select FLAC or ALAC, which are lossless. The options are there in Windows 10 at least. I’m not certain on Media Player on earlier versions.
The behavior on Windows 10 machines isn’t completely consistent. On one machine it prompted me to ask for settings. On another it defaulted to WMA and yet another defaulted to MP3. My Windows 7 machines always ripped at 320 kbps MP3 without me changing anything.
But if this happens to you, at least the solution is simple. As for me, I’ve been using the MP3 format for 20 years, so I’m not exactly looking to change. Not every device I own supports FLAC, so 320 kbps MP3 is a reasonable compromise. I can play those files on just about anything made in the last 20-25 years or so.