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Virtualdub : mp3 compression limited to 56 Kbps

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2006-07-25 23:19

I am a big fan of VirtualDub. While my systems usually have the LAME encoder installed, this system (laptop, not mine) didn't. So, when I opened up the VirtualDub audio compression panel, I found that the maximum compression for the mp3 codec was limited to 56 Kbps. With the advent of VideoLAN etc., I've tried to keep separate codec installations to a minimum. So rather than installing a separate codec to get this sorted, I did some pottering about on google and came across a pretty straight forward solution, outlined as follows:

  1. Download and install Windows Media Player 10. (This problem can occur even if you already have Windows Media Player 10 installed.)
  2. Go to Start -> Run and type regedit and click OK.
  3. Using the panel on the left, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> CurrentVersion -> Drivers32.
  4. In the right hand panel, look for msacm.l3acm. Assuming that your windows installation resides on the C: drive, the current value should be something like C:\WINDOWS\system32\l3codeca.acm.
  5. Double click on msacm.l3acm and change C:\WINDOWS\system32\l3codeca.acm to C:\WINDOWS\system32\l3codecp.acm; i.e. change l3codeca to l3codecp and click OK. [For the curious, a = advanced, p = professional].
  6. Restart VirtualDub and you should find that the audio compression panel now has options to compress at rates upto 320 Kbps.

Hope this helps!


That limitation was irking me for some time. Thanks for showing how to fix it.

And I can't help but wonder, what's so advanced about a 56 Kbps limit? It boggles the mind.

I believe that this was previously unavailable in Windows due to licensing (MP3 codecs are patented - read more about this mess here) issues and also because M$ wanted all of us to use WMA :S

Windows Media Player 10 and above come with the professional version of the Fraunhofer codec which is disabled by default in favour of the standard version.

M$ moves in mysterious ways :)

This helped me also and a side note for x64 users. The regedit key is at "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Drivers32"

Amazing. It's so simple and works just as advertised. You're a genius!

Awesome. That did the trick!
I know this is an old article, but you helped me out a bunch.
Nice one.

All ingenious is simple, indeed.

... and it still helps people out! :) Thanks for sharing!

Wow, thank you so much! Worked perfectly. I feel like such a "pro" now =)

I had Windows Media Player 11 and your trick worked great! Thanks!

end of 2011. Still worked like a charm for Windows XP64. see comments above about Win64