Need a bit of clarification here. I've been using WMP 11 to rip my CDs to 320 kbps mp3s. Yesterday I happened to go through the file properties on my phone (which is what use to listen to music on the go), and the ripped mp3's were labelled as being 'Joint stereo', while some mp3's from other sources (ie: not ripped by myself) were labelled as 'Stereo'.
Googling the difference between the two hasn't cleared my doubts. Some sites claim Joint stereo is a compression trick whereby the music is encoded in mono and only the bits that are intended to sound different in the two channels are encoded separately (as opposed to Stereo where two tracks are encoded separately). The implication being that Joint stereo is the inferior of the two. Other sites claim its all a myth and theres no perceptive difference. I can't make out the difference by ear myself, and the file sizes for the same song encoded both ways are almost the same anyway.
So which is better qualitywise? Or should I just throw my hands up in the air and wave them like I just don't care, since they both sound the same anyway?
And one more thing, does WMP rip CDs into vbr or cbr? If I'm ripping into 320 kbps, 320 vbr is better than 320 cbr, right?