The well known burning software suite Nero has just released a "reference quality" software encoder that supposedly allows users to compress 58CD's and fit them onto a single CD under the maximum compression level. The compression ratios can be selected on a per file basis, though the most impressive feature is the ability to save an entire album as a single .mp4 file without losing any metadata. The encoder can be downloaded for free and is certainly worth a shot if you have a solid music collection and limited space.
Additionally, the new MPEG-4 audio codec supports sampling rates from 8 to 96 kHz and bit rates to 320 kBit/s per channel with constant, average, variable, or double-pass coding modes, making it compatible with virtually any audio source, according to the company.
The Windows version of the codec runs from the command line without a graphical interface. It accepts .WAV files in PCM wave format as input and provides .MP4 files in MPEG-4/3GPP format as output, according to Nero. The command line also supports a variety of quality and bitrate values as parameters.