Updated: 11/16/2019 by Computer Hope

VBR may refer to any of the following:

1. Variable bitrate or VBR is a form of encoding streaming digital data, such as audio or video, to dynamically adapt the compression rate according to changes in the files contents.

How does VBR work?

A VBR algorithm attempts to balance compression rate and encoding quality to create a smaller, higher-quality audio file.

For example, a silent section of an audio recording can be highly compressed (encoded at a lower bitrate), because the listener is unlikely to notice any quality loss. If the same recording contains audio from a symphony orchestra, that section can be lightly compressed (stored at a higher bitrate) to minimize loss of audio quality.

File size of VBR encoded files

Because the bitrate varies throughout the encoding, there is no direct correlation between file size and media duration of a VBR-encoded file. For example, the file may stream over the Internet more slowly during high-quality sections of audio.

2. Alternatively called the volume boot sector, VBR is short for volume boot record. It is the first section of each partition on a hard drive. It contains important identifying information about the partition, including size and file system type.

Computer volume boot sector or VBR

Pictured above is a diagram of a partitioned hard drive. The drive has two partitions, and each partition begins with a VBR.

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