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After some quality concerns raised by others, he decided to start from scratch based on the dist10 sources.
That branch (a patch against the reference sources) became LAME 2.0.
These should not be considered actual LAME 4.0 releases and the developers do not want public feedback on them, nor do they want any more public builds to be made from this branch.LAME (Lame Ain't an MP3 Encoder) is the Hydrogenaudio recommended MP3 encoder.It has been developed by the open-source community since 1998, and has become the highest quality MP3 encoder for most purposes.This section describes the Hydrogenaudio recommended settings to be used with LAME for highest quality MP3 encoding.These settings require LAME 3.98 or later (the latest stable version is recommended).
Nowadays LAME is considered the best MP3 encoder at mid & high bitrates, and features the best VBR model among MP3 implementations, mostly thanks to the dedicated work of talented developers Takehiro Tominaga, Naoki Shibata, Darin Morrison, Gabriel Bouvigne, Robert Hegemann, and others. Although LAME is generally considered to be an encoder, according to the LAME technical FAQ, it's technically not an encoder, but rather is officially just "a development project which uses the open source model to improve MP3 technology." This improved technology is only released in source code form in order to minimize the risk of violating patents.