The 16kbps files are lectures, and not music. They sound quite good when the original recordings were good. I am amused when I see people using 128 kbps or a higher bitrate for recordings of speeches. I could understand using 32 kbps though, as there are many mp3 players that might not provide proper support for files under 32 kbps. Lectures at 24 kbps or 32 kbps do sound a bit better than 16 kbps, however 16 kbps files sound quite good when the original recordings are high quality. This web page recommends using 24 kbps for spoken word files.