Fraunhofer IIS MP3 Codec is surely much better than LAME. Fraunhofer's encoding speed is slow, but quality is very good. You can feel the difference, if you are using professional High-End sound players.
Fraunhofer Radium MP3 codec 1.263 Profesional on 20 December 2005, reviewed by: mark
Often misunderstood, Fraunhofer MP3 codec is a BROADCAST quality codec and designed to produce high quality lossless conversion, if you have the correct install, a 96kbps stereo encode with Fraunhofer codec will out strip a LAME encode any day, how I know is I have tried and studied sound engineering and my area of intrest is psyco-accoustics within audio compression codecs.
LAME is always shown in a good light, its an OK general purpose encoder but TBH, I where possible avoide LAME encoders and the encoded audio is not always that good, especially at producing an 'artifact free' encode. LAME at the top end tends to make high frequencys sound 'Wishy washy' and lacks proper definition.
You have to weight up what you want and make your choice, what I would like is people to stop this stupid assumption that LAME is the best encoder around, the saying is true, you only get what you pay for anf if your looking at quality, Fraunhofer wins hands down, they after all are wahts used within the media and broadcasting industrys, so that alone should spaek volumes, if LAME was best, youd agree that the industry would have picked up on it in a big way, bat as it is not, they havent...
Decide for yourself but be sure your aware of the facts before you decide.