This has happened before, and I suspect something to do with sound codecs or drivers, but I have a sound blaster audigy, not the fancy one, on a soltek motherboard with an athlon 1.2ghz. All of a sudden, out of nowhere my sound sounds terrible, too bad to listen to music. The bass sounds like somebody stomping in mud, and the sound is sort of scrambled and stutters a lot depending on the song. THIS IS NOT THE SPEAKERS, and this has happended before, but has been fixed before by reformating and reinstalling windows. I am using windows 98 SE. I don't know if this is with mp3's only or not, but all my mp3's sound terrible. Any suggestions on what it is or how I fix it?
You say that you are not too sure whether its your MP3s or not. However its best to ensure that your MP3s are encoded at a decent quality. I go for 192kps or above but no lower than 128kps or you will start to loose the subtle elements in many songs.
Have you tried playing the MP3s on a PC with a different sound card? Check all these basic factors before making a drastic change!
PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+ running at 1.25ghz, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows Me