Langa Letter: Converting Audio Files? Let 'Er Rip! - InformationWeek

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Software // Information Management
02:28 AM
Fred Langa
Fred Langa

Langa Letter: Converting Audio Files? Let 'Er Rip!

Readers suggest more MP3 and audio-file tools than you can shake a memory stick at!

I've used BurnAtOnce for a couple of years now and never had a coaster in the bunch. I've donated to help cover costs, although this great app is free.
-- Danzig

-- Alan Williams

Hey Fred, Another favourite is Audiograbber, former commercialware that IMO compares with the best. The main reason I settled on these two is because I found I don't use a tenth of the features of popular commercial bloatware. I don't want a cluttered interface, cutesy wizards, or a $75 bill for 10MB of useless options. I just want to get right down to ripping and burning. Cheers!
-- Fred Hoeflok

Dear Fred, I have been ripping, burning, and converting mp3 files to various bit rates for more than 5 years now. Thousands of CDs. Ripping I have always done with Audiograbber, which is excellent and now freeware; using it you can rip tracks as .wav files and later convert them to .mp3 using another program, or convert them on the fly to .mp3. Either one seems to work well, but I usually rip .wav files and then convert them to .mp3 using MusicMatchJukebox, again the free version. This has the disadvantage of automatically playing any CD loaded while it is operational, but does a very good and speedy job.

Many like the increased accuracy of EAC (Exact Audio Decoder) but my requirements aren't that stringent, and I enjoy the extreme simplicity of Audiograbber. For burning, I started with Roxio EZ CD Creator but had occasional problems with it on a machine using Win98. For the past 6 months have used Nero 6.3 with no problems on an XP notebook.
-- Bob Scott

I use Audiograbber for ripping and converting my music files. Have been using it for months with no problems, very easy to understand, quick to get the job done. This is a free program. For burning I use Roxio, which is also real easy, works great.
-- Kimberly

For standalone rippers, check out Audiograbber, which you can learn about, and link to, from Tom's Audioguides -- once again, using LAME, DLL, or EXE as the encoder/decoder. Audiograbber was up until recently, shareware, and is now released as freeware.
-- Dave Melhado

I have used Burn4Free for about a year now and have never had a problem with it burning CDs or MP3s. I also have Ashampoo which I paid for but don't use much because I prefer burn4free.
-- Allen

I have been using Burn4Free since the beta and have had no problem with it at all. It is great with converting MP3s to CD audio and also the DVD burn works wonderfully! Sounds like Ken got a buggy version from somewhere.
-- Barbara Geiger

Fred, I currently use Roxio 6 for burning all my music. I have had no problems burning MP3s or formats to be played in regular CD players. There are decent freeware out there if you want to spend all day downloading, installing just to find out they do not work. Roxio is an affordable program for any type of ripping.
-- Allen Barnett

I've been using Roxio's software for years with no problem. I just got a DVD burner and Roxio is doing great with that, too. Soundstream, a part of the Roxio package, makes burning CDs, DVDs, and my new MP3/WMA player as easy as you could possibly want it to be. I'm still using version 5 Platinum. Great stuff!
-- Curtis Barmes

I've been using Roxio for years now. The latest version is great for everything except backups. It's not free, but you get what you pay for.
-- Shel Cain

I use Soundstream (in EZ CD Creator, now Roxio) to go from MP3 format to WAV format on CD for normal CD playing. The interface suffers from a problem I've found most interfaces don't deal with well: large fonts. So things look funny with my large fonts (high resolution means larger fonts for me). But functionally, it works quite well. There are various options available for burning or cleaning up the music (removing pops, crackles, etc), but I've only used it once (and it did work as advertised). Soundstream can also convert from MP3 to WAV without burning to a CD, which is handy when you want to edit the track using the included wav editor. I've used the editor frequently with splendid results.
-- Charles Gaefke

Fred, Normally the CD Burner comes with a burning software. Generally this bundled software is Roxio, Nero, or HotBurn. Any of these programs shall burn and/or rip the CDs efficiently so why go looking for third-party software? I have an Iomega CD Burner and therefore I naturally use HotBurn.
Best regards. -- Amarnath Wanchoo

Fred, I purchased an Iomega USB 2 SuperDVD burner in October 2004. It was clearanced out at Staples for $140, with a $40 rebate (which I did receive within the 6 weeks) I have not had much trouble with Iomega's stuff in the past, and this is no different. It comes with what is called Iomega HotBurn Pro, evidently by Xaudio. The basic GUI is just that, VERY basic, but it runs well on my HP nx7000 with a Centrino processor running at 1.4 megahertz and with 512 of memory. There is an advanced GUI that offers about every option that is available to burn any disk. The unit was clearanced out because it does not handle dual-layer disks, and I suppose that there will not be a firmware update to do so. I used Creative Media Source Player to record services at a religious convention, and then converted the wav files to MP3 and burned to disk. The process seemed seamless and worked very well. I'm pleased with the bundled software and the burner.
-- Bill Hawkins

Express Burn
Howdy, Fred, Here, try Express Burn, it's free, it even burns Real Audio tunes to CD (and everything else), and it works real nice. And, the same people, NCH, also make a nice, free Sound Conversion Software program (called "Switch", found under Freeware on their index page).
-- Art Schwack

Acoustica MP3 CD Burner
Adaptec CD Creator
Audio Catalyst
Burn Quick
Cakewalk Pyro
CD Burner Pro
CD Burner XP Pro
CD Extreme

CD to MP3 Freeware
Cheetah Burner
Creative OEM Software
Disc Master
Easy CD-DA Extractor
Exact Audio Copy
Express Burn
Free Rip
HT Fireman

J. River Media Center
Real Audio
Shorten Files
Windows Media Player

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