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Stellar is also one of the fastest programs we tested. Stellar also converts and edits video files. Read the full review Why Trust Us? Now that CDs have traveled down the same road to obsolescence as cassette and eight-track tapes, the ability to effectively archive your music library in the digital realm has become a valuable commodity. We tested all the features of free and for-pay audio converter software to make sure we recommend a product that can handle all your audio manipulation needs for current and future music formats.
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Stellar is also one of the fastest programs we tested. Stellar also converts and edits video files. Read the full review Why Trust Us? Now that CDs have traveled down the same road to obsolescence as cassette and eight-track tapes, the ability to effectively archive your music library in the digital realm has become a valuable commodity.
We tested all the features of free and for-pay audio converter software to make sure we recommend a product that can handle all your audio manipulation needs for current and future music formats.
That phenomenon taught me an important lesson about the value of high-quality music playback versus having enough music on a device to last through retirement. I found myself buying CDs even though I had the same album in a compressed digital format because I knew the CD would sound better.
The technology advancements in audio converter software now afford us the ability to extract high-quality audio from CDs or streaming services, and duplicate those files and convert them to lossy formats, like MP3, to make the files smaller and playable on mobile devices. In addition to our hands-on testing and research, we contact industry professionals to stay current on all the latest news and product information. I spoke to Ben Westgarth, senior audio software engineer at NCH Software, about the best lossy audio formats for archiving a music collection.
He told me there is a contentious debate about the topic among industry professionals and casual users, but there is a clear winner in terms of file size to sound quality ratio. We used those file formats because they are the most common among digital music users.
We tested the ease of use for every product in our comparison by taking note of how easy the software was to install and, once the software was installed, how many clicks of the mouse it took to convert a file. If you only have a few small files to convert, we recommend using one of the free programs we reviewed.
Video Converter Software We only tested audio converter software compatible with the most popular video formats. However, if you plan to use conversion software primarily for converting video files and only occasionally for converting audio, buy video converter software instead.
In addition to video format compatibility, the best video converter programs are also compatible with popular audio formats. Here are a couple of our favorites. Wondershare Video Converter Wondershare was the best performer in our ease-of-use, video quality and audio quality tests. This software optimizes video for playback on more than devices, including smartphones, tablets and video game consoles.
It also has a comprehensive list of video editing tools that allow you to add effects and trim files. Aimersoft Video Converter If you need to convert a large number of video files in a timely fashion, Aimersoft is your best bet.
This conversion software clocked the fastest conversion times among the products we tested, and it includes editing tools that add watermarks, filters and other effects.
This software also lets you burn converted files to DVDs, complete with menus, to archive physical copies of your files. Leawo Video Converter This is the most cost-effective video converter we tested. The user interface is easy to use and includes a great selection of editing tools and effects. Leawo is compatible with 25 output formats and has more than device optimization profiles.
Those tools are included in the more expensive Total Media Converter suite. The user-friendly interface and modest price tag make Leawo a great option for first-time users. WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe This conversion software has more than conversion profiles that optimize videos for playback on almost any mobile or desktop device. The user interface looks different than most programs we tested, but once you upload the file, the software prompts you to choose a conversion profile and WinX does the rest.
This is one of the slowest video converters we tested, so if you have multiple large files to convert, there are better options. Important Audio Formats for Uploading Music to Streaming Sites It is important for audio converter software to work quickly and efficiently as well as to have a wide variety of file format options, including lossy and lossless formats. WAV is an acceptable lossless format for most services. However, depending on the service, that file might be converted and compressed to a different format.
Spotify uses the lossy Ogg Vorbis OGG format to stream music through its desktop and mobile apps, and you can convert a WAV file to OGG using a trusted audio converter software, instead of relying on Spotify to make the conversion for you.
How to Convert Audio Files Using iTunes iTunes isn’t compatible with as many file types and doesn’t convert as fast as the best products we tested. To convert songs currently in your iTunes library, open the software and find the Preferences menu from the iTunes dropdown on a Mac or Edit dropdown on a Windows computer.
Next, click the General tab, then find the Import Settings in the lower section of the Preferences window. After that, click the dropdown next to Import Using, choose the format and click OK to save that import format as the default setting.
If you chose a different output format, it displays that format rather than MP3. Then, select the songs from a folder or drive that contains them — iTunes will convert all the files and import them. You can tell if a file is encrypted or protected by right-clicking on it and consulting its properties. Instead of removing the DRM encryption, Tunebite records the audio or video file and converts it to a format you can use on any media player.
If you legally purchase movies, music, audio books and podcasts, making DRM-free copies for personal use on multiple devices is legal. However, if you decide to share the unencrypted file on a file sharing platform or distribute the file with the intent of making money, you cross the legal boundary.
Important Attributes of Audio Converter Software Import and Export Formats It is important for an audio converter to be capable of importing all available audio formats and converting them to a format you can use. There are more than 50 audio file types in use today, and the best converter software programs can work with all of them. The free converters we tested can import the popular lossless formats, like WAV and FLAC, and convert them to popular lossy formats, like MP3 and AAC, but the best for-pay converters can also import lesser-known formats, including proprietary audio formats from companies like Sony, Microsoft and Yamaha.
Conversion Speed Speed may not be an important consideration if you need to convert just a few files. However, a fast converter software could save you hours if you have a lot of files to convert, or find yourself converting files often. Slow conversion speed is the biggest downside when using free converter software.
Extraction Capabilities The best audio converter software programs can not only convert and compress files, but they can also extract audio from video files, streaming services and CDs. If you use streaming services like Spotify or Pandora, some of the audio converters we tested can record a playlist and convert the songs to small files so you can upload them on a mobile device and listen without using cellular data or Wi-Fi.
One of the converters we tested can also record streaming video from services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The Audio Home Recording Act explains the legalities involved with recording audio from streaming services.
The AMR. It was created and optimized for cellphone voice recordings and is a popular format for voice memo apps. Because the AMR file type was specifically developed to record speech, phones and apps that record audio using this format are not ideal for recording more dynamic sources like natural sound and musical instruments.
However, most media players, like Windows Media Player and iPhones, require a conversion. If you have an AMR file you want to open with an iPhone or other mobile device, convert it to a more universal audio format like MP3 using any of the converter programs we tested. If you only need to convert a small number of files that are less than one minute long, we recommend a free program like Freemake.
However, if you have multiple files that you need to convert and edit, we suggest using a more robust converter like Switch or Audials because they are significantly faster and make it easier to batch convert several files at once. Audio Converter Mobile Apps Audio converter mobile apps are much slower than the best programs we tested, and even the best crash occasionally. However, if you need to convert an audio file using your phone, these are the best options.
It is compatible with more than 40 input and output file types and has a batch conversion feature that runs in the background while you use other apps. It allows you to preview tracks before you convert them, and all the music tags are preserved in the conversion process. It imports more than 30 file types, including popular video formats, and exports to 10 of the most popular audio formats.
The audio editing tool is easy to use and allows you to zoom in on a portion of the audio file, trim the clip and set it as a ringtone or notification tone. This app also has a feature that merges multiple songs together to make a custom remix.
It has a good selection of audio input and output file types in addition to its exhaustive list of supported document and video file types. This conversion app works seamlessly with the File app and allows you to drag and drop files in split-screen tasks. We tested more than 10 online converters — here are our favorites: You are limited to 50 conversions in a hour period and only five conversions per browser session, but the interface is simple and has fewer annoying ads than other free online converters we tested.
Zamzar works on any web browser for Windows and Mac computers and converts files on your hard drive or online audio files. The interface is easy to use and includes advanced settings for adding fade in or fade out, reversing the playback or removing a voice from a recording.
This online tool supports batch conversion and saves files in a ZIP archive to speed up the download process. The homepage lets you download the software on a Mac or Windows computer, free of charge, or simply add a file to the conversion tool, choose the output format and convert the file without downloading any software. Aconvert Aconvert is a simple and free online file converter that includes simple editing features for audio, video, image and document files.
Once you upload the audio file you want to convert, choose an export format, select the bitrate, select the sample rate and toggle the Convert Now button. This online tool also includes a compression feature if you need to archive a large file without changing the original format.
YouTube-to-MP3 Converter Some of the audio converter programs we tested, like Audials Tunebite, capture audio from streaming sites such as YouTube and Spotify and convert the file to a compatible format to play on your phone. If you’re looking for a free solution for converting YouTube videos to MP3 files, check out some of our favorite programs below.
However, note that these programs are slower and buggier than the best paid converter programs we tested. Any Video Converter Free This free converter software is compatible with more than input and output audio and video formats. It allows you to download videos and music from popular streaming services such as YouTube, Vevo, SoundCloud and Facebook and convert them to a lossless format, like MP3 or AAC, to play on mobile devices.
The download includes some extra software, so work through the download-and-installation process slowly to make sure you get exactly what you want. Simply copy a YouTube URL to the clipboard, and this software will automatically ask if you want to download the video. ClipGrab also lets you extract only the audio from the video. It’s compatible only with Windows computers, but it’s free.
Conversion Software vs. If you need to send a lossless audio file to an email account with file size restrictions and you’re worried about sending sensitive material using a cloud service, like Dropbox or Google Drive, a file compression software is a good option.
Here are some of our favorite file compression programs. PeaZip is compatible with more than archive formats, including ZIP and 7Z, and has some simple conversion features. It can create encrypted archive files using two-factor authentication, which makes it almost impossible for malicious software to crack into the archived file.
Hamster Zip Archiver Hamster is the most user-friendly file compression software available. The interface is easy to navigate, and you simply drag and drop files to compress and decompress. It is compatible with all the popular compressed formats and allows you to create a shareable link or upload files to cloud-based services like Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. If you are nervous about learning a new software interface in order to compress and send files, Hamster is a great option because it makes the process as easy as possible.
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VIDEO REVIEW: Best Audio Converter Software – Reviews and Test Results | Top Ten Reviews
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