"Free audio converter and CD ripper"
Free audio converter (or fre:ac for short), as the name suggests, is a conversion software that supports many audio files but can also be used as a CD ripper. It can converter between MP3, MP4/M4A, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, WAV and Bonk formats. With the CD ripper you can save the music files to any of the above formats and since it supports the CDDB/freedb online CD database you don’t have to fill in artist and title information manually.
During installation you will be asked to install which components you want to include. By default the checked ones are the fre:ac program files (required), International language support and easyUpdate online updater, but you can also install fre:ac command line interface, smooth Translator utility and fre:ac source code. The installation won’t take long to complete, even with all components included.
Supported operating systems are all versions of Windows.
The helpful tip of the day will welcome you at startup, but you can turn it off by unchecking the option at the bottom of the window.
The main window isn’t very colorful, but it is neat. It has the menu bar and toolbar on top and the joblist area at the center, which shows the title, track, length and size of each file to be encoded. Below you can view information about a selected file, like artist, album, title and genre. The encoding options such as time left, selected encoder, progress etc. are shown at the bottom of the window.
Conversion between several formats is supported: MP3, MP4/M4A, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, WAV and Bonk. In addition, you can rip a CD and save the music files to any of the aforementioned formats. Then, thanks to the CD ripper’s support of the CDDB/freedb online database, the ripped songs will have their info tags filled in automatically. So you don’t have to waste time filling in artist and title information.
Full Unicode support is provided for tags and filenames. No more weird symbols when converting files with characters other than those in Latin.
Every encoder can be configured thoroughly. For example, the Lame MP3 encoder has settings that allow you to adjust VBR mode, VBR quality, control bits, choose stereo mode, set minimum and maximum VBR bitrates, choose output sampling rate, set highpass and lowpass frequency/width, and do many other things. Every encoder has its own settings.
The program is translated into 37 languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Spanish (Latin American), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Vietnamese, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Estonian, Lithuanian, Greek, Turkish, Hungarian, Romanian, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Hebrew, Arabic, Esperanto, Galician, Catalan and Valencian. If you want to translate it into another languages that is not listed, you can use the smooth Translator utility included in the installation package.
It has graphical glitches and a few bugs. For instance, the resume function doesn’t always work after the conversion process has been paused.
A lot of audio converters are available in the web. Some good ones are dBpoweramp (paid), Freemake Audio Converter (free), FormatFactory (free), Super (free) and Ashampoo Music Studio (paid). The best ones in this list are dBpoweramp, Super and Ashampoo Music Studio.
This lightweight audio encoder and CD ripper is capable of converting your music to various formats without any trouble. Novices will find it easy to use, and more advanced users will be able to configure it in many ways. We recommend that you try this one out before continuing your search for an audio converter that suits you.
Requirements: 1 GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM
What's new in this version: Larger default font size, codec updates and fixes for several issues found in earlier versions.
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