Now that your entire music collection, your audio books, and videos, (and even your family recordings from when you were eight) are on a hard drive, you might want to have a dependable, user-friendly tool to convert across different audio formats, as well as for performing various tasks such as merging audio files or extracting audio from video files.
Enter: Freemake Audio Converter. This is a free audio conversion tool from the same team that brought you the highly acclaimed Freemake Video Converter. Like it’s predecessor, Freemake Audio Converter delivers a powerful conversion engine coupled with an excellent user experience. It also has long-term ambitions, with context menu integration, audio tag editing, and CD ripping planned for future versions of this software.
There are quite a few freeware conversion tools out there; therefore, before you install this one consider the following PROS and wish list.
- Provides an excellent user experience: has a very nice, intuitive look and feel. Files can be added by copying (CTRL+C) then pasting them into the interface.
- Offers several quality settings: for each format, with the option to create user-customized settings.
- Offers a nice set of function: convert audio files, merge audio files, and extract audio tracks from video files. Can automatically add converted files into the iTunes library.
- Preserves tag data in the converted files: although tag editing is not currently supported, but planned for a future version.
- Formats supported: to and from all most major audio formats (MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, AAC, M4A, OGG). Supports 200+ video formats for extracting audio from video files.
- Ambitious: future versions will support audio tag editing, CD ripping, CD burning, and Windows context menu integration (note: this according to an email correspondence I had with someone from Freemake).
- Multithreaded core support: the extent to which this is supported is unclear. For example (and I am quoting an email correspondence) [while] “Freemake VideoConverter does support multithread encoding for output formats with H.264 codec. In Freemake Audio Converter 1.0 this feature isn’t present”.
- Support for drag and drop: strangely, you cannot drag and drop your files onto the Freemake Audio Converter interface.
- Windows shell integration: a personal preference of mine, which I believe this is coming in a future version.
The verdict: nicely designed, and offers interesting functions such as audio file joining and extraction from videos. But Freemake Audio Converter might not be the most powerful free audio converter out there; if you have lots of file processing to do, you may be better served by the excellent Freac, which supports mulithreaded processing (and therefore is probably faster) and can rip MP3s from CD’s.
However, if you want an audio converter that looks good and just works, this would be my recommended freeware audio converter of choice.
Version Tested: 1.0.0
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7. Requires MS .NET Framework 4.0.
Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 9.63 megs).