MediaCoder Audio Edition is a free, full-featured audio conversion program that can both read and write to almost all popular audio file formats as well as audio streams in video files.
MediaCoder AE contains all the necessary codecs it needs for encoding/decoding audio within the standalone software.
I’ve been looking for an all-around audio conversion solution for some time now after discovering that my previous staple audio converter (Any Audio Converter) inexplicably did not support some common audio formats; namely FLAC, APE, M4A (the ITunes default format) and M4B.
MediaCoderAE, on the other hand supports these formats and more; in fact, the strength of this program is the sheer breadth of the supported formats (really everything you might imagine, although ironically not FLV, which Any Audio Converter actually supports).
MediaCoder Audio Edition is based on MediaCoder, a global transcoder (i.e. converter) program that handles both video and audio. What makes this program noteworthy is (a) the range of formats supported, as mentioned above, and (b) the range of available options/functionalities, which is quite ambitious.
Here are some of the features offered:
- Audio conversion: can be done on the fly or in batch.
- Volume Gain: you can add audio volume gain for the group of tracks that you are converting (i,e. raise the volume by a certain level). This can be helpful if your source file’s volume is too low.
- Audio normalization: is offered as an option. This will raise/lower volume gain to conform to the average, eliminating any sudden disparity in volume across different tracks.
- Metadata: can be preserved across different formats after conversion; an excellent feature that is sometimes overlooked.
- Demuxing (i.e. extracting audio from video files): another great feature.
- Renaming: MedacoderAE can rename audio files for you using the files’ metadata based on a number of user defined rules. It can also sort files within a folder structrue based on this (e.g. send all tracks from the same album to a folder, similar to a program such as Id3ToFolder). And while this is nice to have I prefer a metadata manager such as Mp3Tag to do this sort of thing personally.
- DSP plugins: MediaCoderAE allows you to use DSP signal processing plugins from WinAMP. It comes pre-loaded with the ’Enhancer’ plugin, which you can optionally enable. (I did not test this myself).
- Input options: can process files, audio tracks from DVDs, or URLs
- Audio Joining/Splitting: seems to be supported, but didn’t work for me (see wish list below).
More notes on this program:
- The user interface: while it appeared somewhat cluttered at first glance, I quickly got used to the interface and got to somewhat appreciate the attempt to streamline all the different functions/options/settings into a single screen. Note that there are 3 interface configurations to choose from: simple, normal, and expert.
- List of supported codecs: (really worth mentioning) LAME MP3, OggEnc, Nero AAC Encoder, FAAC, Enhanced 3GGP, AAC+ Encode, Helix MP3 Encoder, MusePack Encoder, Speex Encoder, FFmpeg, SVN-trunk, WavPack Encoder, FLAC Encoder/Decoder, Monkey’s Audio Codec, TTA Encoder, OptimFrog Encoder, MPEG-4 Lossless Encoder. 64-bit versions available for many of these.
- Optimized for core dual core processors.
- Joining/splitting functions need to be fixed: I was not able to perform splitting or joining successfully. It didn’t seem that there was any way to select multiple tracks to join (I tried CTRL and Shift click without success). When I tried splitting a 100 meg audio file into chunks of 20 megs it produced a lot of files that were 5K and 6K and so forth. I am guessing that these functions are not working properly in this early version and will be fixed in a future release. It would also be cool if it were possible to optionally split/join tracks without encoding.
- FLV support: with so many music sharing sites using this format, converting FLV audio files to MP3 ought to be supported by a program such as this (or use Any Audio Converter for this).
The verdict: overall a great program and a powerful all-round audio conversion tool. I for one am very happy about the release of an audio edition of MediaCoder as I prefer seperating audio and video conversions (or at least I am still waiting for the perfect unversal media transcoder to come along). If you need a comprehensive audio converter look no further than MediaCoder Audio Edition; it will both input and output more formats than any other freeware audio converter that I know of.
Version Tested: 0.6.1.40000
Compatibility: Windows XP/2003/2000/Vista/Winodws 7 (32bit and 64bit). Linux with Wine; MacOSX with Darwine.
Get this program here.