Setting up audio software

(Foobar2000)

These are some popular free audio software that you can use on MS Windows PC.
You can find plenty of help on how to use them in the internet.
Please support them and me!

Music player and audio format converter
Foobar2000
https://www.foobar2000.org/

Rename and change the audio file details (song title, song number, artist, album etc)
MP3TAG
https://www.mp3tag.de/en/

Copy audio CD to individual audio files
Exact Audio Copy
http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/en/

Audio Editor and Recorder
Audacity
https://www.audacityteam.org/

I find that EAC is very good for copying audio CD into individual files to save into computer. You can choose to convert it and save as FLAC format in your computer. Or, you can save it as WAV and convert them to FLAC and other formats in Foobar2000.

Always save your audio CD content in lossless format (compressed or not). Convert them later for your players or portable devices. Always keep the original in their lossless format.

I use Foobar2000 to play and convert my audio files to multiple formats. I find it easy to use and it provides everything that I need. However, there are some settings that you may need to do, in order to be able to convert to all the 9 formats that I mentioned here.

Let’s start with installing Foobar2000. Encoding/decoding of all the mentioned 9 formats.

Download the latest stable version from Foobar2000 website in these 2 locations :

  1. https://www.foobar2000.org/download
  2. https://www.foobar2000.org/encoderpack
    Install 1 follow by 2.

Apple encoder is needed for AAC (Apple) and ALAC format.
If you have the latest iTunes installed on your PC. You do not need to update Apple encoder.

If you do not have iTunes installed on your PC and do not want to install it. You can try this method to install the Apple encoder without iTunes.

  1. Download the latest iTunes from Apple and save it. Don’t run it!
    https://support.apple.com/downloads/itunes
  2. Move the file into a new folder. Extract the file by using an archive extractor, eg. 7-Zip (free)
  3. In the folder, run these 2 programs : “AppleApplicationSupport.msi” and “AppleApplicationSupport64.msi
  4. Now, you can delete the new folder. Apple Encoder is installed in your PC.

WMA encoder need to be installed in order to encode wma files.

goto website :
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,90519.0.html
download and extract : “WMAEncode_0.2.9c.zip
move these 2 files : “WMAEncode.exe” and “WMAEncode64.exe” to your PC Foobar2000 encoders folder :
Example : C:\Program Files (x86)\foobar2000\encoders\

Run Foobar2000, play 1 song. Stop the play.
Right click on the song in Foobar2000 playlist. Select :

  • convert > …
  • Output format
  • Add New
  • Encoder :
    • Custom
  • Encoder file : C:\Program Files (x86)\foobar2000\encoders\WMAEncode.exe
    (The Foobar2000 encoder folder that you had moved the 2 files to. You can choose either WMAEncoder.exe (32-bit) or WMAEncoder64.exe (64-bit)).
  • Extension : wma
  • Parameters : -input %s -output %d -q 98
  • Bit Depth
    • Format is : lossy
    • Highest BPS : 24
  • Display
    • Encoder name : WMA Standard
    • Bitrate (kpbs) :
    • Settings : Q98

Monkey’s Audio (ape) installation for decode/encode ape files.

To decode and play .ape in Foobar2000, you need to goto :
https://www.foobar2000.org/components
Look for “Monkey’s Audio Decoder
Download and run the fb2k.component file.

Next, to encode to .ape file, goto Monkey’s Audio website :
https://www.monkeysaudio.com/index.html
Download Monkey’s Audio :
https://www.monkeysaudio.com/download.html
Install Monkey’s Audio to your PC.

Locate Monkey’s Audio file : mac.exe
Example : C:\Program Files\Monkey’s Audio x64\mac.exe

Copy the file mac.exe to Foobar2000 encoder folder :
Example : C:\Program Files (x86)\foobar2000\encoders\

Run Foobar2000, play 1 song. Stop the play.
Right click on the song in Foobar2000 playlist. Select :

  • convert > …
  • Output format
  • Add New
  • Encoder :
    • Custom
  • Encoder file : C:\Program Files (x86)\foobar2000\encoders\mac.exe
    (The Foobar2000 encoder folder that you had copied the file to.)
  • Extension : ape
  • Parameters : %s %d -c2000
  • Bit Depth
    • Format is : lossless (or hybrid)
    • Highest BPS : 24
  • Display
    • Encoder name : Monkey’s Audio
    • Bitrate (kpbs) :
    • Settings :

That’s it! The rest of the six format decoding and encoding are already available in Foobar2000. Now you are able to play and save your music files to any of the 9 formats that I mentioned in the other post.

Enjoy the music or start encoding the right format for your players.

My take :
Always choose at least 320kbps bit-rate for lossy compressed file.
Use lossless file, as much as practical. Use FLAC (level 0) to make it easier for older FLAC compatible hardware to decode.

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