Convert CD Audio to MP3, WAV, WMA…
By: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: April 21st 2004
Last Updated: February 23rd 2009
MIDI to WAV
MIDI to CD Audio, WMA, ASF, AIFF, AU
WAV to CD Audio
WAV to MP3
WAV to WMA, ASF
WAV to AIFF, AU
CD Audio to WAV
CD Audio to MP3
CD Audio to WMA, ASF
CD Audio to AIFF, AU
MP3 to WAV
MP3 to CD Audio
MP3 to WMA, ASF
MP3 to AIFF, AU
WMA, ASF to WAV
WMA, ASF to CD Audio
AIFF, AU to CD Audio
WAV to RealAudio
RealAudio to WAV
Sound Conversion is a specialized affair - each different conversion has its own set of nuances - you need to be careful to maintain an optimum quality in the finished sound. That's why, there are no 'open' and 'save as' procedures explained on this page. Let's explore the world of sound conversion.
Although you could use Windows Media Player to play your MIDI file and concurrently record it using Sound Recorder, this will not achieve a quality which could be attained by using specialized realizer software. These programs work on the principle of outputting your source MIDI to a WAV file or an audio stream. If you use SoundFonts in your MIDI compositions, make sure that the particular realizer software supports soundfonts.
To find more information about such tools, visit the MIDI to WAV Realizer page.
You'll need to convert your MIDI to WAV and follow subsequent instructions depending on your format using techniques included below in this page.
Keep your WAV file quality at an optimum by using the regular CD quality or better.
To create a CD Audio from existing WAV files, you'll first need WAV files that are stored in a CD Audio specification - this means they have to sampled at 44,100 KHz, 16 bit with stereo.
Thereafter use your CD recording software and create a layout for an Audio CD - insert your WAV files in the layout and burn. You should read the help file of your CD recording software to find more details.
There are literally hundreds of encoders which convert from WAV to MP3 - a search on any of the search engines will reveal multitudes of them.
These applications range from command line utilities to specialized programs with more options than you care to use.
Both WMA and ASF are very similar formats, and both provide spectacular compression - even better than MP3.
The Windows Media Downloads Page gives you four free options with which you can convert WAV files to WMA(Windows Media Audio) or ASF. These are:
Windows Media Tools
Windows Media Encoder
Another quick alternative which enables you to convert from WAV to WMA is dBpowerAMP.
AIFF is a standard format on the Apple Macintosh for system sounds. QuickTime Pro is the easiest option to convert a WAV file to the AIFF format. You could also used specialized sound editors like Adobe Audition to convert WAV files to AIFF.
AU was developed by Sun Microsystems, and it's the preferred format for a Java applet or application. Adobe Audition can convert a WAV file to the AU format.
To convert a CD Audio file to a WAV file, you'll need a ripping program which digitally converts a CD Audio track to a WAV file on your hard disk using a procedure called Digital Audio Extraction (DAE). Older CD drives, particularly those of the pre-16x era do not support DAE.
There's a comprehensive list of ripping programs available at Daily MP3.com's Rippers Page.
Although the preferred procedure to convert CD Audio to MP3 is using an intermediate WAV stage, there are many programs which will transparently encode CD Audio to MP3.
The ASF format is WMA's predecessor - you may not want to use the ASF format, but if required - you can rename the WMA extension to ASF - it's that simple!
Follow instructions to initially convert the CD Audio to WAV and then use Adobe Audition to convert the resultant files to AIFF or AU.
dBpowerAMP also does this with a one click procedure.
Again, you could convert the MP3s to WAV and then use them as a base to burn your Audio CDs - but then as always, there are more choices.
You could use the popular MP3 CD Maker program, which will automatically create an Audio CD from your MP3 collection - it offers other options like normalizing all your tracks. Roxio Easy CD Creator Deluxe/Platinum and MusicMatch Jukebox offer options to create an Audio CD from MP3s as well.
You could use any of the Windows Media tools including Windows Media Encoder.
For a simpler solution, you've got dBpowerAMP.
Convert to WAV first and then to AIFF or AU using Adobe Audition or something similar.
Again, for AIFF, you can convert directly from MP3 to AIFF using QuickTime Pro.
To convert (rather, decode!) a WMA to WAV, you could use dBpowerAMP.
Or use Switch Plus, and follow our tutorial...
Windows Media Player can directly convert your WMA and ASF files to an Audio CD.
A word of caution - ASF files are of two types, audio and video - for Audio CDs you can only use the audio ASFs - maybe it was this confusion which led Microsoft to abandon ASF in favour of WMA and WMV to support audio and video respectively.
On the Windows platform, Windows Media Player automatically creates an Audio CD from a given playlist. Such playlists can include AIFF and AU files.
You can use something like Total Recorder to convert RealAudio files to WAV - although the finished recording could be of poor quality, since RealAudio is often streamed with much compression to save bandwidth.