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Convert CD Audio to MP3, WAV, WMA

Explore the many ways in which you can convert between sound file formats.


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Introduction
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
RealAudio to WAV


Introduction

Sound Conversion is a specialized affair. Each conversion has its own set of nuances. Most importantly, 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.

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MIDI to WAV

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.

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MIDI to CD Audio, MP3, WMA, ASF AIFF, AU

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.

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WAV to CD Audio

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 be 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.

Common CD recording programs with Audio CD support include Roxio Easy CD Creator and Nero Burning ROM.

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WAV to MP3

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. 

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WAV to WMA, ASF

Both WMA and ASF are very similar formats, and both provide spectacular compression—even better than MP3.

The Windows Media Downloads Page gives you several free options with which you can convert WAV files to WMA(Windows Media Audio) or ASF, including Windows Media Tools and Windows Media Encoder.

Another quick alternative which enables you to convert from WAV to WMA is dBpowerAMP.

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WAV to AIFF, AU

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 use 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.

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CD Audio to WAV

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. 

Check out our tutorial on using Windows Media Player.

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CD Audio to MP3

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.

Check out our tutorial on using Windows Media Player.

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CD Audio to WMA, ASF

Windows Media Player and Music Match Jukebox (link no longer exists) can automatically convert your CD Audio to the WMA format.

To have more control over the whole procedure, rip your Audio CD using DAE (see above in this page) and convert the resultant WAV into WMA using Windows Media Encoder or dBpowerAMP.

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!

Check out our tutorial on using Windows Media Player.

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CD Audio to AIFF, AU

Follow instructions to initially convert the CD Audio to WAV and then use Adobe Audition to convert the resultant files to AIFF or AU.

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MP3 to WAV

This process is known as decoding - you can achieve it with a little effort using WinAmp or Sonique (link no longer exists).

dBpowerAMP also does this with a one click procedure.

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MP3 to CD Audio

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 (link no longer exists) 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 Music Match Jukebox (link no longer exists) offer options to create an Audio CD from MP3s as well.

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MP3 to WMA, ASF

You could use any of the Windows Media tools including Windows Media Encoder.

For a simpler solution, you've got dBpowerAMP.

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MP3 to AIFF, AU

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.

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WMA, ASF to WAV

To convert (rather, decode!) a WMA to WAV, you could use dBpowerAMP.

Or use Switch Plus, and follow our tutorial.

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WMA, ASF to CD Audio

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 favor of WMA and WMV to support audio and video respectively.

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AIFF, AU to CD Audio

On the Windows platform, Windows Media Player automatically creates an Audio CD from a given playlist. Such playlists can include AIFF and AU files.

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RealAudio to WAV

You can use something like Total Recorder to convert RealAudio files to WAV. Note that the finished recording could be of poor quality, since RealAudio is often streamed with much compression to save bandwidth.

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