CNET Editors' review
We've tried tons of freeware MP3 converters. They tend to fall somewhere in between Easy Enough for Beginners and Feature-Filled for Experts. DVDVideoSoft's Free Audio Converter definitely registers on the "Easy" end of the dial, but it offers enough options to enable you to encode your MP3s in several different formats, including three levels of LAME. A Preset Wizard makes it easy to save your settings for future use. It can access compatible audio files on your hard drive or stored on a CD, but it doesn't rip CD audio.
Free Audio Converter shares a basic interface style and background with DVDVideoSoft's other audio/video freeware, with a colorful abstract design and a minimum of controls. You can add files by clicking Add Files and browsing or by dragging and dropping files directly into Free Audio Converter's main window. A Save To field is easy enough to understand, as is the Quality button, which let us select the type of encoding we wanted, including AAC, APE, FLAC, WMA, WAV, and OGG (MP3, too!). A drop-down list offers further refinement, including not only three levels of LAME quality (Insane, Extreme, and Standard) but also Original Audio and even Audio Book, the CD audio standard. Free Audio Converter uses handy pop-ups to edit tags and file names. Clicking the Magic Wand icon opens the Preset Editor, a handy wizard for saving presets for a variety of different file types and situations. With it, you can create different profiles for your best tunes and your podcasts. Basic options include ATI-based acceleration, interface languages, and a selection of attractive themes that improve on the basic look.
We browsed to our music archive and selected some MP3s, which appeared in the main window in a list we could edit with Up/Down arrows. We made our selections and pressed Convert. Free Audio Converter did its thing quickly, and the finished tunes played normally in our usual player. Free Audio Converter can handle WAVs, which gives it an advantage over similar tools that require external help (such as Winamp) to encode and convert MP3s to WAVs for editing.
Free Audio Converter converts different audio file formats, including MP3, WAV, M4A, AAC, WMA, OGG, FLAC, and APE. Each format is provided with a corresponding profile kit and a preset editor in order to make a personalized preset. So you can create new presets, delete and edit the old ones (change the current parameters). Free Audio Converter goes with both a single and a batch mode support. Supports XP, Vista and Windows 7. Free Audio Converter contains no spyware or adware. It's clearly free and absolutely safe to install and run.
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All versions:3.7 stars
out of 23 votes
Current version:4.5 stars
out of 2 votes
My rating:Write review
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"It's good, but there's no such thing as a free lunch..."
Version: Free Audio Converter 5.0.18
An astounding suite of first-rate freebies. Only if you pay will you find anything better. But it comes at a hidden price...
...and the hidden price is, it's extremely hard to avoid signing up for a truly hideous toolbar which draws you into the world of a spammer (scammer?) called Conduit. The jury is still out on whether Conduit (and the DVDsoft toolbar that manifests it) can be rated as malware, and I can't afford a libel suit: so dig deep into the internet coverage for yourselves. That's all I'll say; but be aware that even if the DVDSoft toolbar were the best thing since Jesus H Christ (and it ain't), it is EXTREMELY invasive and exceedingly difficult to remove - above all from Google Chrome, where it will also wreck all your personal settings.
Outstanding free software but be aware that it is not quite what it seems - and as the Russians say, "You only get free cheese in a rat trap." Never download with CHET's "smart install" and only download manually if you are vigilant to avoid its hidden extras at every turn: No, you do NOT want the DVDsoft toolbar and no, you do not want to download six times faster or eight times faster or...whatever. In fact the answer, and every option you'll be given is "No...no...no...no...no...no."
That said, if the You Tube downloader here also handled video material from other sites (as the Ant Downloader does, for instance, on Firefox): then this would be an outright winner.
"Easy to use"
Version: Free Audio Converter 5.0.18
Simple, gets the job done, highly recommended
None so far
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