FLAC to MP3 Batch Conversion - Best quality?

vbimport

#1

I need to convert a huge colllection of FLAC files to MP3 and would like to do the best quality Batch Conversion possible with as few headaches as possible.

So far I am looking at Foobar, dbpoweramp and VUPlayer


#2

I’ve started testing dbpoweramp but it seems that I have to go into each folder and select the files.

Is there a way that I can just point a program to the master folder and have it convert all of the files in all of the subfolders?


#3

Yes there is. Foobar2000 at http://www.foobar2000.org
I downloaded the “Special” installer, as opposed to the Normal and Lite installers. It has the most stuff bundled.

Now load up foobar & go:
Playlist > Add directory.

This will add all your songs, despite any being in subdirectories of that folder.
Press Ctrl+A to select them all.

Now, right-click and go:
Convert > Settings (to configure your encoder settings for the first time)
Under “Output file name formatting” I have changed to the following (but your tastes/ preferences might be different). This is just my preferred directory structure:

%artist% - %album%\%_filename%

It will output nice & neatly that way based on your already-tagged FLACs.

Under:
“Output Presets”
you would choose:
Commandline Encoder: LAME --alt -preset standard
(or whatever your encoding preference is here)

You have to make sure your LAME.exe (or whatever mp3 encoder you choose) is in foobar’s program directory, or tell it where it is with the EDIT button there.
Don’t have LAME? Get LAME 3.96.1 here:
http://www.rarewares.org/mp3.html
…then extract it to C:\Program Files\foobar2000 (or wherever you have foobar installed).

Another useful thing to change - while ur there in Preferences in foobar - is to go to the left hand side window and click on “standard inputs” and under “mp3 tag writing” choose ID3v2, because it’s not selected by default.

Now press Save All. Close.
You have configured your mp3 encoder and you’ll never have to worry about it again. Now just:

*Ctrl+A to select all files again. This time just go:
*Right-click
*Convert > Run Conversion
*Your encoder settings can be changed there if you like. Otherwise, press OK.
*Now select your output directory and bob’s your uncle.

Mass conversion of FLAC to mp3 (!), without having to manually go into each directory (& all outputted neatly in the directory structure you choose).

Have fun.


#4

Thanks so much CB! :slight_smile:


#5

What if it doesn’t give you the option to edit when choosing your decoder?


#9

[QUOTE=cynicalbastard;1025636]Yes there is. Foobar2000 at http://www.foobar2000.org
I downloaded the “Special” installer, as opposed to the Normal and Lite installers. It has the most stuff bundled.

Now load up foobar & go:
Playlist > Add directory.

This will add all your songs, despite any being in subdirectories of that folder.
Press Ctrl+A to select them all.

Now, right-click and go:
Convert > Settings (to configure your encoder settings for the first time)
Under “Output file name formatting” I have changed to the following (but your tastes/ preferences might be different). This is just my preferred directory structure:

%artist% - %album%\%_filename%

It will output nice & neatly that way based on your already-tagged FLACs.

Under:
"Output Presets"
you would choose:
Commandline Encoder: LAME --alt -preset standard
(or whatever your encoding preference is here)

You have to make sure your LAME.exe (or whatever mp3 encoder you choose) is in foobar’s program directory, or tell it where it is with the EDIT button there.
Don’t have LAME? Get LAME 3.96.1 here:
http://www.rarewares.org/mp3.html
…then extract it to C:\Program Files\foobar2000 (or wherever you have foobar installed).

Another useful thing to change - while ur there in Preferences in foobar - is to go to the left hand side window and click on “standard inputs” and under “mp3 tag writing” choose ID3v2, because it’s not selected by default.

Now press Save All. Close.
You have configured your mp3 encoder and you’ll never have to worry about it again. Now just:

*Ctrl+A to select all files again. This time just go:
*Right-click
*Convert > Run Conversion
*Your encoder settings can be changed there if you like. Otherwise, press OK.
*Now select your output directory and bob’s your uncle.

Mass conversion of FLAC to mp3 (!), without having to manually go into each directory (& all outputted neatly in the directory structure you choose).

Have fun.[/QUOTE]
I have created an account, specifically to say thank you. I have been having a problem all night and it has driven me to the edges of sanity. Although the posts are over 6 years old, they are still relevant, the advice is just as helpful, and im still mentally stable. Thank you so much cynicalbastard for your reply, and duplo for the question!!!


#10

NCH Switch Sound File Converter Plus will do it folder by folder
(including files in subfolders)

Best part is it is downloadable in a 30day trial version on cnetdownloads.com

Even after the trial expires you can select what bitrate you want to use in either CBR or VBR.

AD


#11

Hey yomum yes, Foobar2k works a treat…And best part, it’s free…


#12

WinAmp (the $15 paid version) can do it too. The free version, with LAME out plug-in probably can too.


#13

There are several that work well. I think most of us use LAME so the results are about the same depending on how the GUI of a software let’s the LAME settings be used.
I beleive these were done with dbPowerAmp but I have used EAC,Audacity,Foobar2k ,BeSweet & a few others.
There is an old version of dbPowerAmp Release 10.1 . You can still find downloads for it. With LAME added it converts to .mp3’s & is freeware. Later versions are shareware & more plugins are available so to some it is worth the money.
To my ears the VBR conversion in the encSpot sounds better than the CBR .




#14

Hey cholla, just a quick question…When you say that the VBR encode “sounds better” than the CBR, did you perform a listening test while knowing which was which?..I don’t doubt your ears can hear a difference, just wondering if maybe knowing which was which and simply picking out the one you ‘think’ should sound better…When in fact, in most cases with most samples, most cannot tell/hear the difference via double blind testing…There are exceptions…
Remember the ‘Pacebo effect’ …
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/apr/14/expensive-wine-cheap-plonk-taste

Viewing waveforms or bitrate distribution charts is (and I’m sure you’re aware of) no indication of perceived quality…Someone not knowing this might get the wrong impression that using V0 ~192-250 VBR instead of CBR at 192kbps will result in a “better sound”…
And since the topic does state ‘Best quality’ hence my points…
The proper way would be to conduct a double blind-test (ABX) between the original wav and the lossy versions at different settings…
Also noting that you used for your samples, two different tracks and lame versions…
FWIW, I prefer VBR as well…


#15

t0nee1 , No blind tests & sure I could have been influenced by the fact that I think VBR sounds better . I did add the [B]“To my ears”[/B] .

[QUOTE=t0nee1;2604845]Also noting that you used for your samples, two different tracks and lame versions. [/QUOTE]
Just used files I already had on an external HDD . It’s been a while since I converted any CBR .MP3’s . If need be I could do a same song & same LAME version but I think the sound would be the same or very close.
The same reason I use stereo instead of joint stereo . To my ears it sounds better.

I don’t want to leave this out. The source material is important. I always make my .mp3’s from .wav files if possible. (FLAC would probably be as good).

[QUOTE=t0nee1;2604845] http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/apr/14/expensive-wine-cheap-plonk-taste [/QUOTE]

I clicked the link after I posted. I don’t like the taste of wine . I’ve sampled some cheap that is better than any expensive I’ve tasted but I wouldn’t call any of it “good”.
I do like Welch’s grape juice .
For beer some tastes good & some doesn’t . The price doesn’t have anything to do with it IMO.
Since I’m going off topic.
I like MGD, Natural Lite ,Busch, Wurzburger dark , & O’Douls.
I also like Michelob dark when they made it but not regular Michelob .
It’s an ale but I would add Belhaven Ale to the list.
I like mine in a freezer chilled glass mug & from a bottle.


#16

I did see and acknowledge your “To my ears” comment…
This however, “FLAC would probably be as good” I don’t agree on…Flac[I][B] IS[/B][/I] just as good as wav,bit for bit and quality-wise…


#17

I should have added that I’ve only worked with FLAC a little bit. Mostly to see if my converters would create FLAC files . So the “probably” is a limitation of my own experence with FLAC .


#18

[QUOTE=cholla;2604853]I should have added that I’ve only worked with FLAC a [I]little bit[/I]. Mostly to see if my converters would create FLAC files . So the “probably” is a[I] limitation[/I] of my own experence with FLAC .[/QUOTE]

Yes of course, my bad!..Why else would someone use the word “probably” …Again, I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone into [I][B]thinking[/B][/I] that flac(lossless) is in any way inferior to WAV (quality wise)…Because it is not…
And as far as beers, I’m a simple man, I prefer coors light…And pork chops…But that’s another topic…:bigsmile:


#19

@ t0nee1 ,
This is a FLAC file I converted from a .wav file.
It uses the libFLAC 1.1.2 20050205 encoder do you know if that is a good one for FLAC ?
What FLAC encoder do you use ?
I probably set up EAC to conver directly to FLAC.



#20

At the moment I’m using libFLAC 1.2.1 20070917…Was your source wav from an original source?..IOW from a CD rip or an original wav?..If so, and if you have any doubts as to flac and wav being identical, you can do a bitcomparison…I use f2k’s bitcompare utility…Import both the original wav and it’s flac and compare…it will be bit for bit identical…So how can there be any difference, since 'math works…Unless something is wrong with your sw decoder playback and or your system, it will sound the same, b/c [I]they are identical…[/I]


#21

The .wav was ripped with EAC from the original commercial CD .
I gave EAC a quick try to convert directly to FLAC but it didn’t work. I probably just need to Google on that.
I will see if I can do the bit compare with f2k.


#22

Cool…Good luck!..
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=EAC_and_FLAC


#23

These are the results I got from the bit compare utility . Take a look at them & see what you think.
Differences found in 1 out of 1 track pairs.

Comparing:
“C:\Users\Desktop\TEMP\12 - Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.wav”
"C:\Users\Desktop\TEMP\12 - Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down0.flac"
Differences found: 23796375 sample(s), starting at 0.1597732 second(s), peak: 0.7951660 at 104.5729705 second(s), 2ch