Which decode program do you use?

Which program do you use to decode mp3=>wav ? ?

I’m pointing to the best quality NOT the fastest program but just to quality.

The easiest I think is WinAmp.
Don’t know if it matters much in quality.

Have not tested EAC to convert mp3 back to wav (why would anyone do that anyway?), but if it is possible, I can very well imagine it being a good quality decoder.

With mp3, the encoder is the most important part. In the encoder a model of the human ear is used. The encoder decides what to leave out and what to leave in.

If I am correct, the decoder-part is completely deterministic. So if your program has implemented the decoder part correctly, you can’t get any quality differences between programs.

BTW: I assume that on playback of a mp3 file, the decoder decodes the tracks back into a .wav file in order to play it. I am not sure if this is correct. If this is not the case, then the above mentioned doesn’t really make sense for your question…


I agree with Upp3rd0G, that the mp3 data will be decoded always in order to play it (I think, soundcards simply don’t understand anything other than pure uncompressed PCM data).
If you are using Graphedit, the decoding process is depicted graphicly. And if you would use the “dump” filter just before the data reaches the soundcard, you would get exactly the wave data (without header, of course).

For all of you, who are interested in decoding mp3 files, have a look @ http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~djmrob/mp3decoders/ .
There is described, that it is not only important which encoder is being used, but also which decoder.
Winamp in every case uses one of the best decoders available.
However there are some differences between several Winamp versions.
By example, Winamp v2.22 was the last “good” decoder; after that release, they changed to the worse Nitrane decoder.
But all recent versions (like v2.80) are licenced again by Fraunhofer/Thomson, providing the full quality.
If you decode a mp3 with both versions (2.22 & 2.80) and compare their results, you’ll get differences in the wave files (not many but a few).
Which result is correct, then?
I cannot say it, because you won’t hear any differences.
But one thing is certain: The CoolEdit (Pro) plugin mp3me and the ACM codec v1.9 from fraunhofer (copyright 1999) will give the same data as Winamp v2.22.

very strange …