After deciding that I would like to convert my large collection of .flac lossless music to apple lossless format so I can organise them all in iTunes, I was faced with the task of finding the best software for the job. I started by using Foobar2000 to convert them via .wav, however I consequently lost all of the ID3 tags on the way and had to manually add them in through iTunes which was unsurprisingly tedious.
Enter DbPowerAmp Music Converter. I came across the software package after some extensive Googling and browsing of related forums and decided it was the most attractive option when compared to rival software. I immediately downloaded the trial and eventually got my hands on a full license.
Basically the package consists of several applications. As well as the music converter there is also a CD ripper and a batch converter. Personally, the only one I use is the latter of the three as I use iTunes itself for the CD ripping and I prefer to do my conversions in bulk as it is much less hassle.
In terms of performance, the batch converter managed to convert an entire album totalling half a gigabyte in less than 2 minutes. Significantly faster than any alternative I have come across. This efficiency is somewhat down to the fact that it uses a single processing core for each track meaning it can convert as many tracks simultaneously, as you have cores. The PC I used has 2 cores which is pretty average for a common PC. A more powerful PC with a quad-core processer maybe able to do the album in at least half the time. After conversion I noticed little difference, if any to bit-rate and file size which means little difference in quality. Something which a lot of other converters cannot boast.
Navigation through the program is extremely easy. There is a sidebar within the single window which acts in a similar way to Windows explorer in terms of simple list menu’s in which to browse folders and sub-folders. Usability is great and another handy feature is the program being built in to explorer itself. A simple right-click on a music track and you will find a ‘convert to’ button which does exactly that. It immediately brings up the conversion window from which you can choose the output folder and output file type.
Speaking of file types, this is another of DbPowerAmp’s standout qualities. From the official website for the software, you can find Codec Central. Basically this is a place where you can download a number of codec’s quickly and easily making it even more versatile when it comes to output file formats. The codec I wanted, Apple Lossless, doesn’t come built in with the software. It is listed but you need to download and install the Apple codec pack from Codec Central. This includes .mp4 and .m4a which is exactly what I was looking for.
Once you have selected the tracks to convert, the window is reduced to a discreet pane in which you can simply view the progress and select ‘finished’ when all tasks are completed. No unnecessary bulk in the application which means it is stable and fast without using a great deal of resources.
The CD ripper is like any CD ripper except you can rip to a whole host of different formats which makes it versatile as well as being as fast as anything I have used. It really does complete the audio management software package.
Although the DbPowerAmp Music Converter is not freeware, I could not find anything worth a mention that was. Therefore this is the best option for any Windows users looking for a great music converter. A brilliant piece of software I would recommend it to anyone.