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AudioAlchemy WAV Edition is an audio file converter. It supports a wide area of input formats (MP3, WMA, OGG, AIFF, AU, VOX and more). It decodes the source files and then encodes and exports the content into a WAV file. It can encode either to an uncompressed format or to a compressed one. The maximum output frequency supported is 48 KHz and the max bit depth is 16 bits, which are acceptable for non-professional requirements. The compressed formats are PCM, MPEG Layer-3 and such, offering medium quality results.
For some reason, this application does not take advantage of the multi-core processors available today. It only uses the first CPU core (tested in Windows XP, don’t know how it behaves in other operating systems). It’s still pretty fast when not dealing with very large files.
Although uncompressed WAV is a lossless format, the conversion itself lowers the sound quality. In the tests I did, the output files lost some of the brightness (higher frequencies). This makes them sound less “alive”. The sound was also “crunched” a little bit and though it’s barely audible, people with good ears and high requirements are not going to like it. Considering that most users need WAV files exactly because they reproduce the original most accurately, the previously mentioned problem defeats a major part of the program’s purpose.
- Small program
- Fast conversion
- Can execute batch jobs
- Recognizes a wide area of input formats
- Subtle loss of sound quality
- Doesn't take advantage of multi-core processors