Once upon a time, my friend gave me a CD image file in the format of “.APE”; a strange format that I’ve never heard of. It turns out that it is quite a common audio format – known as Monkey’s Audio (http://www.monkeysaudio.com/) – mostly used by Windows users.
In the search for the application capable of reading into this Monkey, I found a powerful audio file converter for Mac called Max.
So, what is Max? It is an application for creating high-quality audio files in various formats, from compact discs or files.
In the process of extracting audio from compact discs, Max offers the maximum in flexibility to ensure that its users will get the true sound of the CD. Max offers a high-speed ripper with no error correction.
Max can also work with damaged discs. It will use either its built-in comparison ripper (for drives that cache audio) or the error-correcting power of cdparanoia.
Once the audio is extracted, Max can generate audio in over 20 compressed and uncompressed formats including MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, Apple Lossless, Monkey’s Audio, WavPack, Speex, AIFF, and WAVE.
To convert audio file from one format to another, Max can read and write audio files in over 20 compressed and uncompressed formats at almost all sample rates and in most sample sizes. For many popular formats the artist and album metadata is transferred seamlessly between the old and new files.
As an additional bonus feature, Max can even split a single audio file into multiple tracks using a cue sheet.
Working With Max
Now let’s look at how to use Max to convert the APE image to MP3s. After launching the application, go to the “File â†’ Open” menu to open the audio files or CD image.
In my case, since this is the first time I use it, Max asked me to choose an audio output format to convert to.
My choice is none other than MP3 with high bitrate.
Choosing other additional output formats could be done by opening the Preferences window (Command + Comma). The next step would be choosing “Formats” icon and click the plus (+) button.
If everything else is done, what is left to do is clicking the “Convert” icon and waiting for the process to finish.
More Hidden Power
The Preferences window has many more customization options to choose from. For example, users can define how the converted audio file should be named. This option could be done from the “Output” tab.
To be able to split an audio file, you have to leave a checkmark to “Generate Cue Sheet” box in the “Ripper” tab.
There are also “MusicBrainz” tab to specify which server will be used to retrieve disc info, “Tagging” tab to specify custom tag name based on the type of the file, and “Album Art” tab to specify whether users want to save the album art with the converted files.
I barely scratch the surface here since the discussion here is only how to use it to convert the disc image to MP3 files. There are more powers under Max’s hood for users to explore. The best way to get familiar with all the capabilities of this application is by using it yourself.
Have you used Max to convert audio files? Do you have other alternative audio file converter for Mac? Share using the comment below.