Recommendations for MP3 Conversion Software


I've tried at least a dozen different solutions and none seem to fit my needs:

  1. can handle "Latin" characters in tags (e.g., inverted question marks, ellipses)
  2. doesn't lose or truncate tags (e.g., podcast URL, podcast description, podcast category)
  3. can convert to a constant bit rate of 32kbps @ 44.1K Hz (i only listen to podcasts=speech and my IPOD software rockbox doesn't like VBR)

conversions needed are from .wav, .mp4 and .m4a to .mp3 (simple huh?) ... mp4 -> mp3 is my most common conversion need.

I tried this topic at and ended up in a fruitless discussion about ffmpeg. So I thought I'd give you guys (gals) a try.

I currently use dbPoweramp, but it fails on item #2 and I'm tired of having to manually fix the tags.


I'm not sure if Xrecode3 can meet all of your requirements:
Give it a try.

thanks for the Xrecode3 recommendation. didn't work. failed requirement #2.

Perhaps you need the help of MP3tag.
If you have a set of original files
and the same set but with converted files
you can load them into MP3tag, select the original files, copy the tags
select the target files (which are in the same order as the original files)
paste the tags.
This should put all the compatible information into the target files.
So now you can focus on the audio quality of the converter. Tagging is done best with MP3tag.

The fewer steps the better ... as mentioned above I use dBpoweramp and this requires the text-to-tag (alt+4) feature of mp3tag to restore the unedited tags. I'd like to convert and move over the raw tags in one step, and then use mp3tag to do the final tag editing.

The problem seems to be tags like podcastdesc, unsyncedlyrics, etc ... which unfortunately are very (verrry) widely used in publicly available podcasts INSTEAD of the comment field (hence these are indispensable for any categorizing and searching of podcasts).

If I count correctly, then the copy&paste solution for tags has even fewer steps than
Loading files into Mp3tag
Creating a report
Running a report
Convert files in a different programm
open dbpoweramp
load the new files
search for the export file
import the tags
load the files into MP3tag for finalizing.

With MP3tag it would be:
Convert files in a different program
load original files
load converted files on top
select original files (all of them)
copy the tags of all the files
select the target files (all of them)
paste the tags to all the files
And it has the advantage that you use only 2 programs in a single workflow as you do not have to switch to and fro between programs.

Have you tried foobar2000? I think it can do it all.

Thanks for the recommendation pone, but Foobar2000 had the same problem with losing the descriptor tags.

The problem with the dBpoweramp-Mp3tag combo is each album (and there are many dozens) has a mixture of mp3 & non-mp3 podcasts, so when you do the side-by-side for the text-to-tag operation it's very manual and error-prone when you try to verify the correct tags get copied from source-to-target. I have various times thought I did the matching right, then deleted the source tags only to discover mistakes.

And with Win XP you only can rescue a very limited number of large mp4's or wav's from the recycle bin when you make this mistake.

It would be best to 1) convert the files, then 2) clean up the tags in Mp3tag. Hence I need assurance that all the tags get carried over into the converted files.


The recycle bin is resizable.

Indeed it is. I never noticed. Thanks.