That’s the moral of this story.


I needed an MP3 to WAV converter for some files I was putting into my new 60’s mix CD for the car – now I know it usually goes the other way (WAV to MP3), but I had quite a few CD’s with 60’s music on them, some compilations, some CD re-releases of Albums, some “Best Ofs”  etc. that I had ripped for my iPod and computer, and while I still have the CD’s, they are unplayable due to being used by the grandchildren for playing at flying saucers and as drinks coasters for tea-parties etc.

Needless to say, I wasn’t a happy bunny when I found out what they had been doing with them.

I started the search for a suitable converter, found quite a few candidates, narrowed those down to 2, found one of the two wouldn’t do MP3>Wave, only WAV>mp3 and the other one wanted to download an enormous amount of  dependencies (6mb) to support its 48k download 🙁

Second search turned up a mention of Audacity (which I always have installed), the go-to sound editor for Linux (and knowledgeable Windows and Mac folks too!) in which it was claimed that Audacity could do “batch” conversions.

Investigating further, I found that indeed it could, by using a feature in the latest version (2.0.5) called “Chains“. Chains are actually a sequence of step-by-step instructions to the Audacity program to do “something” to an audio file. There is a functional editing and creation GUI for the Chains feature, and it worked as advertised after a little reading (like less than 5 minutes)

Once I made my Chain, I used the “Apply Chain” item in the menu, selected a load of MP3s, .aiff and .flac files and told Audacity to get on with it. It took each file and applied my instructions – basically to normalize the file, then export it as a WAV file.

I now have about 6.5 hours of 60’s music to sort into my preferred playing order and burn to CD’s.

I’ll be looking on my computer first for an app to do just that before I start hitting the interwebs.

*Technical Note:

I do know that the quality will not be as recorded due to the MP3 format being a “lossy” conversion process, but as my car stereo is not that great either, I’ll just live with it. In future, all rips will be done using lossless convertors (e.g .flac)