Musings from Mars Banner Image
For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
Mars Report:

Max: Create High-Quality Audio Files from CDs or Files

Published October 30th, 2006

Max converts audio in over 20 different formats using the highest-quality open-source tools

Max Audio FreewareOriginally downloaded 3/26/06. This freeware is still in an early stage of development, but it seems to be onto something. By integrating all of these open source tools into one interface, the developer will have done audiophiles a huge favor. Definitely worth a try… so far, it gets rave reviews on VersionTracker and MacUpdate.

Update 10/30/06. It took me a few tries to understand how Max works, but once I did it’s clear that this will be very valuable when I decide to archive my AIFF lossless files and keep mp3 or aac copies for my iPod. Max attempts to provide all the pieces of the puzzle, beyond making all the various output formats available. For example, Max can find album art, can put files into iTunes with meta data from the ripped CD, and can save files to disk with custom names and even a custom directory structure based on the album’s meta data.

The only downside for me is that I’m not sure Max will be able to seamlessly replace files that iTunes now knows about as AIFF files, which will mean I have to somehow re-sync all my tracks with the new versions. Maybe there’s an iTunes script that will do that… I’ve already been through this once, and with a collection of over 7,500 tunes in my iTunes library, it’s not something I can afford to be real time-consuming. Nor do I want to lose all my existing iTunes meta data.

Still, I was very impressed with the quality of Max’s output—I tried AAC, MP3, and Apple Lossless—and with the overall design of Max. It’s very handy that the user can specify how many threads Max should devote to its processing, since with my G5 Quad I have threads to spare. :-) Gee… maybe I should wait to until that rumored 8-processor Mac that’s coming soon.

Version as tested: 0.6.1.

  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx

Show Comments
Just Say No To Flash