How to convert .ape files to .mp3 using Windows

by Ross McKillop on May 13, 2007

iPod Windows

You’ve downloaded a show or two from DimeADozen and now you want to convert the ape files to mp3 to take with you on your iPod or MP3 player. This tutorial will walk you through the steps to do just that, using Windows. note: this is another tutorial in the Beginners guide to lossless audio series.

First things first, make sure you’ve downloaded and installed Monkey’s Audio and iTunes, both of which are free.

There are two steps in converting your .ape files to .mp3. The first is to decode the .ape’s into .wav files. After that’s done, you’ll encode the .wav files into .mp3′s.

Decoding .ape files with Monkey’s Audio
Encoding .wav files with iTunes


Decoding .ape files with Monkey’s Audio

  1. Open Monkey’s Audio and select the arrow next to the Compress button. Select Decompress from the drop-down list.
  2. convert ape to mp3
    Click to enlarge

  3. Drag all of the ape files you want to convert into the main Monkey’s Audio window.
  4. convert ape to mp3
    Click to enlarge

  5. Click the Decompress button.
  6. Watch as Monkey’s Audio converts your .ape files to .wav files.
  7. convert ape to mp3
    Click to enlarge

  8. When it’s finished, check to make sure all of the .wav files were created (they’ll be in the same folder as your .ape files).
  9. list of wav files
    Click to enlarge

Encoding .wav files with iTunes

  1. First you need to make sure that iTunes will encode the songs to .mp3 (rather than the default, which is .aac). Start by selecting Edit and then Preferences…
  2. setting up itunes

  3. Select the Advanced tab, and then the Importing tab. Select MP3 Encoder from the Import Using: list, and then choose a quality from the Setting list. You may want to remove the check-mark from Play songs while importing (I find it annoying, and it makes the encoding time slightly longer). Click OK when you’re done.
  4. setting up itunes
    Click to enlarge

  5. Back in the main iTunes window, select File and then Add Folder to Library…
  6. setting up itunes

  7. Navigate to the folder that you saved the .wav files in and select it. Click OK
  8. setting up itunes

  9. Find the newly imported .wav files in iTunes and select them all (single-click the first file, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, and then single-click the last file). Right-click on any of the selected files and choose Convert Select to MP3. You may want to get a cup of coffee right now, as this step will take a while (depending on the number of files you’re converting).
  10. setting up itunes
    Click to enlarge

  11. iTunes will let you know it’s done converting the files by playing a little “beep”. Now is also a good time to remove the .wav files from your iTunes library so you don’t confuse them with the (identical looking) mp3 files. With the .wav files still highlighted, click the Delete key on your keyboard. If prompted, click the Remove button.
  12. setting up itunes
    Click to enlarge

That’s it, you’re done! Rename the files in iTunes (if you wish), give them a listen or transfer them to your iPod/mp3 player. Don’t forget to delete the .wav files if you no longer need them – they’re pretty big and take up quite a bit of space on your hard drive.

The .mp3 files can be found by going to My Documents -> My Music -> iTunes -> iTunes Music -> Artist Name -> Album Name

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  • Rob

    Thanks for the convert APE to MP3 walkthrough. Very useful.

    Rob

  • Leah

    ThankYOU! After downloading an ApE torrent than having NO idea what the hell an .ape file was, this was VERY useful. It also helps me out with my .wav files that I havn’t been able to use on my itunes!

  • Stan Kossen

    The instructions on how to convert an APE file to Wav to MP3 were really simple and easy to follow. I thank you for the clear presentation.

    I didn’t go the iTunes route for converting the Wav to MP3. I used a simple free program, “River Past Wave to MP3,” which was as easy as cutting soft cheese to use.

    Thank you again.

    Stan Kossen

  • http://www.extremetech.com alex

    Thanks a million. Very useful and easy to follow.
    Good job.

  • christopher

    when i convert my .ape file, it will always turn out to be a very big wave file. i cannot extract in into different track.

  • twilight beak

    Thank you.

    Bue I prefer my script to decompress, split the wav file, and call FAAC to encode them automatically with CUE file tag support in Linux. The encoded file is compatible with Amarok/iTunes or whatever else.

    One line and everything is done there. Bye

  • jabba

    really simple. cheers.

  • siggi

    Wierd the monkey always disapear when he is about to get a file.

  • Altergrave

    Really nice walkthrough. Very neat and easy to follow.
    Made me convert to higher bitrates.
    No need for that JMAC.. PATHfile.. and so on.

    I just hope you’ll also make a guide for splitting of APE tracks.

    Anyway, you’re good!

    Thanks yo!

  • DDM

    Thanks a million! I used Cue splitter to split the files, and then the Monkey. Worked perfectly!

  • kaede fuyou

    thank you so much!

  • Michael

    may I ask what to do to convert an .ape file (a full CD image) to many .mp3 files? (each .mp3 consists of one song but not the whole CD image)

  • sebjustseb

    For some reason, the Monkey’s Audio program doesn’t work properly sometimes unless its version 4 or higher. There’s a beta download on the monkey audio site that’s good. And for splitting files, Cuesplitter is excellent

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks, this helped alot. Was really easy to understand with the supplied pics.

  • woo!

    yay! it worked great!

  • Clegg

    Thanks – never heard of an .ape file before and your help was just the ticket !

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  • Arian

    Thank u sooo MuCH!

  • Speckled Jim

    Awesome, thanks. Such an easy to understand walkthrough.

  • Geoff

    Dude,
    This is the second or third post of yours which has helped me out. first it was flac to mp3 now ape to mp3!! Simple and easy to follow. Thanks for your time and effort!

  • http://www.simplehelp.net Ross McKillop

    Geoff,

    Right on – glad they helped! Next up it’ll be shn to mp3 :)

  • António

    Thanks for your explanations on how to convert Ape files. Very useful. Well done.

  • Atham

    Thank you very much man. your help’s been really helpful. Appreciate it!

  • Alex

    Just What I was looking for, Thanks !!!

  • http://simplehelp.net Ernie Shufflebottom

    Thanks. Keep up the good work!

  • Bernie

    Thanks for the simple explanation. I was going apeshit over ape files!

  • larson

    Be sure to realize that an often needed step is skipped in this. Which is cue splitting into track files. Get a .cue splitter that supports .apes. Then you’ll have all the tracks ready for the steps in this how-to.

  • pouya

    thanks alot!

  • Jeff

    wow…thank you so much!
    this tutorial was so easy to follow step by step…THANKS A BUNCH

  • Nadejda

    Great thanks!!! Truely useful!

  • Katje

    Thank you so much for this! It was really easy to follow and helped me immensely.

  • sylvia

    this really help me a lot!!thanks you so much!!

  • Paul

    Excellent instructions, thank you!

    However, my three .ape files are incomplete (93-98%) and Monkey’s Audio generates an error message (“Error: Invalid Checksum”) during decompression and does not decompress the file. So I can’t get to the next step(s).

    Any suggestions / work arounds?

  • Nicole F

    Thanks so much!!!!!

  • Paul

    Nero Wave Editor was able to open and decompress my three incomplete .ape files.

  • cindy

    The Monkey disappear when i add the files. y? I’m stuck at the Monkey step (2)… ~_~

  • cindy

    got it done. this time i installed the latest version of Monkey Audio. It’s working. Thanks.

  • http://netlog.com/ethleen eth

    thank u very much for this info. it’s really very useful.

  • lalocoabreu

    Thanks man!
    very useful stuff… worked pretty fine!

  • Mahmoud Awad

    many thanx for the tutorial, very helpful and great, you are so good, thanx again

  • les lee

    Thank you. Very simple and it works; u can’t ask for much more.

  • http://? E-hannon

    i like your taste in music govt mule and Galactic :D
    good stuff

  • DaveP

    Thanks!

    Ace tutorial very easy to understand. Many thanks again.

  • Liliana

    Short, easy to understand, very clear thanks a lot!!!!!

  • Frank O

    Worked well. Thank you for your effort. It is these types of information sites that makes the WEB/internet so valuable. You made it look easy……………

  • Tony C

    Thank you so much,it is very useful,

    but I want to ask how to convert to different track of wave files.

  • t4e5y45y54

    thx

  • Hayden

    Something went wrong; when I tried to decompress my files, it said Error [invalid input], did I do something wrong?

  • Nelson

    Thanks a ton!!! This really worked.

  • Mojo-San

    great guide!! very helpful. Tnx!

  • TerryG

    This is my second use of the steps on the web site, but the second time I get a an error (undefined) message. The first time worked fine. Could the file be another type though it states it as being an .ape file.

  • Les M

    This going through a wave file intermediate is a more difficult way. For Windows use Foobar 2000 with monkey audio decoding support and lame mp3 encoder to go direct from *.ape to *.mp3. Some might tell you that it goes through a wave intermediate, but Foobar 2000 does it transparently to the user if it indeed goes through an intermediate. All free software.
    http://www.foobar2000.org/?page=Download

  • http://www.myspace.com/hbpisolatedmind Isolated Mind

    Thanks! Perchiate the help bro…

  • http://www.myspace.com/hbpisolatedmind Isolated Mind

    PS, some people want wavs cause it’s higher quality and less compression…I think converting files to mp3 cuts off the fullness of the wavform file, ya dig?…but that’s just me.

  • Melwani V

    Thanks a lot man for the help…… Keep up the good work and GBU

  • moio

    thank you very much, very useful..

  • Nicholas W

    wow i was suprised to find that it worked and no virous it is fast and easy to use
    rock on

  • http://. Alex

    Used Monkey’s Audio for every .ape file I needed to convert to mp3 & it’s the only one I will ever use. Great software, Thanks

  • Vedder

    Thanks a lot! This works! :)

  • marijus

    ThankYOU! After downloading an ApE torrent than having NO idea what the hell an .ape file was, this was VERY useful. It also helps me out with my .wav files that I havn’t been able to use on my itunes!

  • drew

    thanks a lot for the help…i love the internet because of people like you

  • koulin

    I’m pretty confused D:

    Are .ape files SUPPOSED to appear seperated after being converted? Because I have one CD album in .ape format…and when the conversion is done, a huge .wav file appeared (meaning all the songs are stuck together into one long audio file).

  • http://www.FreeAyre.com Doug

    Rather clunky process but it works. I hate iTunes so used a different converter. Thanks very much.

  • Paulino Rubino

    Incredibly easy in helping me convert my first ape files.Highly Reccomended!

  • http://www.leadingnowhere.com Tushaar

    Great work, thanks for the tutorial. I just downloaded some terrific Indian classical music in .ape format and this will help me a lot. Thanks :)

  • egban

    Thanks! It’s the first time i’ve encountered ape files so your tutorial really helped.

  • Natalie

    I’ve converted them in Monkey Audio, but my iTunes doesn’t have the Encoding option. When I open the Preferences window, and click on advance, I don’t have another sublist to choose from.

    What do I do?

  • Icarius

    It didn’t separate the file into numerous tracks. Just created ONE large file as koulin has said…
    :-( (

  • Serj

    that is awesome, you can also convert wav to mp3 using Adobe audition. Thanxxxxx

  • Jlee

    It work but all the music is in one wav. Can you tell mehow to split it?

  • Zach

    Hey this was extremely helpful, I just torrented a lot of music and they were all in .ape files and this helped, but I have a question, when i do this it only converts it into a single .wav file, the entire album is a single file, how do i fix this?

  • Subsidian

    If the wav/ape album is one single file it means it was initially ripped that way and would’ve had a corresponding .cue file which designates where the track breaks are, if you don’t have the .cue file there’s no way of telling where to automatically split the tracks… you would need to download a track splitting program and then manually find the track breaks.

  • amith

    after converting to.ape format to mp3 format, does the quality of the song changes?

  • olio

    yes

  • araz

    hi
    i did split the tracks with Foobar, and it worked. but i have downloaded two parts of ape.-file, and they are just the same. i did split just one of them and it worked. should i do something with the part2 too!?! or that was just a miror-file??! when yes, why there is part 1 and 2?!?! oh god… this is insane ..:)))))))))))

  • Wagner G.

    THANKS this was very helpful.
    I have a Chopin collection that I was trying to liste in a simple way hehe. Thank you so much!

  • http://www.facebook.com/proche7 Phil Roché

    Many, many thanks for your help with this! Excellent instructions.

  • akashi20

    Thank you very much! So helpful

  • DList

    Why? why? why? Go through all this stupid BS! Do we really need yet another like APE? Just more BS to download and time to waste in converting to what I really want which is universal…MP3? Flac is ridiculous and this is even more idiotic? WTF is the point?

  • blastfemur

    Just use FreeMake Audio convertor. Their video convertor is also a great tool to have. pretty easy: drag and drop files into it. Hit ‘convert to … ‘ (they give you 7 options including mp3) and select a place for the converted files to go. Wait …

  • Nour

    Thank you so much

  • thomashenden

    Seems like Itunes only offers to convert files from disk to AAC, (only from CD to mp3).

    Something new with the newest version of Itunes?

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    @thomashenden:disqus – I’ll check the next time I’m using Windows. Still there in the Mac version of iTunes. I’m SURE the screenshots in this tutorial are out of date… You might need to look around in the Preferences… I’ll update the tutorial next time I’m near Windows…

  • Haytham Saeed

    where is the reply?

  • Haytham Saeed

    Haytham

  • Haytham Saeed

    Something went wrong; when I tried to decompress my files, it said Error [invalid input], did I do something wrong?

  • vincentkirkwoodnew

    i use a professional ape converter called idealshare videogo which can easily help:

    Convert APE to lossless audio format like convert APE to WAV, convert APE to FLAC, convert APE to Apple Lossless ALAC M4A.
    Convert APE to lossy audio format like convert APE to MP3, MP2, WMA, AAC, AC3, AIFF, AU, RA, DTS, OGG and etc.
    Convert and split a large whole APE audio with .cue into individual audio tracks in any popular format like MP3

  • Jimminy Crickets

    I agree, APE is overkill. However, lossless audio is not. FLAC is fine, it’s just irritating as itunes refuse to support it, and instead opted to make their own lossless format, ALAC. The problem with MP3 is that it degrades audio quality, fine for some but not everyone.