How to Convert SHN Files to MP3 Using Windows

You’ve found yourself with some .SHN files and now you want to convert them to mp3 to take with you on your iPod, mobile phone or MP3 player. This tutorial will walk you through the steps to do just that, using Microsoft Windows.

Note: although this guide was originally published in 2006, it has been updated to be current as of 2020. This will work on any system running Windows XP all the way to Windows 10.

  1. Converting .shn files to .mp3 requires you to download and install a small (and free) app – Traders Little Helper. It’s been around for ages and is wildly popular in the ‘lossless music community’. There are two versions available for download – version 2.7.0 (Build 172) is the one we recommend. It’s not the latest version, but it accomplishes exactly what we want. After you’ve finished the installation you’ll be prompted to reboot your PC. Open Traders Little Helper once you’ve restarted.
  2. traders little helper in the windows start menu

  3. Select Format from the main menu and then Convert encoding format from the list of options.
  4. traders little helper Format menu

  5. Click the Add button.
  6. add files to Traders Little Helper

  7. Navigate to the .shn files you want to convert and select them, then click the Open button.
  8. selecting SHN files to convert to MP3

  9. In the Converting options section click the pull-down menu next to Target format: and select mp3
  10. selecting MP3 as the output format

  11. You can choose CBR (constant bitrate) or ABR (average bitrate) from the Encoding mode: pull-down menu, but the default choice of VBR (variable bitrate) is recommended.
  12. choosing a bitrate in Traders Little Helper

  13. Decode on the quality of MP3 you’d like the converted files to have from the Quality: pull-down menu. Remember, 0 indicates the highest quality and 9 indicates the lowest quality. The higher the quality the larger the MP3 file size will be.
  14. selecting the quality of MP3s

  15. Now it’s conversion time! Click the Expand button.
  16. starting to convert SHN to MP3

  17. The process doesn’t take particularly long, but if you’re converting a lot of files you’ll probably have time to grab yourself a beverage.
  18. Convert SHN to MP3 in progress

  19. Once completed, make sure you see the phase No errors occurred. in the Process log.
  20. SHN to MP3 conversation completed

  21. The newly created .mp3s can be found in the same folder that your starting files (the .shn’s) are in.
  22. a File Explorer with SHN and MP3 files

  23. All done! You’ve successfully converted SHN files to MP3 files.

If you have any questions about SHN files a good place to start is our Beginners Guide to Lossless Audio. Otherwise please feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll help out if we can! :)

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12 thoughts on “How to Convert SHN Files to MP3 Using Windows”

  1. Cheers for this guide – the only one understandable by me on the internet at the moment! Much appreciated.

  2. thanks a million!

    just going to repeating what’s already been said, but this is so simple to follow that it’s genius.

  3. thanks for the simple directions!

    I think I made a mistake though and my itunes ended up converting a TON of stuff I didn’t want it to. Now I can’t tell which files are which in itunes in order to delete them. Help anyone?


  4. Ross:

    Thanks so much for the easy tutorial! I was aghast when I saw the .shn filename on my new Wilco that I’d been looking forward to!

  5. Thanks! These instructions ROCK! Simple and concise.

    Again thanks for taking the time to put these together.


  6. Joe,

    If you have an actual iPod, you can choose AAC or MP3 – it doesn’t make a huge difference. I used mp3 throughout these tutorials because not all portal mp3 players can play aac files… Hope this helps,


  7. Travis,

    Thank you! What’s worse is that I cut/pasted that into several other of the articles here, so I just went and fixed them all. Thanks again,


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