How to convert .ape files to .mp3 using OSX

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 OS X. note: this is another tutorial in the Beginners guide to lossless audio series.

First things first, make sure you’ve downloaded and installed Max, an application for creating and converting high-quality audio files in various formats. Not only is Max straight forward to use, it’s free.

  1. After you’ve installed Max (which is very straight forward, just drag it to your Applications folder) – launch it.

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  3. Select File and then Convert Files.. from the top menu.
  4. Navigate to the .ape files you want to convert to .mp3 and select them. Click Open.

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  6. From the bottom of the Max window, click Setup output formats…
  7. Click the Formats tab from the top window, and in the list of Available output formats: double-click on MP3.

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  9. From here you can select the quality of the MP3 files that Max will create. The default, Transparent, is what I use – but feel free to make any changes you feel are appropriate. Click OK when you’re done.

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  11. Back in the Formats window, make sure there’s a check in the box next to MP3.

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  13. Now select the Output tab from the top menu. Choose a location to save your MP3 files from the Output files: drop down list. When you’re done, close the Output window and return to the main Max interface.

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  15. If everything looks good, click the Convert button…

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  17. And watch the .ape files magically convert to mp3.

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  19. When it’s done, give your mp3 files a listen to make sure everything went smoothly. That’s it!

40 thoughts on “How to convert .ape files to .mp3 using OSX”

  1. Pingback: A beginners guide to lossless audio – Simple Help

  2. Thank you. Been struggling with this, and this seems to have done the job perfectly. Brilliant set of instructions :-)

  3. how to cut big .ape? Joesh’s variant didn’t work for me also. albabe September 6, 2008, 10:01 am suggested XLD X lossless decoder – they’ve really worked on gui and it’s ULTRAfast (multiple mp3s at once) and cutting into mp3 did really work out. thankx for tip!

  4. I’m not sure if people have understood a very simple problem concerning .CUE file + .APE file. Normally using Max you should be able to open your .ape file via a .cue file. You should just simply – as Daniel august 10 – 2009 – said :
    1. Open Max
    2. Select ‘Open’ in file.
    3. Select ALL tracks in Meta data section. They should be there as separate tracks, unless there’s a problem elsewhere.
    4. Press convert.
    5. Listen to your music, which normally should now have been converted into separate tunes/pieces.

    Good luck.

  5. I’ve got a problem after downloading Max: I can’t select “Convert Files”. It’s there there and I can see it but I can’t select it..
    Great explanation though!

  6. Worked perfectly for me.

    As for using a CUE to cut up the .ape, I’m on OSX 10.6 and in MAX I can just open the cue files (file -> open) and it works perfectly, as Daniel mentioned. Shows the tracks, you can edit the metadata, etc. Seems I may be in the minority there, however.

  7. Many thanks Ross, on a Powerbook G4 running 10.4.11, I used Daniel’s suggestion (August 10, 2009) and it worked like a charm…I’ve got as many files as the number of tracks and they’re all already tagged! Great

  8. The conversion is great, but how does one avoid converting one gigantic track. Isn’t there a way to separate the large APE file into separate tracks? Thanks!

  9. Ok….. I use a program on my MAC called Sound Studio. I found that I could open the large MP3 files with it. I could then go through and place markers between the individual tracks and rename them later. It took a long time, but I got what i wanted.

  10. I too am having problems breaking down large ape files into the seperate tracks on an album. Daniel’s suggestion (August 10, 2009) just doesn’t seem to work. Any real help will be appreciated

  11. when i open the .cue file through Max neither i get any track info nor opens the ape file automaticaly. Only title and artist names i can see. When i open the ape file separately… nothing happens. still one big cd image i have

    what to do how to do any ideas?


  12. Had this problem with one bog output file. Try to do File => Open… instead of “Convert”, and in OSX “Open File” window select the .cue file. The “.ape” file will get automatically opened, and you will have a nice list of output files – as on original album. And the metadata is there already! Thank for MAX!

  13. hello,
    max converts all the files in one BIG output file… i.e., the tracks are not separated… it does not recognize the “.cue” file with all the tracks details… any hint? thanks in advance.

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  15. Pingback: A beginners guide to lossless audio - Simplehelp

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