How to convert .ape files to .mp3 using 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
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  3. Drag all of the ape files you want to convert into the main Monkey’s Audio window.
  4. convert ape to mp3
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  5. Click the Decompress button.
  6. Watch as Monkey’s Audio converts your .ape files to .wav files.
  7. convert ape to mp3
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  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
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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

94 thoughts on “How to convert .ape files to .mp3 using Windows”

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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)

  7. 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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  9. Pingback: How to extract songs in .ape file format? -

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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……………

    1. Haytham Saeed

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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!

  19. 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).

  20. 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?

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

  23. 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 ..:)))))))))))

  24. 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!

  25. 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?

    1. 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.

  26. 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 …

  27. 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?

    1. @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…

  28. 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

  29. Pingback: Music Converter Ape To Mp3 | Music Document

  30. You can choose Avdshare Audio Converter to Convert APE to MP3 for playing APE on iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Samsung, etc on Mac/PC.

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