How to Convert an APE File to MP3

Level of difficulty: Beginner

APE is a compressed digital music format that generates a perfect and bit-by-bit copy of any source audio to create a perfect duplicate almost indistinguishable from the original. A distinct advantage of this format compared to other more popular standards like the MP3 or OGG is that it can be decompressed back to its exact original file state, eliminating the need to recopy music collections when switching to other formats. MP3, considered as currently the most popular audio format in the computer industry, is differentiated from APE in the area of compression wherein MP3s are usually considered as lossy (removing unnecessary audio data to make file smaller) while APEs are lossless.

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- Internet connection
- iTunes
- Monkey’s Audio
Step 1
The process of converting from APE to MP3 audio format can be accomplished in a variety of ways. One of the more preferred is the use of the Monkey’s Audio and the iTunes programs primarily because they are free. So, the first step is to download these applications into the machine.
Step 2
Upon completion of the download process, install both programs using their default option. There are two phases in the conversion process: move from APE to WAV and then from WAV to MP3.
Step 3
Launch Monkey’s Audio and click on the arrow beside the 'Compress' button and select the 'Decompress' option from the dropdown list.
Step 4
Drag the APE format files that will be converted into the main window of Monkey’s Audio.
Step 5
Upon clicking the 'Decompress' button, the program will begin the conversion process to produce WAV format files.
Step 6
When the entire process is completed, verify if all the files have been converted into the WAV format which should be stored in the same folder as the source APE files. This completes the first phase.
Step 7
The next step is to open the iTunes program. Click on the 'Edit' Menu and choose the 'Preferences' option.
Step 8
In the 'Advanced' tab, click on the 'Importing' tab and select the 'MP3 Encoder' from the 'Import Using' option.
Step 9
Choose the quality of the output file from the Setting list. Remove the checkmark beside the option to Play songs during the importing process and click on 'OK' to save the changes.
Step 10
Steps 7 to 9 will help you make sure that the output file will be in the MP3 format instead of the default AAC. From the main window of iTunes, click on the 'File' Menu and choose the 'Add Folder to Library' option.
Step 11
Go to the folder where the WAV files converted from the APE format are stored and click on the 'OK' button.
Step 12
Select the files and click on the 'Convert Select to MP3' option to initiate the conversion process. This may take a while depending on the number of songs to be converted.
Step 13
iTunes will alert the user once the process is completed. Remove the WAV files from the library to avoid confusion with the newly created MP3 format music. The MP3 file formats converted by iTunes can be seen in the C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\Artist Name\Album Name.