An audio converter is a kind of file converter used to convert one form of an audio file (like an MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.) into another. If you're unable to play a certain audio in the way you wanted because the format wasn't supported, free audio converter software can help.
Important: Every audio converter program listed below is freeware. I haven't listed any shareware or trialware audio converters.
Here's a list of the best completely free audio converter software programs available:
Free Studio Manager is actually a group of several audio converter programs. Just click MP3 & Audio from the main menu and then choose what audio converting activity you'd like to do.
Free Studio Manager doesn't have a lot of advanced options but it's very easy to use.
Input Formats: AAC, APE, FLAC, OGG, M4A, MP3, WAV, and WMA
Output Formats: AAC, APE, FLAC, OGG, M4A, MP3, WAV, and WMA
With Free Studio Manager, you can also convert several of these audio formats to SWF. Free Studio Manager also lets you extract audio from YouTube, audio CDs, and most video formats.
During the setup process, Free Studio Manager asks if you'd like to also install their DVDVideoSoft toolbar but it's easy to decline.
SUPER is very much a superior free audio converter. The best thing about SUPER is the long list of audio formats it supports.
If you have a rare audio file you want to convert to something more common (or vice versa), you should try the SUPER audio converter.
Input Formats: AAC, AC3, AMR, APE, FLAC, MMF, M4A, MP2, MP3, MPC, MPP, OGG, RA, RAM, RM, TTA, WV, WAV, and WMA
Output Formats: AAC, AC3, AMR, APE, FLAC, MMF, MP2, MP3, MPC, OGG, TTA, WV, WAV, and WMA
You can also extract the audio from most common video formats with SUPER and save as any of the above Output Formats.
SUPER can seem intimidating but it's only because the program shows several advanced options by default. The SUPER audio converter is actually very easy to use.
Important: Unfortunately, the best site I've found to link to for downloading SUPER is full of confusing advertisements. Make sure you choose the Softpedia Secure Download (US/UK/RO) link and not any other link, which is probably a clever ad. Also, during installation, be sure to quit/close the "InstallPath Install Manager" window. After it closes, you'll still be able to complete the SUPER install.
YouConvertIt is an online audio converter service that will convert most common audio formats. All you do is upload the original audio file, choose the desired output format, and then wait for an email with a link to the converted file.
Input Formats: AAC, AIF, AIFF, MP3, RA, WAV, and WMA
Output Formats: AAC, AIF, AIFF, MP3, RA, WAV, and WMA
The worst thing about YouConvertIt is the time it takes to upload the audio file and receive the link in your email. There's also a 300MB file size limit but most audio files, even long music tracks, come in well below this size so it's not usually a problem.
Zamzar is another online audio converter service that supports most common music and audio formats.
Input Formats: AAC, AC3, FLAC, MP3, RA, RAM, WAV, and WMA
Output Formats: AAC, AC3, FLAC, MP3, OGG, WAV, and WMA
The biggest disadvantage with Zamzar is their 100MB limit for source files. While many audio files are smaller than this, some low compression formats can exceed this small limit. I also found Zamzar's conversion time slow when compared to other online audio converter services.