Best audio file joiner



Many audiobooks consist of many small audio files. Maybe the authors care of people whose communicator's memory is not enough to place there the whole audiobook at once. Or they try to facilitate listening to audiobooks using primitive devices, such as audio player or DVD player, where it is difficult to go to a needed place in an audio file. But if you use a desktop computer or a communicator it is not a problem. The problem is to give the command to a software audio player to play back all files sequentially and to remember in which folder, on which file and at what time you paused to go to this place next time. Of course, software audio players on communicators usually remember where you paused but in case of soft reset they forget. That is why it is easier to have one file for one audiobook - size is not a problem in modern communicators. In this case you can simply write down the time in hours and minutes where you paused in a note taking software. So, here is the rating of best programs for joining audio files.

Place 1)

- MP3DirectCut   www.mpesch3.de
Features:
- Freeware
- Interface in English
- Fast joining of files
- The size of the resulting file is almost the same as the sum of sizes of small files
- No quality loss
- No decompressing and then re-encoding the original MP3 files, which would cause a (slight) loss in quality

Problems / wanted features:

- Open source
- Difficult to find the function of joining audio files (see "Instructions" below). This function shall be visible on the main page.
- Maximum 50 files can be joined in one operation. Solution: if you need to join more than 50 files you can first join first 50 original files to file 1, then join remaining original files to file 2 and then join file 1 and file 2 to resulting file 3.
- During the joining the window of the program blinks above open windows of other program.
Instructions:
- File > Batch processing...
- Browse to folder with original files
- Select no more than 50 files in the opened list of files. You can use "Ctrl + Left mouse button" and/or "Shift + Left mouse button".
- Select action "Join to file"
- Specify name of the resulting file
- Click "Start"


Bad programs:
- Media MP3 Joiner 1.2
Some sets of files are joined into big file correctly but in most cases the resulting file is damaged and audio players cannot define its duration correctly (for instance, they show 15 min. instead of 10 hours) and do not show time correctly when playing back the file. Due to this it is impossible to start playing back from a specific time.
- All Free MP3 Joiner 3.9.1
Awful interface. The resulting file is twice as big as the total volume of the set of small files. Quality of sound gets worse. Some audio players can play back only a part of the big file correctly, then the sound distorts, playing back stops and the slider goes to the beginning of the file.
- FormatFactory 2.70
Bad interface. Bad help. Maximum 50 files can be joined in one operation. Slow joining. MP3 files are first decoded to WAV and then coded back to MP3 which most likely results in slight loss of quality. The program often fails to create the resulting file.
- MP3 Multiplexer 4.0
Awful interface. Cannot join many files.

To try:
MP3 Cutter & Joiner (paid), AlbumWrap (paid), Easy MP3 Joiner (http://www.mymusictools.com/articles/how-to-join-mp3-files.htm), Sony Sound Forge (paid).

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