OS: Win 95/98/NT/2000/ME/XP
Installed Size: 1.98MB
Function: Ripping, Encoding, Decoding
If you want a software that is easy to use, rips and decodes fairly quickly, encodes about average but gives good quality, Alto MP3 Maker is your program. It uses the LAME encoding engine which you can adjust in the options category to make MP3s from 32-320kbps or a variable bit rate encoding option which LAME uses very well. If you have WAV files on your computer already, Alto MP3 Maker will act as a WAV to MP3 converter through its simple interface. For extracting music from CD, Alto did well. The ripper hovered around 1 min. for an average song to be converted to WAV. For converting MP3 to WAV, the decoder worked fairly quick and produced a good file. For ease of use, Alto MP3 Maker even lets you simply right click on a WAV file through Windows Explorer. You can also choose the program to automatically normalize the WAVs on conversion to get them ready to burn. The software author also puts out MP3 CD Converter, a software that burns MP3 or WAV to CD.
The HELP option has a nice "Getting Started" section which will familiarize you with the program's functions quickly. Alto also will query the freedb database if you are connected to the Internet and download the artist and track information for you. You can also edit ID3 tags manually. The shareware version allows 12 rips until you must register it to use further. Overall, a very solid program with many features for a great price. For help registering the program, see our Alto MP3 Maker registration guide.