Converting Digital Music Files

Can't we all just get along?

Even in this day and age,Apple only prefers its iPod play with AAC

The world is a cliquey place. Depending on where you live, you might walk by fifty, a hundred, or even a hundred thousand people a day, and yet you will probably only ever socialize or hang out with one small group of friends. It seems that the "pack" mindset of high school follows us throughout the rest of our lives, and surprisingly, even into the structure of our technology.

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That's right, if there's one consumer market that is especially "cliquey" it is tech, where a gadget works exclusively with this peripheral and this cable television provider exclusively recommends these channels. It can be a frustrating way to put expensive hardware into software usage, and is the reason why my cable provider can't offer me Montreal Canadiens hockey games! Darn it all!

Trust me, we're going somewhere with this. You see, gadgets and gizmos are no exception in the tech world's exclusivity trip. Arguably, the gizmos most popular today are digital music players, and each manufacturer – from Apple to SanDisk – has a keen eye on a particular music format. To complicate matters further, the players on your computer that rip music often have their own preferred codec, meaning that it can be that much more difficult to get the file you want on the device you own.

That's where you need to convert those files. And we can help you do so.

For a complete rundown of all the codecs that exist, check out our Digital Audio Files section. It offers a robust explanation of each audio format, including who prefers what. In addition, this guide will explain which of these codecs offer the most clarity in sound -- an important tidbit of information for any music junkie.

For a quick update, here are some of the audio formats available today:

Not all of these formats are front and center in the world of tech, today. In fact, there's probably a few there you haven't even heard of. However, codecs like MP3, AAC, WMA, and FLAC are either extremely popular or are steadily growing in popularity. In order to get the music file you want on the right player, it sometimes takes a good conversion program to perform the task. We'll be explaining this in a quick-and-easy how-to guide.