AudialHub – Universal Audio Converter for Mac
May 5, 2008
If you ever work with live concert recordings, or various “audiophile” audio, you’ve probably run across the lossless audio format “FLAC”. Apple of course has their own lossless format, “Apple Lossless”, but I’ve been frustrated that there’s been no good way to get from one to the other on OS X. The various applications I’ve tried have been unstable, or demos of a much more expensive package.
Fortunately, now there’s AudialHub — made by Techspansion, the same people who make the awesome VisualHub — the swiss army knife of video format conversion for the Mac.
AudialHub will convert from or to FLAC, Apple Lossless, WMA (Windows Media Audio), 3G (Cellphone Audio), AAC, Ogg Vorbis or MP3 — pretty much everything I’ve ever needed to deal with. It can also burn audio or MP3 CDs.
The layout is much like VisualHub, with a window where you drag files to be converted, and a simple group of settings for format and quality, with a button to get to an advanced audio quality settings dialog (with the same “Don’t – You’ll Screw It All Up!” admonition that VisualHub has.), controls for trimming material at the start and end of each file, and controls for handling metadata tag modifications.
Preference settings include a “Low CPU Priority” switch for background processing, whether to retain or overwrite file creation and modification dates, and where to place scratch files and default save locations.
So far, I’ve converted about 6 albums worth of FLAC to Apple Lossless, plus I’ve played a little with the other formats, and AudialHub works quickly and flawlessly. It even converted the metadata seamlessly between formats.
AudialHub has only been out for two weeks or so,
so it’s still missing some of the niceties that I’ve come to enjoy in VisualHub, like “stitch these files together” and “add to iTunes when finished” buttons, but presuming that AudialHub will enjoy the same pace of updates that VisualHub gets, these are likely to be along shortly. My bad — turns out they were there after all, under “Custom Workflows / Destinations” at the bottom of the window.
All in all, AudialHub looks like another great reasonably priced ($18.81) product from Techspansion — they’ve even got discounts for recent purchasers of VisualHub, and a nice “twofer” price for those who want to buy them together.