Feature-rich and user-friendly audio conversion tools don’t come across very often, at least not under the same interface. AUDIOzilla is one of those few audio conversion and extraction apps that combine versatility, flexibility, and ease of use in the most effective way. It installs on your Windows context menu, so all you have to do is right-click on the file or files you wish to convert and choose one of the nine output codecs supported.
The program comes with a reduced set of general settings that deal mainly with the removal of the original files once converted, the overwriting of existing files, and playing a sound or opening the destination folder at the end of the conversion process. There is one more feature here whose usefulness I find, to say the least, questionable. I refer to the trim function. This is a tricky feature to use accurately in batch conversion processes, but that’s the way it’s been implemented. How to determine the start and end points of a bunch of files with different durations? How useful is that, anyway? AUDIOzilla has implemented a percentage-based trim function that lets you define which percentage of the audio file is cut at the beginning or/and the end of the track. Not the most accurate way of trimming an audio file, but it does make sense when clipping more than one file at a time. Personally, I’ve never felt the need to remove twenty percent of an audio file instead of getting rid of, say, the first minute and ten seconds and the last thirty seconds of the file, just because those are the limits of the fragment I want to keep. That is why I find it hard to imagine a situation in which I might need a feature like that.
Other than this somehow controversial feature, AUDIOzilla behaves very much like any other audio conversion tool when it comes to settings. For reasons beyond me, every output file type except for AIFF and AU comes with its own settings dialog. You can select your own settings for MP3, M4A, AAC, Ogg, and WAV files, such as the sample and bit rates, the number of channels, and the codec. WMA and FLAC, however, come with a set of non-customizable profiles for you to choose from. Again, I find no explanation for the different treatment, which – in my opinion – goes in detriment of the profile-based codecs, as all they show you is a somehow confusing list of all possible combinations of codec, channels, bit and sampling rates, etc., that won’t help less experienced users. You will only need to come back to these settings dialogs whenever your requirements change – other than that, all you have to do to convert audio files or extract audio from MP4, M4V, WMV, and ASF files is right-click on the file(s) in question and select the desired output format. It is that simple.
AUDIOzilla is discreet and convenient. It is a straightforward audio conversion and extraction tool with no editing aspirations, except for a peculiar trim tool. Highly recommended for those who require a quick and easy-to-use re-encoding tool for some of the most widely used audio file formats.
- Customizable output format settings.
- Support for the most popular codecs.
- Rips CD tracks securely and converts them on the fly.
- Audio trim function.
- Extracts audio from video files.
- Batch conversion.
- File tag support
- Questionable usefulness of the percentage-based trim function.
- No output settings for AIFF and AU files