real-to-mp3 conversion
June 4, 2005 9:47 PM   Subscribe

Um ... Real ==> mp3 file conversion? Any simple way?

I have a stack of old radio shows in .ra format. Many fans use a program called OTTER to catalogue their OTR collection — but Otter only recognizes mp3 files.
posted by RavinDave to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here you go.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:53 PM on June 4, 2005

Not sure what system you use. If you're on a Mac, try Audio Hijack Pro from Rogue Amoeba Software, or Wiretap Pro. If you're on Windows, someone else'll have to suggest a counterpart ...
posted by WCityMike at 11:03 PM on June 4, 2005

ra to mp3
posted by puke & cry at 11:09 PM on June 4, 2005

I was trying to do this earlier today on my Mac using the steps outlined in this MacOSXHints post. Unfortunately mencoder couldn't find the Real codecs even though I have them in the correct place. Sigh.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:11 AM on June 5, 2005

Drat ... I was hoping there was something simple like a WinAmp plugin. (There was at one time, but it seems to have be made obsolete; it only take a few seconds of input from my .ra files before locking).

I just got screwed over when I bought a commercial mp3 conversion program -- was greeted by a message that told me I was only allowed 20 conversions mp3 (wtf???). That program couldn't handle .ra anyway (at least they were up front about that). Thus, you can see why I'm a bit gun-shy about buying another one without hearing something about it first.
posted by RavinDave at 2:37 AM on June 5, 2005

I've trialled these programs - 1, 2, 3 - in the past. I ended up paying for the Boilsoft one.
posted by chill at 3:54 AM on June 5, 2005

3 or 4 program suggestions in this Freeware Newsgroup thread.

Someone in this forum thread assembled and posted a Winamp plugin pack that'll supposedly do the conversions.
posted by nikzhowz at 6:21 AM on June 5, 2005

Certainly no need to pay for software - dBpowerAMP will do it for free. You'll need the real audio codecs, as discussed on this page. I've got this working perfectly, it really is as simple as right-clicking and selecting "convert to mp3"
posted by blag at 1:12 PM on June 5, 2005

I did this with a bunch of files once.

1. Install Real Alternative.
2. Load RA files into Winamp (they should play as long as you have the Real codecs installed). I _think_ I used Winamp5, although I may have used v2 instead.
3. Use disk output plugin, set codec to Fraunhofer (if you have this installed; otherwise install the Kazaa Lite Codec Pack or something to get it) at the appropriate bitrate. Set the option for headerless files.
4. Hit play and wait for it to finish. Voila!

When I did this I had a few files that wouldn't cooperate. These ones I converted to WAV with dBpowerAMP and then encoded with Winamp.

dBpowerAMP has a pretty lousy Real converter -- it only works in realtime. For the files I was doing this with, that was unacceptable. Winamp will do it as quickly as your computer can handle.
posted by neckro23 at 10:10 PM on June 5, 2005

Switch is a very nice converter for this sort of thing. No messing about with codecs or anything, and a good range of output options.
posted by tomble at 12:37 AM on June 6, 2005

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