At a Glance
- Granular quality controls
- Comprehensive codec support
- No support for AAC, Apple lossless, some .WAVs
Formerly BonkEnc, this audio converter is free, offers granular control over output, and provides a command line option.
There’s currently a thriving industry for $20-to-$30 software that
rips music CDs and transcodes the various audio files, i.e. change
WAVE files to FLAC, FLAC to MP3 or AAC, etc. That market may just
vanish if word gets around about Bonkenc.org’s BonkEnc. BonkEnc is
free and does everything that all but the most feature-laden pay
programs will do.
BonkEnc rips CDs and encodes the resulting .wav files to MP3,
MP4, AAC, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, as well its own native Bonk format.
This is all done with the LAME, FAAC, FLAC, and Ogg encoders, which
is how the authors manage to keep it free. You may also transcode
any of those formats to any other, as well as convert from AIFF and
sun (.au) audio files. Although my test PC has Real Alternative
installed, BonkEnc program still wouldn’t load Realmedia .rm
files–so apparently there’s no DirectShow support. That’s one from
my standard battery of tests, but .rm files are so rare these days
that most users (including me) won’t care. There’s no library
function as such, but the program does grab and save info from the
free online CDDB database.
BonkEnc did a great job ripping CDs or transcoding all of the
file types the program supports. It’s fast, the interface is nicely
suited to task (if utilitarian appearance-wise and a tad arcane in
spots), and it didn’t crash on me once. There’s not a lot more else
to say other than that it’s replacing Nero Burning ROM as my
Note: While BonkEnc is free, there are $5 and $10
donation buttons at the Web site to support the programmers. If you
find the program useful–and just about everyone who tries it
should–you might consider a financial pat on the back.
–Jon L. Jacobi