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Caf to MP3

Posted on 2013-01-31
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Last Modified: 2013-02-05
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a way on how to comvert .caf audio files to .mp3 format.
I know my own way on how to comvert these files by using QuickTime...
does anybody here knows another easy and free way to do this task?
Thanks in advance
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Question by:Samuel-AMC
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 38839950
According to this, the free audio editor Audacity can open .caf files, and you can save them as mp3 files:
http://www.fileinfo.com/extension/caf
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
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Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 38839999
Also found this online converter. It took a sample .caf file and converted it
http://media.io/

I also tried the free program AudioCoder, which can batch convert files. It accepted the sample .caf file and converted it:
http://www.mediacoderhq.com/audio/
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38840113
Hi marsilies, you know what, is weird, because I know Audacity for a very long time,
and yes, the other day I was searching and searching and I found a threat in a forum
where some one said the same thing, that Audacity can convert .caf to .mp3
but thats nor true, try for yourself and see. you cannot even load a caf file to it.
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38840140
"Also found this online converter. It took a sample .caf file and converted it"
http://media.io

Nope, this site does not support .caf files to be converted to mp3, I just tried
and it does not support that format.
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38840200
Also this other software you suggested does not support .caf file
http://www.mediacoderhq.com/audio/
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Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 38840203
I was able to use the site successfully using these two sample .caf files I found online.

http://code.google.com/p/siphon/source/browse/trunk/Siphon2/Sounds/farSound.caf?r=543
https://github.com/nbonatsakis/NBSoundCloudActivity/blob/master/NBSoundCloudActivity/sample.caf

I also tried those files in Audacity and Audio Coder, with success.

Are you trying a caf that you were having difficulty with in Quicktime?
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38840337
marsilies, I have a .caf file here with me, is about 12MB
and believe me, I have the old version of Audacity and also the new version,
and none of these version seemed to convert this file, it doesn't even let me
load the file, let me post here the error message I get from Audacity:
---------------------------
Error importing
---------------------------
Audacity did not recognize the type of this file.
If it is uncompressed, try importing it using "Import Raw"
---------------------------
OK   
---------------------------

Open in new window

Now as for the site where you said that you had success with it, I tried, but
the button is grayed out, I mean the submit button, that means that it does
not work.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 38840352
Again, are you unable to convert this file using your standard Quicktime method?

Because, if so, then it suggests the problem is with the file, not the programs.


You could try the import raw function. CAF files are typically holding standard uncompressed PCM audio. You'd have to know the number of channels, sample rate, etc.
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38840399
"Again, are you unable to convert this file using your standard Quicktime method?"

I have no problem at all converting this file to mp3 with quicktime,
I mentioned that in my first post.
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38840432
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Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 38840503
I get a 404 error going to that link.
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38840636
I have a program called "internet download manager" which allowed me to
download this file, if you click the link, or if you right-click and choose save as,
that won't work either, but anyway, no matter what you try it won't work unless
you have internet download manager. but the file is there.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 38840690
I'm sorry, I'm not going to install a vaguely named program just to download a file. Also, checking the site that link is on seems to indicate to me that I probably shouldn't be able to download that file, at least not without paying.
http://beatdock.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=130

Is this the file that you're having problems with? If it is, the problem may be that it's not a .caf holding PCM audio, but instead containing AAC audio. I found this link that shows that the command line utility FFMPEG may be able to handle to file:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3130444/audio-conversion-of-caf-file
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38840723
marsilies,

1.)  Thank you for your help.

2.)  You don't have to download the file link I gived you here.

3.)  The file can be download, I did, and thats not stealing, okay.

4.)  This last reply from you does not help in anyway, all I ask is
       a way to convert a caf file to mp3 thats all, I converted this
       file alredy using a computer not an iphone, or use coding, etc.

5.) If I posted this question here regarding a caf file is because it is a caf file,
     otherwise why post something that I have no ide what it is? my question
     is regarding a caf file.

and the list go on and on, but why continue when you don't have the answer.
but like I said, thank you for your help.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 38840850
Regarding point 4, my last post did provide a link that suggested using FFMPEG would work. You can download the latest static build of FFMPEG here:
http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/

For using FFMPEG, the command line you'd likely use for it is (assuming FFMPEG and the .caf file is in the same folder):
FFMPEG -i Morning%20glow.caf Morning%20glow.mp3

Let me know if you need more help using FFMPEG.


Regarding point 5, .caf is just a container format, what's inside can vary, although the vast majority of the time it's going to be PCM uncompressed audio. This could actually be what was tripping Audacity and other programs up, as they were expecting PCM and what is inside the .caf  is something else, like AAC. I've seen something similar happen with WAV files (which is also a container format, but has PCM audio in it most of the time).


Regarding points 1-3, I'm not going to comment. However, I'd still like to know if that file you linked to is the file you can't get to open in Audacity/Audio Coder/media.io .
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38857153
I downloaded the file you suggested, and all I get after decompressing the file
is these folders: "bin, doc, licenses, presets, alone with README.TXT"
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Accepted Solution

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marsilies earned 500 total points
ID: 38857468
The bin folder should contain the FFMPEG.exe file. You'll have to open a command prompt and navigate to that folder. If you've copied over the .caf into that folder, then you can run the command I wrote in the previous post in the command prompt. It should start a conversion from the .caf to the .mp3 file.
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38857804
I'm sorry I underestimated your answer...
The first attempt failed, then I renamed the file and removed the %20
But the final attempt was great, the file was converted with a good quality.
Now I have two ways on how convert caf files to mp3. Thank you marsilies.
Converting
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 38857895
Thanks for the points! I've found FFMPEG to be able to convert files that other converters have difficulty with, so i knew it had a good chance.

Looking at the screencap, it does look like the .caf had a non-standard audio codec, ADPCM IMA4, which is associated with Quicktime (which explains why Quicktime could convert it).
http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=Apple_QuickTime_IMA_ADPCM

FWIW, the other .caf files I linked to previously show up as this in FFMPEG:
Input #0, caf, from 'farsound.caf':
  Duration: 00:00:01.27, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 1411 kb/s
    Stream #0:0: Audio: pcm_s16le (lpcm / 0x6D63706C), 44100 Hz, stereo, s16, 14
11 kb/s

Open in new window

So it appears that Audacity, Audio Coder, and media.io are limited to converting PCM encoded .caf files, like I thought.


For the output mp3 file, FFMPEG defaults to 128kbps. If you want to change the quality, you can use the -q tag. Info here:
http://ffmpeg.org/trac/ffmpeg/wiki/Encoding%20VBR%20(Variable%20Bit%20Rate)%20mp3%20audio
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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38857978
Thank you very much
So if I want a high audio in kbps 256k for example, the parameter would be: -b:a ?
how would the command look like?
Like this? ==> FFMPEG -b:a Morning.caf Morning.mp3
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Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 38858026
It'd be like this:
FFMPEG -i Morning.caf -b:a 256000 Morning.mp3

Open in new window

That's for a constant bitrate of 256kbps. For a variable bit-rate (typically thought of as better for both space and quality), this command would get you pretty close to an average of 256kbps:
FFMPEG -i Morning.caf -q 0 Morning.mp3

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:Samuel-AMC
ID: 38858090
Oh thank you very much marsilies ^_^ it works!
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