How Does Batch Conversion Work?

I’m a newb and was gifted an external hard drive with 400+ CDs recorded as WAV files with Windows Media Player 7.

I want them all on my phone as mp3s (while maintaining the originals) and obviously want to batch convert as simply as possible.

The path is E: Data > Music > Phil > a folder for every artist > a folder for every disc by that artist. Questions:

Can you simply feed Audacity the “Music” folder? Or the “Phil” folder?

Does Audacity extract the individual discs and their files, making this a single-step process? If not, do I have to feed every disc folder to convert?

I’ve never used a macro (batch operation) with Audacity, but plenty of people here have and they can help you.

You might try a specialized conversion program. On Windows I use Kabuu Audio Converter or TAudioConverter. (Both are free.)

I’ve never tried more than one folder-full of files at once so I don’t know how it handles sub-folders. But typically, I drag-in a folder (which is one album) and once you’ve set-up your desired output format and output location, it’s just “drag and click”.

Is there metadata (“tags”)? Audacity doesn’t support embedded artwork so with Audacity you’d have to copy that later. In general, the tag formats/fields are different for the different formats so some of it may have to be edited after making the MP3s anyway. (Usually the basic information will be the same and most of it should copy-over.)

For tag editing, I use Mp3Tag (free) which works with all of the popular formats, not just MP3. You can select a whole folder and enter/edit the common information (Artist, Album, artwork, etc.) once, and then you can edit the track names & track number separately.

Metadata on WAV files isn’t well standardized and that may be a good reason for converting the WAV files to FLAC. Plus, they will require about half the disc space. FLAC is lossless compression to you can convert them to another lossless format, or back to WAV anytime in the future with no data loss. Or of course, you can convert them to a different lossy format.

FYI - AAC (=MP4 =M4A) is an alternative to MP3. It’s almost as universal as MP3 and in some cases it may have better sound quality, or more compression =smaller files =lower bitrate for the same sound quality. (I’ve got MP3s on my antique iPod classic because that’s what I started with.)

Thx for the valuable information. I’ve moved on to dbpoweramp but the things you offered will help regardless.