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Converting .mp2 format files into .wav files

The mp2 format is well known in digital radio circles, but there are times when you might want to convert an mp2 file into a wav file for editing, before saving your sounds in the more popular mp3 format. The mp3 format is more widely supported in software and its various compression ratios means that the smaller files created can be easily transferred to portable devices, for listening to your sounds on the move.

It's not necessary to go searching for a utility to covert mp2s to Windows' wav format, as you may already have the utility you need in the form of Nullsoft's Winamp software.

                      How it's done

1. Start Winamp in the normal way and right-click on an area just above the player controls to bring up the menu. Click on Options, then Preferences:
Bring up the Preferences menu

2. Select Output in the Preferences window and double-click on the NullSoft Disk Writer plug-in. If you don't see it, you can get it by following the 'Get plug-ins' link at the bottom right of the window:
the Properties window

3. Choose the directory that you want the converted files to be saved in and specify the format of saved .wav files:
specify the destination folder and conversion format

4. If you don't usually use Winamp to listen to mp2 files, you need to make sure that the files open up in Winamp so that they can be converted. In Windows, highlight an mp2 file that you want to convert into the wav format, hold down the shift key and right-click. Select "Open wIth..." and scroll down the list until you see Winamp. Highlight it and click "OK". The file will be opened in Winamp. You won't be able to hear anything, but the player will run through the file, converting it to the wav format at several times normal speed.
the Open with... window

When finished, you can find the destination folder for the file and use software such as CoolEdit 96 to edit the wav file. Wav files are typically large, but there are many wav to mp3 converters available if you want to encode back into mp3 to save disk space or transfer sounds onto a portable device - a look through the downloads section of ZDNet should help you find one.

Don't forget to change your preferences back to the Nullsoft waveOut plug-in to be able to use Winamp as a player again.

You may find that some of the icons within Windows have changed after using Winamp. Restarting Windows should cure this problem. If you find that file associations have changed, you can use the Preferences window in Winamp to deselect the files you want to open with Winamp. In the screenshot below, they are shown as selected.
Getting ready to deselect the MP3, 2 and 1 extensions

Related links:
Winamp website
ZDNet website

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