mp3 decoder tests


Decoders tested

If you are interested, please refer to the complete list.


The following decoders pass all essential tests:


To play or decode mp3s correctly, choose one of the following:

To play mp3s, use:

To decode mp3s to wavs, use:

To write mp3s directly to CDs, use:

You could use Winamp 2.22 or the Winamp mpg123 plug-in, but since Winamp 2.7 works correctly, this is a more convenient (and full featured) choice.

Every other piece of software we tested failed at least one of the essential tests.

Burning mp3s to audio CD

With modern fast PCs, it is possible to decode an mp3 file and burn it onto audio CD at the same time. Several CD writing packages offer this feature, called "on-the-fly" decoding. The alternative is to decode to .wav first, then burn these .wavs onto audio CD. The end result is the same, but this process takes longer, and requires enough free hard disk space to store the .wavs. However, it may be more reliable than "on-the-fly" decoding on slow PCs, and allows you to edit and normalize the .wavs before burning them to CD.

No packages offering "on-the-fly" decoding were perfect. Here is a list some CD-writing packages, together with their problems.

Real Jukebox and Media Jukebox are both good choices if you don't want to spend any money, and are quite easy to use. If you already own Easy CD Creator Deluxe 4, and don't mind the last 1/20th second being clipped off your files, then that is a good choice too. For CDs that really matter, I still decode to .wav first.


Frequency Asked questions are answered in the general FAQ and at the end of each individual test.