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Monkey's Audio is an audio compression scheme that is used to compress WAV audio files losslessly. Contrary to MP3 this means that after you decompress a Monkey's Audio (.ape) file, everything that was in the original .wav is there. That makes the Monkey's Audio compressor ideal for music traders working over the Internet. For distribution and archiving purposes, the Monkey's Audio files themselves can also be burned onto a CD-R as data. One big advantage to archiving Monkey's Audio files is that you'll never have to deal with digital audio extraction (DAE) from an audio disc, which can sometimes produce clicks and other undesired artifacts.

Product: Monkey's Audio
Author: Matthew T. Ashland
Platform: Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000
Price: Freeware

Obtain the Monkey's Audio external encoder

At the moment of writing Monkey's Audio 3.80 is the latest version. Download Monkey's Audio 3.80. Check the Monkey's Audio site for new updates of the encoder! After installation of Monkey's Audio finished it is recommended to copy mac.exe to the c:\windows\command folder on a Windows 95/98/ME system, and c:\winnt\system32 on Windows NT/2000 systems. Why? Files put in these directories can be accessed from every directory on your system. Thus you don't have to change the path to Monkey's Audio's location every time you want to use it from the command prompt.

If you already had installed the Monkey's Audio executable and want to find out its version, open a command prompt and type mac, followed by a press on the Enter key. Note that if you did not put Monkey's Audio in the above mentioned folders you'll have to set the path to mac.exe first! The output of Monkey's Audio should look like the screenshot below.

The version used in this example is thus Monkey's Audio version 3.80.

Configuring EAC for the Monkey's Audio external encoder

Make sure you have Configured The Compression Options in Exact Audio Copy.

From The EAC menu select Compression Options... or press F11. This opens the Compression options window.

On the External Compression tab, check Use external program for compression. The settings on the Waveform tab have no influence and may thus be ignored. From the Parameter passing scheme dropdown box choose Monkey's Audio Lossless Encoder.

In the Program, including path, used for compression field enter the path to the Monkey's Audio executable or use the Browse... button to locate mac.exe on your harddisk.

Enable the Delete WAV after compression checkbox. Exact Audio Copy always extracts to WAV first when using an external compressor. Enabling this option deletes this WAV file after it is compressed. It does not make much sense to keep the WAV files after compression.

Enable Add ID3 tag if you want to take advantage of the ID3 tag features. The ID3 tag saves extra information like artist name, track title, album title into the MP3 file. The newer ID3v2 tag (which is also supported by EAC - see Configuring The Compression Options) can store even more extra information and gets rid of ID3v1's 30 characters limitation. The ID3v2 tags is not natively supported by Monkey's Audio thus you'll need to find a third party ID3 tagger to view and/or edit the ID3v2 tag if enabled in EAC.

In the Bit rate drop down box you can specify the compression ratio. Following options are available: Fast Lossless Compression, Normal Lossless Compression, High Lossless Compression and Extra High Lossless Compression. It's recommended to use Normal Lossless Compression. The 2 higher compression ratios barely trim the file size down and take a lot longer to compress.

When you are sure the settings are correct for your needs click the OK button. EAC is now configured to extract to loss less APE files. See Extracting Tracks To Your Harddisk for more information about this.