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xAct Is Feature-Rich Audio Toolkit For Mac

Want a tool which can handle a wide range of audio file formats to perform encoding and decoding operations with all the variations involved? xAct might be the best toolkit you could pick up. It an opensource, multi-purpose tool for Mac which presents a simple GUI for popular Unix-based applications including, Shorten, shntool, monkey’s audio compressor, flac, cdda2wav while using the powers of LAME, AtomicParsley, TagLib and mp4v2. If you’ve been using 3 separate applications on your Mac to encode & decode, merge/split, and to tag audio files, you should try out xAct, since it can fulfill your audio files manipulation needs under one window.

The main interface contains 7 tabs to decode and encode audio files, check and generate MD5 checksums, fix SBE, tag Flac/M4V files and to perform other advance operations over inserted audio files. The first window – decode, lets you decode audio files into AIFF and WAV format with options to keep tag information and perform decoding through the errors (if it find during the process).

All you need is to drag the file which is to be decoded over the defined area, select output format and other options, and click Decode button to begin the process. Its console log window will appear, showing the information regarding the process and errors it found.

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You can encode audio files into FLAC and APE fomat in similar fashion. Under Encoding tab, there are multiple encoding related options lying in main window. Before hitting Encode button, specify the required options and select the encoding format – TTA with Flac or Apple Lossless with APE.

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Almost all the shntool functions are provided, such as, len, info, join, split, cmp, trim, pad, etc., under shntool tab. Click add to specify files over which you wish to operate shntool functions and hit Call Shntool.

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Tagging recorded audio sessions is easy. Once files are specified in left side, start entering meta information, like, Title, Artist, Date of release, Album, Track number, etc followed by a click on Write Tags button.

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The util and lossy tabs refer to batch processing and converting audio files into lossy audio file formats respectively. Under util window, have options to rename files in bulk, extract CD data, add/remove Flac Replay Gain, and perform de-emphasis on all the specified files.


To convert audio files into LAME MP3 and AAC format, open lossy window, specify the format with bitrate and click Encode to convert all the files into defined format in one go.

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You can create MD5 checksum for an exclusive audio file or verify MD5 checksum values from checksum tab. xAct is arguably one handy tool for those audiophiles who need to encode and decode, edit tags, and create and verify MD5 checksums audio files on regular basis. It works in Mac 10.6.2 – 10.6.6.

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