I first came across CDex ten years ago when I needed an MP3 encoder so I could upload my music to MP3.com and other MP3 websites. I found CDex on a music shareware site that had many MP3 programs available. The website rated all the shareware and freeware programs that it listed, and CDex had a good rating: 3 stars out of 5. What I was looking for in a MP3 encoder was something FREE and fully functional (not a demo), easy to use (as I was new to the MP3 technology), a small download (under a megabyte), and something that actually worked. CDex met all my requirements, so I downloaded it and proceeded to make MP3 files out of my many songs.
Well, ten years later I’m still using CDex, although now I use the latest version which is version 1.51. CDex has come a long way since the first version I tried ( version 1.10). It has added some new features, and now is a complete MP3 encoder/decoder/CD ripper. It does it all! And yes, it is still totally FREE! I’ve tried a few other freeware programs, but none have worked as well or have been as easy to use as CDex.
Here’ exactly what CDex can do…
CD ripping: If you don’t know, CD ripping is the copying of tracks from a CD. The ripper actually copies the zeros and ones of the audio data, and makes an exact duplicate of the tracks onto your computer. CDex can copy CD tracks to either WAV files, or as MP3 files. The old version of CDex didn’t include the ripping option, so I have been using a different shareware program just for CD ripping, that I’m pretty happy with (it’s called CDDae), which is actually faster than CDex’s ripper. CDex, however, also gives you the option of extracting just a portion of a CD track, which could come in handy for creating sample MP3 tracks.
MP3 encoding/decoding: This is what CDex does best – producing MP3 files. With CDex, you can either make these MP3 files straight off of a CD, or from a WAV file. Since I mostly make MP3 files out of my own music, I’ve always made my MP3’s from WAV files, and CDex does a fine job. The encoding process is fast — one of the fastest shareware programs I’ve tried — and produces good sounding results. Basically, all you do is choose a WAV file or CD track and click on the “convert to MPEG” command. In the settings menu, you have the option of encoding your MP3’s from 128 kbps up to 256 kbps. Of course, 128 kbps is the standard for websites such as MP3.com, and the higher you go the bigger the file becomes. There also is a “normalize” option, which will increase the volume of your tracks to the maximum if there is any digital headroom to do so.
The latest version of CDex also includes a MP3 decoder — you can now convert an MP3 to a WAV file so that you can burn it on a regular audio CD. This is a very handy feature. I’ve often times downloaded MP3’s from the web and have needed a good decoder so I can put them on a CD and play them on my stereo. CDex does this quite well.
The final verdict: CDex is a great freeware program, that is easy enough for even newbies to use. Like I said, I was a newbie myself when I first used CDex, but it wasn’t hard to figure out, and it didn’t confuse me like some other shareware programs I had tried. The program is very stable and bug free — I’ve been using it for ten years, and it has never let me down. Now, with the new features, it is an all-in-one package that is still FREE, and available for download from many music shareware/freeware websites or from the official CDEX website. The download for the latest version is less than one megabyte.
If you need a good MP3 software program that does it all, check out CDex! I highly recommend it!