How to Convert MP3 to 5.1

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Converting MP3 files to 5.1 multichannel audio will give a richer, more detailed surround-sound experience. Although the quality of output and program interface may differ depending on which software you use, the steps in the conversion process are essentially the same. Choose an appropriate conversion software based on your computer configuration and Internet speed.

  • Download and install a conversion utility. Double-click on the executable file and walk through the installation process. You may have to unzip the downloaded file, in which case you will need a program such as WinZIP.

  • Launch the program. Locate the button labeled "Add Files" or marked with a "+" symbol to create the list of files for conversion. Depending upon the program, you may select files individually or add entire folders. Click on "Browse" and navigate to the directory you want to add files from. Highlight files and click "Next.

  • Review the list. Select each track and play from the the program's integrated media player to check whether you added the right files. Click "Next."

  • Select output file format. Not all formats have multichannel support, and AAC is generally a good choice when converting MP3 to 5.1 channel audio. Click on the "AAC" radio button from the "Format" box and set the channel to "3/2+LFE 5.1 DolbyProLogic II." Click on the toggle on the "Channel" box and highlight the entry to select it.

  • Configure parameters such as sample rate and bitrate. Select "44100 Hz" from the "Sample Rate" box and "576 kbps" from the "Bitrate" box. If the appropriate parameter values are set by default, you will not have to change settings. Click "Next."

  • Specify where to store the output files. Click on "Browse" or "Change" to locate where you want to store output files. Check whether you have adequate free space on the specified drive, from the "Free Space" and "Required Space" boxes. Change to a different drive if you do not have sufficient free space. Remove the check-mark from the appropriate option box if you do not want to close the program automatically, after the conversion process.

  • Click "Start" to convert MP3 files to 5.1 channel AAC. Time for the process will depend on computer memory and how many files are on the conversion list. You may view progress of the conversion process from the status bar.

  • Verify converted files. After the output AAC files are stored in the specified directory, you may check the files' quality and format either from the program's built-in audio player, or by right-clicking on the file icons and playing on a standard media player.

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  • Photo Credit Multimedia speaker system 2.1 image by diter from Fotolia.com
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