How to convert unusual audio file types for podcasts
I ran across a bit of a podcasting dilemma this week: a listener sent in an audio file he'd recorded via a program on his Blackberry, and the file came across in an unfamiliar format with an .amr extension, a codec used primarily for GSM phones. AMR requires a special player and converter and cannot be played on iTunes, nor opened or edited with Audacity.
I'm sure there is a fancy program that would convert the file. But it was 9:00 PM on posting day, and I still had a few hours of work to do for my day job at the startup.
So here is the quickie solution: if you can get the file to play using any program, you can hijack that program using Audio HiJack Pro (Mac users only; sorry PC folks). The file would play using QuickTime, so this was a quickie workaround:
- Open up Audio HiJack Pro.
- Under Input tab, choose Source Type > Application.
- Choose QuickTime from the application menu.
- On the Recording tab, choose a destination and file tags as usual. Choose a file format. In this case, I chose to record as an mp3.
- Hit Hijack then Record.
- In QuickTime, click Play on the file you'd like to hijack.
- When file has finished playing, in Audio HiJack Pro, click Record to stop the recording then Hijack to stop hijacking.
- Go to the file destination and open in the audio editing program of your choice.
Et voilà! Now you have an mp3 (or aiff) file ready to drop into your podcast.