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HeadAC3he is a basic AC3 to WAV, MP3,MP3 and Vorbis Converter. Set start and stop, Normalize, Boost. Required DLLs included in download(azid.dll, ssrc.dll, lame_enc.dll, vorbis.dll, MP2enc.dll, MPAlib.dll).

OS: Win
File size: 828KB
Portable version
Old versions
Version history
5 votes
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HeadAC3he screenshot
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Latest version

0.23a (July 12, 2002)


Download HeadAC3he 0.23a  828KB  Portable

Download old versions

Download HeadAC3he old versions

Software License

Freeware (Free download!)

Supported operating systems


Complete Version history / Release notes / Changelog


- modified for use with modified vorbis.dll (based on Vorbis 1.0) Ch Coupling sel. was deactivated as Vorbis 1.0 seems to dynamically employ it, so no chance to select it anymore (if I am mistaken, feel free to let me know and tell me where to change it...)
- several bugfixes (esp CLI)
- added INI Option to change IO priority on PCM writing
- following settings will be forced on update: 4ch and 6ch preset will be defaulted to DS (DS2 makes no sense here anyway...) IO priority will be decremented


- added WAV input
- added mp2 and mp3 input by using a modified version of mpglib (input is scanned on start-up to enable frame selectioning and to minimise events of crashing on corrupt streams)
- used latest sources form LAME and modified mpglib with a floating point interface
- added mp3 pre delay fix (tuned for 48kHz LAME mp3s)
- added internal downmixer (now only to 1ch or 2ch possible) with DS2 ("Surround 2") downmix capabilities
- DS2 downmix for ac3 input added (6ch input is decoded with selected DRC for output ch)
- improved booster and added more boost functions
- new input formats fully integrated (cutting possible, though not advised on mp3 input if bit reservoir is used)
- deleted "quick mode" option from mp2, as I found out I understood it wrongly after looking into the source again
- added "4ch" preset and made all three presets configurable by INI file
- some (drastic) internal changes and a bunch of fixes
- following settings are forced on update: global gain to 0 downmix to surround 2 private flag for mp2/mp3 to 0

- global gain is used for wav/mp2/mp3 input in 1pass mode and input gains are used by downmixer (only if downmixing is done)

=-0.22b [Divine Edition]-=

- added two Vorbis options for experts: Stereo Channel Coupling and Lowpass
- workaround for SSRC not sending last samples and calculationg wrong last samples
- some more fixes and newbie short instructions

=-0.22a [Divine Edition]-=

- fixed a minor but critical issue with SSRC which lead to clicking/ticking in the sound (thx to Divine, TND and OCE)

=-0.22 [Divine Edition]-=

- modified to use azid.dll 1.8 (no new functions, yet)
- added MP2 target by using my modified MP2enc.dll (orignal by A. Faber), which now has a 32bit float interface and nearly(?) all features enabled
- added automatic delay compensation (if I'd do marketing I'd call it "ADC" ;-) for all modes and targets (except ac3/ac3-wav only frame precise and only neg. delays supported)
- SSRC now works in float mode, as well
- MP3 target now uses john33's modified lame dll for all MP3 profiles
- modified boost function to auto limit, thus making limit parameter obsolete
- boost curve is drawn
- fixed wrong destination filesize shown on files >4GB
- full hd space usage needed for conversion shown - next to destination filesize
(esp. usefull in float mode: if you use FAT32 and it shows more than 4GB usage you should either change to NTFS or use dumb mode)
- added possibility of cancelling process (Formerly HeadAC3he behaved like a rocket: After ignition self-destruct was the only possibility to stop. ;-)
- added free space detection (and colour indication)
- HeadAC3he now searches (within first 256KB) for ac3 header (with double check), so eg. now you can open nandub demuxed ac3s with a wav header in front.
- If a corrupt frame is found, the frame number will be shown.
- added priority selectioning for main and transfer thread
- tuned bitrate prediction for vorbis
- some bug-fixes and a lot of new ini options
- forces ShowLog=1

=-0.21 [MaTTeR Edition]-=

- a hudge amount of critical and minor bug fixes (too many to list here, but the critical ones include thread synchronization and buffer management) Since I found most of the bugs due to MaTTeR, who spent hour after hour testing and complaining, this release is dedicated to him. Of course I want to thank my other beta testers as well, esp Divine and Acaila, who gave me long reports and/or helped me fixing bad bugs.
- SSRC downsampling added to 1p and dumb 2p (float 2p will come later, but SSRC with hybrid 2p is quite impossible) by using my modified ssrc.dll (original dll by DSPGuru, based on code by Naoki Shibata)
- more options, float interface and multi channel support added for vorbis by using my modified dll (original dll by A.Faber, based on code by the Xiphophorus company) ABR and (pseudo) CBR only supported for 44.1kHz vorbis files (restriction of rc3 dll) and bitrate prediction (code by john33) integrated
- ini option to use lower gain for azid in 2p mode as corrective measurement(this won't harm quality, but saves you from overflows in 6ch decodes)
- more detailed log and of course more ini options
- since it seems block sizes of 16kb for read and 256kb for write seem to be optimal in a w2k/wxp environment, this release forces these sizes on update


- added full mp3 preset support (including alt!) by using both dlls Rename the "hacked" dll to lame_alt.dll. Use VBR for alt presets, except for "Alt ABR" don't forget to set to ABR! Presets could overwrite certain settings, so don't be surprised...


- added OGG target (EXPERIMENTAL!) Only use VBR mode, other will cause exceptions with RC3 dll! (calculation of Dest filesize not implemented, yet)
- source/dest paths in GUI will be shortened, when too long.
- minor fixes


- fixed and enhanced block size management (I must have been completely stoned when I coded it first... ;-) Use PTB to find out optimal values for block sizes. Optimal values could speed up HD I/O by 40% (in my case)!
- you can now directly enter values for start/end frame
- various fixes and enhancemnts (esp. cosmetically)


- definately fixed HeadAC3he crashing in float mode (big thx to MaTTeR)
- fixed "Kernel CPU bug" (thx to kxy)
- added basic log window (more messages to come)
- made all ABR bitrates available (that was some work...)
- some minor fixes and enhancements

=-0.16a-pre -=

- fixed HeadAC3he tends to crash at the end of mp3 encoding
- some minor fixes

=-0.16pre (x-mas edition)-=

- mp3 encoding now done without going to 16bit, ie. the complete conversion is done in the float region! (Thx to DSPGuru for enhancing the lame_enc.dll!)
- disabled hybrid mode for 32bit floats (makes no sense!)
- added 32bit float WAV target
- azid.dll is now dynamically linked, so for AC3 and AC3-WAV target you don't need the dll
- a lot of fixes and enhancements


- fixed endframe time not being shown on file-opening
- fixed mp3 target showed wav destination size. Keep in mind in VBR mode it is just guessing and not all possibilities are considered!
- added more logics to the bitrate selectioning (to prevent min>ave>max)


- added LAME_ENC.DLL support (mp3 target) + INI options
- implemented Ligh's boost function + INI options
- added Drag&Drop support
- various minor bug fixes and enhancements


- added basic CLI (there won't come more though) to find out the options: run "HeadAC3he ?"
- added multiple INI files support; you can save and load INI files
- added multi-channel output support (see KnownIssues.txt)


- added basic AC3 infos (using my own bitstream parser...)
- added basic INI file support and thus indirect CLI (INIVersion, WAVFormat, ErrorDetail 3 and select output channels deactivated, yet)
- various minor bug fixes


- implemented float mode (see ReadMe.txt)
- fixed periodic wrong samples calc'ed at 16bit target if not hybrid mode was used


- changed GUI font and size (man that was work!) and made GUI usable at lower screen resolutions than 1024x678


- added 24 and 32 bit int wav target
- minor cosmetical fixes


- fixed destination size in GUI got not updated (broken on last release)
- got rid of the nag-screen and included an about-screen


- input channels were not deactivated if not selected - fixed
- some more GUI changes

- fixed AC3-WAV target which broke somehow...
- some minor GUI changes


- Added "Normalize to" option
- Rearranged GUI and added some more logics


- Selectioning now works flawlessly
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5 reviews, Showing 1 to 5 reviews

Ease of use: All the options may scare you at first but you get used to it. The options window is kind of wierd, you click the option button once you get first page of options then click it again you get second page then again to close it. Very many options so you have a lot of control.

Functionality: It converted AC3 to MP2 perfectly for me.

Value for money: Nothing cheaper than free.

Overall: Intimidating at first but after using it you probably understand it. MP2s made with it don't give me any problems (unlike besweet). The only "bad" thing I could say about it is the design. Overall a great tool that does its job well.

Review by tonemgub on Dec 17, 2005 Version: 0.23a OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

An excellent program for the ac3->mp3 conversion. Simple to use and highly acceptable results. The program worked for me right out of the box.

Review by Vidalien on Sep 3, 2005 Version: 0.23a OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 7/10

This program works well, but it amplifies the WAV volume by a large amount compared to the original AC3.

Ease of use: This program is simple to use and comes with a help txt. However, first, you must download a separate dll for AC3 decoding; and everytime the program begins, it nags you to download the vorbis dll. The program does tell you where to get the files. Second, to change the delay or normalization, you must repeatedly press arrows that increment the value by 1, rather than being able to input a value.

Functionality: There are lots of options, including sample rate, channel selection, and volume boost. It also allows for delay by changing the start and end frames. You can also set the program priority.

Value: Free.

Review by wikkyhorse on Jul 9, 2005 Version: 0.23a OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 7/10

Need a special program called winrar to download this. My computer doesn't have it, and I have never been able to find it anywhere.

Review by robley on Jan 11, 2004 Version: headac3he OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

If you can't get your head around BeSweet (with or without the GUI) then try this. It has a much simpler (though still busy)GUI and makes more 'sense' (at least to me) than the BeSweet GUI.

Follow the URL's (in the nag boxes) if you do not have the required codecs installed.

It makes AC3 to whatever simple.

I did find on one AC3 track that Headac3he gave an error (tried it 3 times) and aborted whilst BeSweet did the same Ac3 conversion withou a glitch. But saying that, that was only on one track, other than that its been 100% OK.

Well worth dlding. Nuff said.

Review by monzie on Nov 17, 2003 Version: 0.23a OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 8/10

5 reviews, Showing 1 to 5 reviews

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