WinLAME 2009 Beta Released

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 17, 2009
Updated • Nov 26, 2017
Music, Music and Video

WinLAME is a free audio encoder for Windows that supports audio format such as mp3 or ogg and uses the popular LAME mp3 encoder.

If you are looking for an easy to use music encoder, you may want to give the latest version of winLAME a try.

The program is provided as a portable version that you can run from any location on a Windows PC, or as a setup version. The program started out as a LAME frontend for Windows (with a GUI), but has evolved since then with additional audio features.


WinLAME supports a variety of music formats, and can also be used to rip audio CDs next to that. It can even look up information about audio CDs that you rip from the Internet music database Freebd for automatic tagging of the audio files.

Some of the popular formats that are supported by winLame include mp3, ogg, acc, wma and flac. The program interface has changed a lot in recent time.

You have two core options when it comes to winLAME:

  • Insert an audio CD and select the "read CD" button to start the audio ripping process.
  • Drag and drop, or add files via "open files" to convert the audio files to a different format.

The audio conversion process happens in four steps:

  1. You drag and drop audio files in the program interface, or use the open files button to load them this way. You may load one or multiple audio files (you can even load playlists or cue files).
  2. The program lists the selected audio files. Each file is listed with its name and extension, samplerate, bitrate, and length. You may add more files during this step, play audio files, or remove them again.
  3. You are then prompted to select the output module and location. The module determines the output format. You may also configure additional options like the automatic creation of a playlist file, or whether the original files should be deleted after the conversion.
  4. Select one of the available quality presets in this step. This ranges from high quality to portable, and custom settings.
  5. WinLame highlights the process in the last step. It may also post warnings, for instance when you are about to convert a lossy format to another lossy format.

Below is the original review of winLAME which we published back in 2009. Note that you can switch to classic mode in the winLAME 2017 interface to return to the interface that the original version of winLAME used back in 2009.


WinLAME is a powerful audio encoder for Windows that can process audio files and rip audio CDs on top of that. The program is updated regularly, and supports all major audio formats.

Old review

The process is divided into four windows starting with the selection of the music on the local computer system. A file browser or drag and drop can be used to add audio files from the computer system. The option to include CD tracks is also available in this first screen.


The second screen contains the output settings and parameters including the selection of the output module, the location where the files will be stored in and if a playlist should be created automatically.

lame output

The third step lists several presets that can be used to encode the music ranging from high quality hifi to best quality archiving or portable usage. Custom settings can be configured as well in this screen.

music presets

The final step displays encoding information and the progress. The wide variety of audio formats coupled with encoding presets make winLame a viable alternative for anyone looking for a solid audio encoder for the Windows operating system.

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  1. Justin said on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The warning message about AAC streams when you load streams is because you don’t have the free Orban AAC/aacPlus Player Plugin installed.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Justin, thanks for the information.

  2. santosh said on December 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    does this support AAC ? or only mp3 streaming

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I’d say it supports all pls streams but I have not tried that so cannot verify it 100%.

  3. Barnabas said on August 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Martin for a most informative and viable solution (it allowed me to play streams from a Netherland internet radio station in my WMP)! Continued success to you!

    Barnabas (USA)

  4. AppleRome said on October 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Your steps’ recommendation is still valid until 7th October 2012.. Thank you very much !!

  5. Laura said on December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you!

  6. sak2005 said on December 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    You must convert file.pls to file.m3u
    because file.pls open with winamp and file.m3u open with wmp.

  7. Lithium said on February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    2017 still kicking on Windows 7
    Thx a ton

  8. Dennis said on April 18, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hey, even i can do it, i stumbled through it and it works great! The only instruction advice i will add as i had to figure this out, when the wmp box opens that says save or open the bar on right says wmp click that drop down and select “open pls in wmp” once you do that it will work . Took me quite some time to discover that as i am no computer expert by any means. Having said that, previously i had downloaded codec packages and something about aac. None did any good. This rocks, i listen to a lot of internet radio and a number of them have dropped flash player and getting wmp to work had been a nightmare. So many thanks for this great solution to another problem that Micro-Hell will not even address. Peace- Out

  9. stephen marshall said on March 19, 2019 at 2:07 am

    openplsinwmp came in a zip file. I unpacked it, and didn’t find anything that looks like an executable, and even the files in the “doc” folder were in a format windows didn’t recognize. I’m not stupid. you said it would open effortlessly. It didn’t. This a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

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