20. How do I import MP3 files, or save my finished Audio file as an MP3?
To save your song as an MP3 file (or another compressed audio file type), select Audio | Merge Audio and DXi Tracks to Compressed File. Choose a name for your file and press [Save]. A dialog will appear asking which format you wish to compress the file in. For MP3's, choose MPEG Layer-3. This option will appear if you have an MP3 codec installed - more information on this below.
As with most audio/MIDI editing programs, RealBand operates on wave files in a raw format; this is necessary for cutting/copying/pasting, and other forms of waveform editing. However, RealBand supports the Microsoft Audio Compression Manager (ACM) facilities, which means that you can convert from (import) and to (export) any compressed-format audio file.
In order for this import/export feature to work, you must have the appropriate CODEC installed in the ACM. You can see a list of the CODECS installed in your system by accessing (Windows 95/98/ME/2000) the Control Panel | Multimedia -or- Sounds and Multimedia | Devices, or (Windows XP) Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Hardware. If you do not have an MP3 codec installed there, RealBand won't be able to import/convert an .MP3 file, and you will receive a "driver cannot do the requested conversion" error. If you see a codec there and you still get an error, check to see if it is a decode-only codec. On Windows XP - Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Hardware | Audio Codecs (Properties) | Properties. On Windows Vista, try going to Help | About | Technical Support Information in Windows Media Player. To solve the problem: Due to licensing restrictions and patents on MP3 technology, we can't include MP3 codecs with our software. There are a couple possible solutions - (1) The latest version of Windows Media Player includes an ACM-compatible MP3 codec, l3codecp.acm, which you should find in your Windows\System32 directory, and it can encode MP3's at high bitrates. This codec may or may not be enabled on your computer though. Or, (2) Search online for an MP3 codec that you can download and install. Or, (3) Save your file as a stereo wave file and do the conversion from wave to MP3 in a third party program.
With an MP3 Codec installed in your system, RealBand should be able to import and play MP3 files, and export raw Wave files (tracks) from within RealBand to the encoded format. If you are finding that RealBand is able to convert some MP3's but unable to convert others, this suggests that the MP3 codecs installed on your system can only handle certain MP3 formats. Also, RealBand Version 10 and earlier cannot convert some MP3 formats, such as MP3 files with variable bitrates. Version 11 and higher have an improved MP3 conversion utility which is compatible with a wider variety of MP3 formats.