LameBrain - A LAME-based mp3 Encoder and CD Ripper

LameBrain icon

It’s been (ugh) nearly 4 years since LameBrain was updated. It was an enjoyable project, but I simply lost interest: I didn’t use the program myself, moving to encoding most of my music with the iTunes AAC encoder. I also had pushed the app feature wise as far as I ever intended.

Still, people continue to search for and download LameBrain every day from this site. It evidently scratches an itch for some people, and that’s a source of pride for me. So I’d hate to just sit on the program and not give others an opportunity to run with it. I think there are some valuable bits in the horribly structured code I wrote back then, and maybe someone with more drive than me will build on what’s here.

Thanks to everyone who has used LameBrain, and especially to the folks who donated money for its development. It’s been a lot of fun.

Get LameBrain source code

[tags]lamebrain, mp3, source code, realbasic, lame, OS X, ripper, encoder[/tags]

  • Hiwattfan
    03/18/2007 10:38:09 PM

    Thank you for such a wonderful program! I hope this project will survive because LameBrain is an intuitive program that I have found no substitute for. After spending much time encoding my cd library in AAC format, I came to the conclusion that the LAME mp3 is far more “musical”. I find it to be warmer and have more depth in the soundstage. I must admit that at low bitrates the AAC is a better choice, but using a more transparent bitrate setting in LAME sounds much more like the original cd track. Just my opinion, but thank you just the same for taking time to write LameBrain.

  • Ed
    03/19/2007 06:24:14 PM

    I’m glad you like it! I may at some point revisit the project, but for now I’m interested in other things, and LB seems to serve its purpose well.

  • Jim
    04/26/2007 03:02:30 PM

    LameBrain is almost ideal for me. But since I do classical music, it would be good if you could also contact cddb for information. Freedb usually does not have my CDs. And also, there seems to be no way to upload my manually-entered information back to them.

  • Ed
    04/26/2007 03:26:55 PM

    The reason I used FreeDB is that CDDB access is now a pay-for proposition. That pretty much makes it impossible to utilize it in Free/Open Source software, unless it’s backed by a large company with other revenue streams (like iTunes).

    One possibility would be to somehow leverage iTunes’ identification of the CD. If I ever work with LameBrain again, I’ll consider that.

  • daniel
    05/20/2007 10:40:54 PM

    i recently got my mac and i’m sad to say i don’t understand how to ‘install’ this program (i’m running in from the dmg because it doesn’t load when i just drag and drop the app file to the applications folder). i understand you’ve dropped development, but it would be great to see more support in the (near!) future because i’ve been booting to windows to use cdex to rip my cds, and i’d really like to be able to do it in os x.

    if you do pick it back up and want to do something with handling extended ascii characters, cdex (in windows) does a good job with it by letting you choose how to handle common characters individually (for example, with ‘?’ and ‘:’ i like to just have it ignore them when writng the filename, but for ‘/’ or ” i like it to put a space so if i had a song called artist - title/title? it would output the filename as artist - title title.mp3 instead of artist - title_title_.mp3)

    for what the program does, it’s already a billion times better than stupid itunes, and for that i thank you.

  • Ed
    05/20/2007 11:05:37 PM


    I don’t distribute LB as a DMG anymore — the “Source Code” link above will give you the whole shebang you need. It sounds like you might just be putting the LameBrain executable file into your Applications dir, and not all the extra directories. LB needs all of those other directories to function properly.

    I’d make an /Applications/LameBrain folder and copy everything from the DMG into it.

  • daniel schroeder
    05/20/2007 11:37:20 PM

    thanks, i’m still retarded trying to figure out how mac programs ‘work’, but i made that folder like you said and it’s working great now.

    looking forward to a future update…you should specify how much of a donation you need to make it better ;)

  • Ed
    05/20/2007 11:53:07 PM

    Don’t feel bad — most Mac apps are more self-contained than LameBrain. It’s a pretty odd setup.

    Right now, it’s really a matter of having time. Maybe enough to take 2 months off work. You have an extra $10k? ;)

  • evan stone
    11/19/2007 12:58:27 AM

    Looks like we may need to have the msgWindow and shortMsgWindow files added to the source… when I load the project, it tries to connect via AFP to “whitesnake” (which of course it can’t), and it barfs and then asks to relocate those files… any chance we could get those put into the zip?


    p.s. do you have any intention of open source-ing the project?

  • Edward Finkler
    11/19/2007 11:55:15 AM

    Gah, I’ll look into that as soon as I can. you might want to email me about it.

    I consider the project “open source” now, although maybe I forgot to include a License file. I’ll use a New BSD-style license, FWIW.

  • Bartimus
    02/06/2008 08:33:36 AM

    Interesting read. Something i’ll def would be using.

  • Cretou
    03/24/2008 09:55:55 AM

    Nicely written. I can relate to most of your points.

  • Buy discount iPods
    06/25/2008 01:02:50 AM

    is LameBrain only for mac or for windows also?

  • Jim
    07/08/2008 07:51:14 AM

    Thanks for the great encoding software. Encoding options have come a long way in four years, but Lame has proven a stable and reliable mp3 pal.

  • Tiny-e
    12/23/2008 10:18:18 PM

    Thanks for this great piece of software! Unfortunately LameBrain doesn’t run under Leopard (10.5.6 currently).

    Any chance you’d be so kind as to recompile it? I tried once before with a demo of RealBasic, but it couldn’t find a certain asset it wanted (can’t remember which one, sorry) and failed to build.

    Cheers and Happy Holidays. Thanks for supporting the Mac community!

  • andrew.fomin
    03/01/2009 12:26:20 PM

    I took sources and make changes to compile it with last release or real basic (for now without cd ripping) if someone has a non-demo version of realbasic - mail me at

  • Nick
    09/07/2009 12:08:51 PM

    I just upgraded to Snow Leopard and LameBrain isn’t working. Anyone else get it working?

  • d3
    09/15/2009 03:46:34 PM

    So sad. My favorite MP3 ripper gets broken in the Snow Leopard update. Haven’t found another that works as well, and with high sound quality as high (i’ve done a/b tests) so I’ll keep one machine on leopard just for this.

  • funkatron
    09/15/2009 04:15:02 PM

    Honestly, I don’t even have a new-ish copy of RealBasic anymore that could compile for Snow Leopard, so I can’t make new builds. I’m sorry to hear it won’t run on 10.6, though.

    I actually could produce a new LameBrain using Titanium Desktop. I’ll have to think about that.

  • NightLion
    10/31/2009 03:35:57 PM

    I would gladly contribute to a working 10.6 version….. If you are seriously considering it, please let me know and I will paypal you a donation. :)

  • d3
    10/31/2009 06:49:56 PM

    I would definitely pay for a 10.6 version.

  • Alex
    01/29/2010 02:39:42 PM

    Anyone tried X Lossless Decoder in Snow Leopard?