Blind, quick and dirty.
You stated that yours is an mp3 file without the extension (vlc played it).
You have not to convert it, you have simply to rename it adding the extension
If you convert it you will loose something in term of quality.
Note that even if it was not an mp3 file probably each version of VLC will play it anyway even if you rename it with a wrong extension. The problem, if present, will remain but you will not be aware...
If you feel unconfortable reading the above answer maybe you want to read some lines more...
... A wiser way to proceed is to recognise which kind of file it is and which tools can help you...
but this is another quest(ion), many time asked, answered and closed before [q1],[q2]
It is often possible because many standards require identification codes in specific parts of the file, usually in the beginning. That is the reason because vlc can play even a part of a file (not yet fully downloaded).
More you know about the file more ideas car arise after. So what are your options?
- Vlc can do it, as suggested in another good answer .
- If you have many files, it can be time consuming to repeat with a GUI that operation each time.
Many tools, as for example TrID , can identify them for you and eventually automatically rename all the files.
Unfortunately, windows 7 by default do not include the gnu
file command . But fortunately you can download and install it. Then from a shell (execute the program
cmd.exe), you can arrive to your file (
cd yourpath) then write the command
and it will answer with something like
Audio file with ID3 version 2.3.0, contains: MPEG ADTS, layer III, v1, 192 kbps, 44.1 kHz, Stereo
I put in bold MPEG and layer III... so this is an mp3 file and this is the extension that your file has somehow lost. You have only to add it to your file.
Do you remember "more you know ... more ideas"? I can read
with ID3 and that gives me another idea (see below).
- You can use an ID3 tag renamer [q3], yes you can change not only the extension but even the filename compliant with the information included in the ID3 tag !
- You can use an online service to identify the song. Some of them are able to overcome the wrong extension too...
But the path of an heroic champion pass through the hard way.
The way of the paladin is to see the binary (maybe the hexadecimal) code of your file in search of the magic numbers [w1] looking in a reference table [w2] to understand which file is... and eventually re-invent the wheel.