Convert VQF audio files with ease

Last updated on June 25, 2024 by , Posted to convert audio

convert vqf files on windows

I recently found a folder on my computer containing .vqf files that I couldn't recognize at first. These files could not be opened using native Windows programs, but based on their names I decided that these must be music files. A quick Google search confirmed my suspicions.

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, TwinVQ was a popular audio format. However, much more advanced compression formats such as AAC have completely replaced it. As an audio software developer, I remember that we dropped VQF support a while back when Yamaha stopped development.

Even then, the TwinVQ format did not provide any significant advantages, and with the advent of new standards it quickly sank into oblivion.

1 VQF Support

Until recently, decoding these files required the use of a proprietary decoder from Yamaha. This decoder was only available in the 32-bit Windows development kit.

In 2009, reverse engineering of the codec was implemented and it became possible to decode vqf format files on any platform. However, this did not help its spread much and most programs still do not support it. This is the main problem - some old audio recordings were not available.

The differences between vqf and mp3 files do not end there - instead of the usual ID3 tags, this format uses a metadata storage system that is incompatible with other formats. Finding a tag editor for these files is almost impossible.

2 Preferred solution for VQF decoding

We were inspired to solve this problem by the inclusion of the TwinVQ codec in the MPEG4 standard, which could lead to confusion with file extensions.

Of course, we did not add support for this format to all of our software, but to convert old recordings we added a vqf decoder to our audio converter. Metadata is read according to specifications and converted into more familiar formats like ID3 or ApeTag.

Taking into account the fact that TwinVQ has advantages at low bitrates, we can recommend using slightly higher bitrates when encoding to MP3. Decoding into lossless formats makes no sense, since the quality of the recordings is far from audiophile.

twin vqf decoder

The conversion process itself should not cause you any difficulties. Just download the latest version of the converter from our website. After installation, add VQF files to the conversion lists in any way convenient for you - through the menu, toolbar, or simply by dragging files onto the program window. Now all you need to do is select the output format and folder. Then click the orange "Convert" button in the middle of the toolbar.

3 Alternative solution to convert VQF files is a web-based file conversion service that can be used to convert TwinVQ files to MP3. The service is free (partially) and provides a simple and convenient interface for converting files.

But it looks tempting only at first glance. This service does not support metadata in principle. In any case, none of the VQF files converted to AAC by this service contained any tags.

The second limitation is the waiting line, which can be avoided by spending a little money. 8 euros for converting 240 tracks? Are you serious? It is much easier to buy the desktop version with a lifetime license, which you can use without restrictions.

online audio decoder

The conversion process itself is unnecessarily confusing and is done in 4 steps. First, you select Audio Converter from the main menu of the service, and then select the output format from a limited list. At the next stage, you download an audio file and something is clearly happening, but the service does not provide any information about what is happening. I was expecting a link to download the finished file, but it turned out that the conversion had not yet started. It turned out that you need to select settings (admit it, how many of you know what EBU and LUFS are?) and click "Start". If I were developing this, I would try to reduce two unnecessary steps and make the settings easier to understand.

4 Conclusion

To summarize, converting TwinVQ (.VQF) audio files to AAC makes them more accessible and easier to use on a wider range of devices. There are several different options for converting these files: both software and web services. I haven't covered every step of the conversion in detail because I've done that many times in other tutorials. It should be remembered that this audio format is indeed very rare, so it can be considered lucky if you already have a suitable converter. Be that as it may, it is always possible to recover old recordings that you think have been lost.

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