Trader’s Little Helper

Trader’s Little Helper (TLH) is an invaluable tool if, like me, you are into collecting live recordings.

It is a graphical front-end for several command-line utilities (including flac, lame, and shorten) which makes it easy to encode and decode a variety of audio file formats to wav files, create and verify MD5 checksums, build torrent files, and fix sector boundary errors. It runs on all flavours of Windows from 98 to Vista and, best of all, is free for non-commercial use.

So far I have only used TLH to encode/decode wav files to flac and shorten formats, to check for errors in encoded files and to test wav files to see if they were created from mp3 source files. Using TLH to do these few things has been very easy thanks to its drag-and-drop interface and the straight-forward, sensible layout of its program window. You use the menu to choose the action you want to perform, drag your files into the space provided (or browse for them), adjust any options and then hit the action button (which will read Encode, Decode, Convert, etc., depending on the action selected). Then you just sit back and wait for TLH to do it’s stuff. The time taken will vary depending on the action performed but so far I have found it to be very quick most of the time.

This very short post, and my use of TLH, just scratches the surface of what it can do but even for these few tasks it has saved me a huge amount of time. I’m confident that when I need to make use of its other features I’ll be able to do so with ease.

I’ll maybe revisit this post or add another more detailed post in the future but for now this is an audio utility that you  really should have if you work with lossless audio files.


Another post that originally appeared on my now defunct The Free Software Files.

Trader’s Little Helper really is an essential tool for working with lossless audio formats and will be extremely valuable to the audiophiles out there. Highly recommended.


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