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etree.org | mkwACT introduction

The mkw Audio Compression Tool (mkwACT) is a free Windows® 95/98/Me and NT/2000 and XP program created for the easy and convenient conversion of WAV audio files to and from various lossless and lossy compressed formats, including Shorten (SHN).

mkwACT is simply the easiest utility available for compressing and decompressing Shorten files, and checking and creating MD5 signatures.

By following the step-by-step instructions below, most users should be able to download, install, configure, and learn to use mkwACT within 20 minutes or less!

etree.org | mkwACT nav

Official mkwACT Website

Introduction
Download
Runtime Install
Program Install
Setup
Usage
Credits

Back to etree.org Software

etree.org | mkwACT download

If you are installing mkwACT for the first time on a Windows 95/98/NT PC, you must install the mkwACT Runtime Libraries first!. If you are using Windows 2000 or XP, you do not need to install the mkwACT Runtime Libaries.

 mkw-mfc42.exe  -  mkwACT Runtime Libraries

 mkwACT097b1.exe  v0.97 beta 1 - 1.1MB    Released: 10/2/00


etree.org | mkwACT runtime libraries installation

Before you install mkwACT program, you must first install the mkwACT Runtime Libraries, unless you are using Windows 2000 or XP (***note: XP need's further "tweaking" which is covered in the Setup Section***).

The mkwACT Runtime Libraries are self-installing utilities that are necessary for mkwACT to function properly in Windows 95/98/NT.

  • Before installation, be sure to turn off or disable any virus protection software you may be using.
  • Click on the mkw-mfc42.exe link above (in the download section). When the "File Download" window appears, choose "Run this program from its current location."
  • Note to Netscape users: If you are only given the option to save the setup program, save it to your desktop, then launch it by double-clicking.
  • You will receive a Security Warning window after the mkwACT Runtime Libraries download. This is normal, and is nothing to be concerned about. Click the "Yes" button to continue with the installation.
  • Next, you may see the window below (if you do not, don't worry about it). DO NOT click the "OK" button on the window below!!! You want to continue the mkwACT Runtime Installer. Only click the "OK" button on the window below after you finish with the mkwACT Runtime Libraries Installer (these instructions will tell you when it's OK).

  • You will see the main mkwACT Runtime Libraries Installer. Click the "Next" button to continue.
  • mkwACT Runtime Installer will now install what it needs to on your hard drive. When it's finished, you will see the window below. Click "Finish" to continue.

  • mkwACT Runtime Installer is now finished. It is now allright to click the "OK" button on the mkwSFX window (pictured below).

    Congrats... you are half-way done with installing mkwACT!



  • etree.org | mkwACT program installation

    Only AFTER you have installed the mkwACT Runtime Libraries, you may install the mkwACT Program.

  • Before installation, be sure to turn off or disable any virus protection software you may be using.
  • Click the "mkwACT097b1.exe" link above (in the download section). When the "File Download" window appears, choose "Run this program from its current location."
  • Note to Netscape users: If you are only given the option to save the setup program, save it to your desktop, then launch it by double-clicking.
  • You will receive a Security Warning window after the mkwACT program downloads. This is normal, and is nothing to be concerned about. Click the "Yes" button to continue with the installation.
  • Next, you may see the window below (if you do not, don't worry about it). DO NOT click the "OK" button on the window below!!! You want to continue the mkwACT Program Installer. Only click the "OK" button on the window below after you finish with the mkwACT Program Installer (these instructions will tell you when it's OK).

  • The next window will ask you where to install mkwACT on your hard drive. For most people, the default directory will be OK. Unless you have a specific reason to change this, you should not. Click the "Next" button to continue.
  • Next, you will be prompted as to what options to install. You should leave all options checked. Click the "Next"button to continue.
  • Now, time for the requisite licenses. First is the mkwACT license, then the Shorten license, and last is the BladEnc (MP3) license. Just click the "Yes" button to continue through all three license agreements.
  •    

  • Next, the mkwACT Setup will add program icons to the Program Folder listed in the text box (by default, it will be "mkw Audio Compression Toolkit"). The default text is fine, so click the "Next" button to continue.
  • The mkwACT program will now install to your hard drive. When it is finished, you will see the window below. Click the "Finish" button to continue.
  • Remember that pesky window below? Now it's OK to click the "OK" button to close it!
  • Finally... You have successfully installed mkwACT! You're now ready to compress and decompress files with the glorious Shorten lossless audio format! Continue with the usage instructions below to learn how to easily set up and use mkwACT!



    etree.org | mkwACT setup

    Open mkwACT. It should be in your "Start > Programs" folder.

    Once the mkwACT program is open, click on "Options" then "File Options". Under "Output directory for when input is on a fixed disk drive", select the path (directory) that you want all your converted files to go to. For instance, when you're converting SHN files to WAV files for CD-R burning, you want them to go to a convenient place that you'll easily find on your hard drive. Choose that directory here.

    In our example,   c:\burning   is the directory where all WAV files will go when they're converted from SHN.

    Below that, can select the "Output directory for when input is on a removable drive" (such as a CD-R). It is a good idea to have this path (directory) be the same as above, so it won't get (too) confusing.

    Also, make note the checkboxes below the two dialog boxes... Make sure your configuration is similar, especially the "Delete input files after lossless (MKW or SHN) processing" option. If this option is checked (the default), your SHN files will be automatically deleted as you convert them to WAV files. For most people, this is undesirable, and leads to "Where the hell did my SHN files go?!?" emails to the Server Team. ;)

    Also, you may wish to change the option for "report MD5 verification results only on errors". If this option is checked, it will only let you know if a SHN file does not pass the MD5 verification.

    Other than these settings, mkwACT is pretty much ready to roll right out of the box UNLESS you are on a Windows XP system.

    If you are running under Windows XP then you should follow these further directions:

    If you simply want to convert shn>wav mkwACT will run fine on XP right out of the box.

    However, if you want to encode .wav>.shn (w/ seeking as .skt files or appended) it becomes a bit trickier ,(it will also encode from .wav>.shn w/o any seeking fine.... but that suck's ; ).

    XP comes w/ a backwards compatibility option.

    To run mkwACT in Windows XP, change the compatibility mode for mkwACT to "Windows 2000" by:

    * Right-click on the link to mkwACT in the start menu or desktop

    * Click properties

    * Click the Compatibility tab

    * Click the checkbox for "Run this program in compatibility mode for:"

    * In the pulldown menu, choose "Windows 2000"

    *Apply the change

    Now that should have mkwACT running 99% correctly (We still haven't been able to get it to let us batch files to it by highlighting a large group of files , right clicking on them and choosing to "convert to wav" or "encode to shn", but drag & drop will still work in batches fine and it otherwise works as it always has).


    etree.org | mkwACT usage

    There are two different methods of using mkwACT. The first method is to drag files (or entire folders) onto the mkwACT console window. This is very difficult to explain to someone that is not accustomed to dragging and dropping files/folders in Windows Explorer. Below is a simple sketch at how to arrange your windows so you can easily drag and drop a folder into mkwACT.

    After you drop files or entire folders onto the mkwACT console window, the program will automatically perform the necessary MD5 verifications, and if all SHN files pass, they will be decompressed to the directory specified when you configured mkwACT. Pretty slick, eh?


    Another way to use mkwACT, is to use the right-click features in Windows Explorer (rather than the drag-and-drop menthod described above).

    Open Windows Explorer (this is usually in your "Start > Programs" folder). Find a show you just downloaded to your hard drive. You can double-click on the MD5 files to automatically check the SHN files in that directory!

    Once you have performed an MD5 check, you can decompress the SHN files by highlighting the SHN files...

    ...and then right-clicking. A small window will pop up. Click on "decode to wav".

    The mkwACT program will now be automatically launched, and the SHN filess selected with be decompressed to the directory specified when you configured mkwACT. Don't worry that the progress indicator does not seem to do anything, like it does when you perform an MD5 check. This is normal.

    When your SHN files are finished decompressing to WAV, the "Processing Status" will say "Idle" (the bottom-left of the mkwACT console window).


    etree.org | mkwACT credits

    Thanks to Michael K. Weise, the author of mkwACT, for creating this fantastic tool for the lossless trading community!

    This documentation page created by Mike Wren, and last updated by Michael Crow on 6/6/2002.

    For additional software and documentation, please visit the official mkwACT website.


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