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Posted 19 May 2007


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Convert MP3 to EXE

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18 Mar 2008CPOL2 min read
An article showing how to convert MP3 file to executable file
Sample Image - maximum width is 600 pixels



In this article, you will learn how to convert an MP3 file to an executable file.

What You Will Learn From This Article

  1. How to compile C# code during runtime
  2. How to play an MP3 file using C#
  3. How to insert a file into your application as an embedded resource and extract embedded resource dynamically during runtime
  4. How to implement dragging files from Explorer
  5. How to insert a file into your application as an embedded resource through designer.


Here is a description how this program works.

First the user chooses the MP3 files he wished to convert to EXE. After that, an instance of CompilerParameters class is created and the specified MP3 file is added as an embedded resource through the EmbeddedResources property of CompilerParameters class. This is done in a worker thread using BackGroundWorker component. The icon of the executable file can be chosen by the user and command line option is used to specify it.

The source code we compile is source code of a simple application that doesn't have a window, extracts the embedded MP3 file and plays that file. The source file that is compiled is itself embedded in the first application and extracted to temp folder at startup.

Implementation Details

Compiling Source File Dynamically

Microsoft.CSharp.CSharpCodeProvider pr
                                 = new Microsoft.CSharp.CSharpCodeProvider();
CompilerParameters cp = new CompilerParameters();
string pathtoicon="";       // pathtoicon variable holds the path of the icon 
                           // for generated executable
if (File.Exists(Application.StartupPath + "\\icon.ico"))
    pathtoicon= Application.StartupPath + "\\icon.ico";

if (skinRadioButton2.Checked)
    pathtoicon = this.pictureBox1.ImageLocation;

cp.CompilerOptions = "/target:winexe" + " " + "/win32icon:" + "\"" + 
                         pathtoicon + "\"";    // specify options for compiler
cp.GenerateExecutable = true;                  // yes, generate an EXE file
cp.IncludeDebugInformation = false;            // here we add the mp3 file as 
                                               // as an embedded resource
cp.EmbeddedResources.Add(this.textBox1.Text);  // were to save the executable 
                                               // specified by savefiledialog
cp.OutputAssembly = sv.FileName;

cp.GenerateInMemory = false;
cp.ReferencedAssemblies.Add("System.dll");         // this and the following 
cp.ReferencedAssemblies.Add("System.Data.dll");    // lines add references
cp.TreatWarningsAsErrors = false;

string temp = Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable("TEMP");
// compile the source file
CompilerResults cr = pr.CompileAssemblyFromFile(cp,  temp + "\\it.cs"); 
if (cr.Errors.Count>0)
    MessageBox.Show("There was an error while converting the file","Error",
                 MessageBoxButtons.OK,MessageBoxIcon.Error);   //error checking

Extracting Embedded File During Runtime

This portion of code is from the source file that is compiled by the program. This code extracts embedded resource from the application during runtime.

//this code requires System.Reflection namespace

//get names of resources in the assembly
string[] myassembly
     = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetManifestResourceNames();

//create stream from the resource. 
Stream theResource 
   = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetManifestResourceStream(myassembly[0]);
//Create binary reader from the stream

BinaryReader br = new BinaryReader(theResource);  
//then filestream
FileStream fs = new FileStream(Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable("TEMP") +
                                +"\\it.mp3" , FileMode.Create); 
BinaryWriter bw = new BinaryWriter(fs);    //and then binary writer
byte[] bt = new byte[theResource.Length];  //read the resource
theResource.Read(bt,0, bt.Length);         //and then write to the file
bw.Write(bt);                              //don't forget to close all streams

We pass myassambly[0] to GetManifestResourceStream because there is only one resource.

Drag and Drop

To implement drag and drop functionality from Windows Explorer, I use the class that came with the source code of this book.

You need to create an instance of the DragAndDropFileComponent class and set up event handler. Here is the code snippet:

DragAndDropFileComponent drag = new DragAndDropFileComponent(this.components);
drag.FileDropped += new FileDroppedEventHandler(drag_FileDropped);
drag.HostingForm = this;

Here is the event handler:

void drag_FileDropped(object sender, FileDroppedEventArgs e)
   if (e.Filenames!=null &
   e.Filenames.Length!=0 & e.Filenames[0].EndsWith(".mp3"))
  this.textBox1.Text = e.Filenames[0];

Playing MP3 File

In order to play an MP3 file from my application, I used this class. After you add MP3Player to your project, playing MP3 files is very simple. Here is the code snippet from the source file that is compiled:

MP3Player pl = new MP3Player();
    pl.Open(Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable("TEMP") + "\\it.mp3");
    //wait until the file is played and then quit
    //this no longer causes 100% CPU utilization
    catch (Exception ex)
    { }   

The program starts playing the MP3 file when it is loaded and quits when playing is over.

Final Thoughts

The idea itself of converting an MP3 file to an EXE file is a little bit strange and the whole application is interesting.


  • 18th May, 2007 - Initial version
  • 26th May, 2007 - Fixed the bug that was causing 100% CPU load when launching the generated EXE


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Software Developer
Georgia Georgia
This member has not yet provided a Biography. Assume it's interesting and varied, and probably something to do with programming.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionAdd form for controlling mp3 Pin
cronikslacker15-Sep-10 4:49
cronikslacker15-Sep-10 4:49 
GeneralTo .exe Pin
subewa20-May-10 23:12
subewa20-May-10 23:12 
RantMp3 Pin
Ng Rui Jie, Royce5-Jan-10 23:26
Ng Rui Jie, Royce5-Jan-10 23:26 
GeneralGood job Pin
chaiguy133718-Jan-09 8:00
chaiguy133718-Jan-09 8:00 
GeneralRe: Good job Pin
Giorgi Dalakishvili18-Jan-09 8:02
mentorGiorgi Dalakishvili18-Jan-09 8:02 
GeneralBug Pin
Stuart Halliday2-Jan-09 4:05
Stuart Halliday2-Jan-09 4:05 
GeneralSmall error Pin
Frits8828-Sep-08 15:30
Frits8828-Sep-08 15:30 
GeneralRe: Small error Pin
Giorgi Dalakishvili28-Sep-08 21:19
mentorGiorgi Dalakishvili28-Sep-08 21:19 
GeneralRe: Small error Pin
Frits8829-Sep-08 12:22
Frits8829-Sep-08 12:22 
NewsError downloading source code Pin
Steve Povah4-May-08 4:23
Steve Povah4-May-08 4:23 
GeneralRe: Error downloading source code Pin
Giorgi Dalakishvili4-May-08 5:24
mentorGiorgi Dalakishvili4-May-08 5:24 
GeneralA very interesting idea! Pin
TonyTonyQ24-Mar-08 18:49
professionalTonyTonyQ24-Mar-08 18:49 
GeneralRe: A very interesting idea! Pin
Giorgi Dalakishvili24-Mar-08 23:20
mentorGiorgi Dalakishvili24-Mar-08 23:20 
General[Message Deleted] Pin
crysler20-Feb-08 13:16
crysler20-Feb-08 13:16 
GeneralRe: you read good books Pin
Giorgi Dalakishvili20-Feb-08 21:26
mentorGiorgi Dalakishvili20-Feb-08 21:26 
Questionneed to edit mp3 file Pin
Member 94169724-Jan-08 1:59
Member 94169724-Jan-08 1:59 
QuestionWhat is the purpose of mp3 to exe converter? Pin
Member 45647877-Jan-08 23:10
Member 45647877-Jan-08 23:10 
AnswerRe: What is the purpose of mp3 to exe converter? Pin
Giorgi Dalakishvili8-Jan-08 0:57
mentorGiorgi Dalakishvili8-Jan-08 0:57 
GeneralRe: What is the purpose of mp3 to exe converter? Pin
Marty R15-Feb-09 5:15
Marty R15-Feb-09 5:15 
GeneralHistory Pin
Armando Airo'14-Nov-07 3:52
Armando Airo'14-Nov-07 3:52 
Write updates made in Section History. This is necessary to correctly follow your article. Thanks


GeneralRe: History Pin
Jim Weiler15-Nov-07 12:49
Jim Weiler15-Nov-07 12:49 
GeneralThreadStateException Pin
Greg Cadmes21-Aug-07 13:10
Greg Cadmes21-Aug-07 13:10 
GeneralRe: ThreadStateException Pin
Giorgi Dalakishvili22-Aug-07 0:18
mentorGiorgi Dalakishvili22-Aug-07 0:18 
QuestionWhy? Pin
Michael Sync13-Aug-07 23:57
Michael Sync13-Aug-07 23:57 
AnswerRe: Why? Pin
Giorgi Dalakishvili13-Aug-07 23:59
mentorGiorgi Dalakishvili13-Aug-07 23:59 

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