APE files are a compressed audio files. The APE format is a lossless compression (non-destructive) of the WAVE format. APE files can be decompressed, to recover the original WAV file (without any loss of information).
VSO media player can read the following formats: ape - ogg - mp3 - mpc - ac3 - wma - m3u
The APE DirectShow Filter, allows you read APE files using any application using DirectShow (e.g Windows Media Player). When converting APE files to MP3, it is necessary to opt for a bitrate higher than 196 kbps. The OGG VORBIS encoding is recommended as it is free. First convert the APE file to to WAVE using softwares like Monkey's Audio or Foobar and then convert it to MP3.