Converting Audio Files On Linux Mint
Author: Christian Schmalfeld <c [dot] schmalfeld [at] projektfarm [dot] de>
Last edited 08/19/2011
This article covers the issue of converting audio files on Linux Mint. Converting audio files can be a hard thing to accomplish if one does not have the proper tools to do so, that is why I will also cover a few different applications capable of converting.
This tutorial comes without warranty of any kind.
1 Preliminary Note
I cannot cover all audio converters in this tutorial because there already is a large variety of them. Therefore I concentrate on those that are able to convert between the most used formats (mp3 for storing and listening, wav for creating audio disks and some others). Along with the output format, the bitrate might be the most important feature of an audio file. It determines the quality of the sound, so make sure that you do not choose one that is too low (320 kbps is quite a high bitrate and a good choice if you convert music).
WinFF is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the command line converter ffmpeg, meaning it has the same functions but also is using a user-friendly graphical environment. It is able to convert audio as well as video files into numerous formats used on ordinary computers but also on all kinds of other hardware such as smartphones and multimedial mp3 players. It converts audio files into mp3, wma, wav, ogg and Ac3 format using all bitrates and samplerates.
Install it with
sudo apt-get install winff
and enter your password afterwards. Type in Y and confirm with Enter to proceed with the installation. After the installation is done, open WinFF by entering:
To convert files, just drag and drop them into the white listing panel, select the kind of output you want to have with the Convert to: dropdown menu and the format with the Preset dropdown menu. Choose an output directory afterwards and configure the rest of the bottom tabs like for example the bitrate in the Audio tab, which is mainly responsible for the quality of the output file.
soundKonverter is a very good tool to convert audio files. It covers a large variety of formats and allows you to configure a lot of details. To install it, run following command:
sudo apt-get install soundKonverter
Enter your password afterwards. During the installation, confirm with Y. To run it, enter:
To start converting, either drag and drop the files to convert onto the white panel or use the Add Files button. After you have selected the files, a new window will appear which lets you configure how the files should be converted. You can have multiple processes running in one go, meaning you can configure the settings anew for every file you add. The settings window can be viewed in simple mode or in detailed mode:
Be aware that some output formats are not available if you have the wrong quality selected. This is because, for example, some formats need to be lossless, so if you select medium quality, the format will not e shown in the list. If the one you need is not shown, browse through the different quality options until your format is available in the dropdown menu. After you have configured everything so that it matches your needs, confirm with Ok and press the Start button to convert.
SoundConverter is another application to convert audio files. To install, run
sudo apt-get install soundconverter
and enter your password. SoundConverter appears as a plain window with only a few buttons which are there to add files and to start converting. The configurations are taken for all the files added to the panel in Edit > Preferences.
The settings are limited but still provide the needed options for everyday use. You can configure the output directory, the way the file is named and the quality of the the chosen output format (mp3, wav, ogg, flac, aac). Close the settings window afterwards and click on Convert to start. You have to adjust the settings for every process you run.