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Old 04-04-2010, 06:40 AM   #1
spoovy
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Bulk music file convert?


I have thousands of audio files in all sorts of formats. Whenever I install a distro this means that I always have to download a ton of different audio stuff as well (and I really don't understand linux audio). Typically this means gstreamer good, bad and ugly, xine, GNOME Mplayer and god knows what else.

There must be a better way. If I could change the formats of all files into a simple FOSS format I would. Is there a program that can detect current formats and do a bulk convert, into ogg maybe?
 
Old 04-04-2010, 06:59 AM   #2
bret381
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have a look here:

http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/127583

not sure if any of these will do all formats at the same time, but...
 
Old 04-04-2010, 07:04 AM   #3
Fingers of Fudge
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Rather than converting why not just install VLC? It's pretty rock solid, it even plays partial files and I've never found anything it couldn't play.


First post ever after much lurking!! :-)
 
Old 04-04-2010, 07:41 AM   #4
spoovy
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@Fudge - That's a workaround at best, I am looking for a solution.

@bret - cheers i'll have a read.
 
Old 04-04-2010, 09:16 AM   #5
highfructose327
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spoovy I have used soundconverter(gui) and ffmpeg(cli) to convert files.
 
Old 04-04-2010, 09:59 AM   #6
b0uncer
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I use ffmpeg (mencoder in the past as well), wrapping it into a shell script, when I need to mass convert audio or video files. I don't see how a graphical user interface would ease the job, but I guess it depends a little on what and how you're doing exactly. A typical script would use find to create a list of the files to be converted, a loop of some kind in the script to go through them all, and possibly some fine-tuning, for example to get nicer filenames (i.e. .mp3 instead of .xxx.mp3). Though I only convert if it's really "a must", because it won't make the audio quality any better, usually only worse.

Unless you have some really exotic formats, one engine should do for you. For example GStreamer and the plugins, which you are usually able to install with one command. If you feel you keep needing several programs and engines, you're probably doing things with too much complexity Distros usually do come with some audio system installed out of the box, be it GStreamer, Xine or something else, so all you need to do is install the "non-open/nonfree" plugins for that system, nothing else...

Lastly, as good as it sounds, I wouldn't go about re-encoding all my audio into some open format (especially if I didn't have all the original audio media available for ripping again when needed), because even today very rare cadgets play those formats. It might be a huge work, and if you later end up having to move to another format, it's again a huge work (and possibly means losing quality further). It's a pain in the digital media, but it seems mp3 would be a good bet (and about the only one) if you want to go through the conversion, as most devices will play it (old and new) whereas other formats are less well supported.
 
Old 04-04-2010, 10:56 AM   #7
spoovy
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Cheers guys, I think ffmpeg and audio-converter would do the job, in a script.

But maybe I need to think a bit more about it, I hadn't considered loss of audio quality. Turns out I would probably be losing quite a lot, and unable to get it back. Maybe i'm better off just dealing with the hassle. I know that in theory I should be able to stick to one audio package, but it just never seems to work out in practice without me installing everything!

Since when did anything that works in theory ever work in practice!
 
Old 04-04-2010, 12:45 PM   #8
brucehinrichs
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If you decide not to convert, I would look again at Fingers of Fudges' reply:
Quote:
Rather than converting why not just install VLC? It's pretty rock solid, it even plays partial files and I've never found anything it couldn't play.
 
Old 04-04-2010, 03:05 PM   #9
spoovy
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vlc is great I use it all the time, in fact its the only video player I ever use. But I prefer other audio players (namely moc, amarok, audacious)
 
Old 04-04-2010, 03:12 PM   #10
jschiwal
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Usually it is simply a matter of adding a repository for restricted media before installing multimedia apps. You would still need to add codecs anyway, but the repos apps will be built with things like mp3 support.
 
  


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