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I have some ALAC files (.m4a) that I want to convert to FLAC (.flac). How can I do this?

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I tried SoundConverter but it could not convert even if I installed gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad. – N.N. Apr 19 '12 at 11:13
up vote 7 down vote accepted
  1. Install ffmpeg:

    sudo apt-get install ffmpeg
  2. Files can be converted to FLAC from ALAC via the command ffmpeg -i audio.m4a -acodec flac audio.flac. To do this for a while directory of files go to that directory (cd path) and issue the following:

    for f in *.m4a; do ffmpeg -i "$f" "${f%.m4a}.flac"; done
  3. (Optional)

For reference see and

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What would the command be to convert to an uncompressed flac file? – markrich Apr 23 '14 at 18:44

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