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Which is best audio or video converter on Linux?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Mateo, Radu Rădeanu, Warren Hill, Alvar, Eric Carvalho Aug 3 '13 at 22:59

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This question is highly subjective (and vague) and likely to be closed. I suggest you add some detail and be more specific about your needs. – RolandiXor May 5 '13 at 5:41
"closed" :( Thanks a lot moderators. This question was very important to me. ... did you notice that it was viewed twenty thousand times? – Mina Michael Jan 2 '14 at 15:43

I'm focusing on video converters here, although ffmpeg or mencoder can encode audio as well.

Graphical interface


From its homepage:

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder.

Easy to use GUI with presets for various hardware devices; can rip DVDs with ease.


From its homepage:

avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.

Also rather easy to use. It is somewhat comparable to Virtualdub on Windows.


VLC provides and easily accessible converting function in Media->Convert/Save. An instruction is given here.

Command line interface

FFmpeg (or its fork avconv) ###

From its homepage:

FFmpeg is a complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. It includes libavcodec - the leading audio/video codec library.


ffmpeg -i input.mkv -c:v mjpeg -b 2000k -c:a libmp3lame -ab 128k -ar 44100 -vf denoise3d,scale=640:360 output.avi


mencoder is part of the mplayer project, so it shares the same syntax.


mencoder input.wmv -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=3000 -oac mp3lame -lameopts cbr:br=160 -vf denoise3d,scale=640:360 -o output.avi 


Handbrake also has a command line interface.

Codec restrictions due to software patents

Be aware that due to software patents, some programs in the standard Ubuntu repositories don't include certain codecs (H264 encoding is a prominent example).

Workarounds for stripped down binaries:

Enable the Medibuntu repositories:

sudo -E wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get --quiet update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Use a prebuilt static binary

For example, you can download FFmpeg with all codecs supported here:

If you want to run that binary, don't forget to call it with the full path; otherwise the ffmpeg of Ubuntu will be run.

Build the binaries for yourself...

...and include everything you want. This is of course the most tedious solution.

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For ffmpeg, at least, there is a pretty comprehensive compilation guide on the ffmpeg wiki. – evilsoup Nov 16 '14 at 13:36

That depends on what you mean by Best. There are a lot of them out there. ffmpeg (avconv) is my favourite one. It is a complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. It includes libavcodec - the leading audio/video codec library. You can find more information from

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A best video/audio converter of choice is WINFF (GUI of ffmpeg is here )

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – fossfreedom Aug 1 '13 at 13:36

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