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I've been experimenting with different audio transcoders like ffmpeg, mplayer and LAME.

Does anyone have a qualitative comparison between the different audio transcoders that can be accessed through the terminal?

In my project I will be using these tools to do only two things

  1. Transcode a 30 second clip of input.mp3 file to create output.wav
  2. Crop a 30 second clip of input.mp3 to create output.mp3 WITHOUT transcoding
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

lame is about the simplest without having to use a gui front end, as for cropping the resulting mp3 you can use mp3splt to split the mp3 into the part you want and the part you can discard without recoding:

lame file.wav file.mp3

The following chops file into 10 minute slices:

mp3splt -t 10.00 file.mp3
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Sorry not on a linux machine at the moment but can lame go from .mp3 input to .wav output? –  user784637 Sep 19 '11 at 19:30
    
Answering my own comment above, yes you can but you can't change the audio sampling frequency when you decode to wave =( –  user784637 Sep 22 '11 at 8:02
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