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I tried with:

$ ffmpeg -i music.m4a music.mp3

but I got a zero bytes file. The output was:

FFmpeg version 0.6-4:0.6-2ubuntu6.2, Copyright (c) 2000-2010 the FFmpeg developers
  built on Sep 16 2011 17:11:24 with gcc 4.4.5
  configuration: --extra-version=4:0.6-2ubuntu6.2 --prefix=/usr --enable-avfilter --enable-avfilter-lavf --enable-vdpau --enable-bzlib --enable-libgsm --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-vaapi --enable-pthreads --enable-zlib --enable-libvpx --disable-stripping --enable-runtime-cpudetect --enable-gpl --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libdc1394 --enable-shared --disable-static
  WARNING: library configuration mismatch
  libavutil   configuration: --extra-version=4:0.6-2ubuntu6.2 --prefix=/usr --enable-avfilter --enable-avfilter-lavf --enable-vdpau --enable-bzlib --enable-libgsm --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-vaapi --enable-pthreads --enable-zlib --enable-libvpx --disable-stripping --enable-runtime-cpudetect --enable-gpl --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libdc1394 --shlibdir=/usr/lib/i686/cmov --cpu=i686 --enable-shared --disable-static --disable-ffmpeg --disable-ffplay
  libavcodec  configuration: --extra-version=4:0.6-2ubuntu6.2 --prefix=/usr --enable-avfilter --enable-avfilter-lavf --enable-vdpau --enable-bzlib --enable-libgsm --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-vaapi --enable-pthreads --enable-zlib --enable-libvpx --disable-stripping --enable-runtime-cpudetect --enable-gpl --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libdc1394 --shlibdir=/usr/lib/i686/cmov --cpu=i686 --enable-shared --disable-static --disable-ffmpeg --disable-ffplay
  libavformat configuration: --extra-version=4:0.6-2ubuntu6.2 --prefix=/usr --enable-avfilter --enable-avfilter-lavf --enable-vdpau --enable-bzlib --enable-libgsm --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-vaapi --enable-pthreads --enable-zlib --enable-libvpx --disable-stripping --enable-runtime-cpudetect --enable-gpl --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libdc1394 --shlibdir=/usr/lib/i686/cmov --cpu=i686 --enable-shared --disable-static --disable-ffmpeg --disable-ffplay
  libavdevice configuration: --extra-version=4:0.6-2ubuntu6.2 --prefix=/usr --enable-avfilter --enable-avfilter-lavf --enable-vdpau --enable-bzlib --enable-libgsm --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-vaapi --enable-pthreads --enable-zlib --enable-libvpx --disable-stripping --enable-runtime-cpudetect --enable-gpl --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libdc1394 --shlibdir=/usr/lib/i686/cmov --cpu=i686 --enable-shared --disable-static --disable-ffmpeg --disable-ffplay
  libavfilter configuration: --extra-version=4:0.6-2ubuntu6.2 --prefix=/usr --enable-avfilter --enable-avfilter-lavf --enable-vdpau --enable-bzlib --enable-libgsm --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-vaapi --enable-pthreads --enable-zlib --enable-libvpx --disable-stripping --enable-runtime-cpudetect --enable-gpl --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libdc1394 --shlibdir=/usr/lib/i686/cmov --cpu=i686 --enable-shared --disable-static --disable-ffmpeg --disable-ffplay
  libswscale  configuration: --extra-version=4:0.6-2ubuntu6.2 --prefix=/usr --enable-avfilter --enable-avfilter-lavf --enable-vdpau --enable-bzlib --enable-libgsm --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-vaapi --enable-pthreads --enable-zlib --enable-libvpx --disable-stripping --enable-runtime-cpudetect --enable-gpl --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libdc1394 --shlibdir=/usr/lib/i686/cmov --cpu=i686 --enable-shared --disable-static --disable-ffmpeg --disable-ffplay
  libpostproc configuration: --extra-version=4:0.6-2ubuntu6.2 --prefix=/usr --enable-avfilter --enable-avfilter-lavf --enable-vdpau --enable-bzlib --enable-libgsm --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-vaapi --enable-pthreads --enable-zlib --enable-libvpx --disable-stripping --enable-runtime-cpudetect --enable-gpl --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libdc1394 --shlibdir=/usr/lib/i686/cmov --cpu=i686 --enable-shared --disable-static --disable-ffmpeg --disable-ffplay
  libavutil     50.15. 1 / 50.15. 1
  libavcodec    52.72. 2 / 52.72. 2
  libavformat   52.64. 2 / 52.64. 2
  libavdevice   52. 2. 0 / 52. 2. 0
  libavfilter    1.19. 0 /  1.19. 0
  libswscale     0.11. 0 /  0.11. 0
  libpostproc   51. 2. 0 / 51. 2. 0
Input #0, mov,mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2, from 'music.m4a':
  Metadata:
    major_brand     : M4A 
    minor_version   : 0
    compatible_brands: M4A mp42isom
  Duration: 00:00:03.41, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 66 kb/s
    Stream #0.0(und): Audio: aac, 44100 Hz, mono, s16, 63 kb/s
Output #0, mp3, to 'music.mp3':
    Stream #0.0(und): Audio: 0x0000, 44100 Hz, mono, s16, 64 kb/s
Stream mapping:
  Stream #0.0 -> #0.0
Encoder (codec id 86017) not found for output stream #0.0
share|improve this question
    
Install avconv and use this script: gist.github.com/bradenbest/cfba10c9df4b4c0daaab. You can also configure the fformat and tformat vars to change what audio formats you're converting between. –  B1KMusic Dec 5 at 23:03

8 Answers 8

As Denilson Sá says ffmpeg is deprecated, this worked for me on Ubuntu 14.04:

avconv -i input.m4a ouptut.mp3
share|improve this answer

Nautilus Script

This Nautilus Script allows user to convert selected file(s) like m4a files --skipping any mp3 or non-audio files-- to mp3 format in the same location using ffmpeg. The new mp3 files will have the highest variable bitrate and preserve most tags, except the year.

#!/bin/sh
#Nautilus Script to convert selected file(s) - excluding any non-audio and MP3 file(s) - to MP3 format at highest quality with VBR (Variable Bit Rate)
OLDIFS=$IFS
IFS="
"
for filename in $@; do
filetype="$(file -bi "$filename" | awk -F "; " '{print $1}' | awk -F "/" '{print $1}')"
if [ "$filetype" != audio ]; then
echo "Skip non-audio file"
else
filesubtype="$(file -bi "$filename" | awk -F "; " '{print $1}' | awk -F "/" '{print $2}')"
if [ "$filesubtype" != mpeg ]; then
file_name_in=$(basename "$filename")
file_name_out="$(basename "$filename" | sed 's/\.[^.]*$//').mp3"
ffmpeg -loglevel quiet -y -i "$file_name_in" -acodec libmp3lame -aq 0 "$file_name_out"
fi
fi
done
IFS=$OLDIFS
/usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="dialog-information" &
notify-send "Selected file(s) converted to MP3 format, excluding any non-audio and MP3 file(s)" -i gtk-dialog-info -t 5 -u normal
share|improve this answer

I created a script to do this.

My requirements were:

  • Must maintain as many tags as possible
  • Must retain album artwork if exists
  • Must be 320K mp3s

Works on all m4a files in a directory, and outputs the new shiny Mp3s into a folder the script creates called Mp3. Warning; this script overwrites existing Mp3s in the output folder if they have the same name. Also uses files 'metadata.txt' and 'metadata2.txt' as temp files.

You'll need to install avconv if it doesn't exist already.

I couldn't figure out how to persist the 'Year' tag into ID3v1 tags, so I didn't enable that option.

#!/bin/bash
files=*.m4a
#create output folder if it doesnt exist
if [ ! -d Mp3 ]; then
        mkdir Mp3
fi

for file in $files; do
        mp3File=${file/%m4a/mp3}
        avconv -y -i "${file}" -f ffmetadata metadata.txt
        sed -e 's/^date=\(.*\)$/TYER=\1/' -e 's/^major_brand=.*$//' -e 's/^minor_version=.*$//' -e 's/^creation.*$//' -e 's/^compatible.*$//' -e 's/^encoder=.*$//' <metadata.txt >metadata2.txt
        avconv -y -i "${file}" -i metadata2.txt -ab 320k -map_metadata 1 -id3v2_version 3 "Mp3/${mp3File}"
done

Save it as 'convert.b', and then run the script by typing:

% bash convert.b
share|improve this answer

SoundConverter can do this without having to mess around on the command-line, and it's available in the Ubuntu Software Center:

Install via the software center

soundcoverter main window and prefs

conversion inprogress

share|improve this answer
    
If you have your files tagged by MusicBrainz, then find another solution: bugs.launchpad.net/soundconverter/+bug/1174949 –  HDave Oct 5 '13 at 4:51

On Ubuntu 11.04, I solved the problem this way: http://diogomelo.net/blog/11/encoder-codec-id-86017-not-found-output-stream-00-compile-ffmpeg-yourself

share|improve this answer
    
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. Imagine the linked site goes down for maintenance or forever - your answer would become worthless. –  htorque Oct 17 '11 at 12:43

You probably need the unrestricted libav packages in medibuntu repository. Personally I would compile the latest ffmpeg with all codecs, as easy as 123 http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=786095

share|improve this answer
1  
If you don't want to compile ffmpeg: sudo apt-get install libavcodec-extra-53 –  z7sg Jul 21 '12 at 11:31
up vote -4 down vote accepted

Found! It can be done online here: http://media.io/

share|improve this answer

The simple way to do it is:

ffmpeg -v 5 -y -i input.m4a -acodec libmp3lame -ac 2 -ab 192k output.mp3

If you want a script to wrap that, try aac2mp3, which should work for you. (The syntax for that last statement was pulled from there.) Inline code included below:

#!/bin/bash
#
# $Id: aac2mp3,v 1.2  03/30/2008 10:00 Daniel Tavares (dantavares@gmail.com) - 
# Based on Script -  rali Exp $
#
#
# Convert one or more AAC/M4A files to MP3.  Based on a script example
# I found at: http://gimpel.gi.funpic.de/Howtos/convert_aac/index.html
#
ME=`basename ${0}`
FFMPEG="/usr/bin/ffmpeg"
EXT="mp4"
BITRATE="128"
do_usage() {            # explanatory text
 echo "usage: ${ME} [-b nnn] [-e ext] [-f] [-c] [-r] [-v] [-h] [file list]"
 echo "       Convert music from AAC format to MP3"
 echo "  -m /path/app  Specify the location of ffmpeg(1)"
 echo "  -b nnn        bitrate for mp3 encoder to use"
 echo "  -e ext        Use .ext rather than .m4a extension"
 echo "  -f            Force overwrite of existing file"
 echo "  -c            Delete original AAC|M4A file(s)"
 echo "  -v            Verbose output"
 echo "  -h            This information"
 echo ""
 echo "For recursive directory, use: find -name '*.${EXT}' -exec ${ME} "{}" [args]     \;"
 exit 0
 }
do_error() {
 echo "$*"
 exit 1
 }
file_overwrite_check() {
 if [ "$FORCE" != "yes" ]
 then
   test -f "${1}" && do_error "${1} already exists."
 else
   test -f "${1}" && echo "  ${1} is being overwritten."
 fi
 }
create_mp3() {  # use ffmpeg(1) to convert from AAC to MP3
 file_overwrite_check "${2}"
 test $VERBOSE && echo -n "Converting file: ${1}"
 ${FFMPEG} -v 5 -y -i "${1}" -acodec libmp3lame -ac 2 -ab ${BITRATE}k "${2}";
 if [ $? -ne 0 ]
 then
   echo ""
   echo "Error!"
   do_cleanup
   do_error "Exiting"
 fi
 test $VERBOSE && echo ".  OK"
 }
do_cleanup() {  # Delete intermediate and (optionally) original file(s)
 test ${RMM4A} && rm -f "${1}"
 test $VERBOSE && echo ".  OK"
 }
do_set_bitrate() {
 test $VERBOSE && echo -n "Setting bitrate to: $1 kbps"
 BITRATE=$1
 test $VERBOSE && echo ".  OK"
 }
GETOPT=`getopt -o l:m:b:e:cfhrv -n ${ME} -- "$@"`
if [ $? -ne 0 ]
then
 do_usage
fi
eval set -- "$GETOPT"
while true
do
 case "$1" in
   -m) FFMPEG=$2 ; shift ; shift ;;
   -b) do_set_bitrate $2 ; shift ; shift ;;
   -e) EXT=$2 ; shift ; shift ;;
   -f) FORCE="yes" ; shift ;;
   -c) RMM4A="yes" ; shift ;;
   -v) VERBOSE="yes" ; shift ;;
   -h) do_usage ;;
   --) shift ; break ;;
    *)  do_usage ;;
 esac
done
test -f $FFMPEG || do_error "$FFMPEG not found. Use \"-m\" switch."
if [ $# -eq 0 ]
then                    # Convert all files in current directory
 for IFILE in *.${EXT}
 do
   if [ "${IFILE}" == "*.${EXT}" ]
   then
     do_error "Not found ${EXT} in this folder."
   fi
   OUT=`echo "${IFILE}" | sed -e "s/\.${EXT}//g"`
   create_mp3 "${IFILE}" "${OUT}.mp3"
   do_cleanup "${IFILE}" 
 done
else                    # Convert listed files
 for IFILE in "$*"
 do
   test -f "${IFILE}" || do_error "${IFILE} not found."  
   OUT=`echo "${IFILE}" | sed -e "s/\.${EXT}//g"`    
   create_mp3 "${IFILE}" "${OUT}.mp3"
   do_cleanup "${IFILE}"    
 done    
fi   
exit 0
share|improve this answer
1  
Got (after many lines of text): Unknown encoder 'libmp3lame' Error! Exiting. With apt-get I can see libmp3lame0 and libmp3lame-dev. I tried to install libmp3lame0, but nothing changed. –  Tom Brito Oct 11 '11 at 19:45
    
ffmpeg has been replaced by avconv in newer Ubuntu/Debian releases. See askubuntu.com/questions/432542/… and install libav-tools –  Denilson Sá May 25 at 18:05

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