is it possible to convert mp3 to ogg via command line?

I'd like to just in a bulk swoop convert my mp3 files to ogg so i can play them in firefox without any issues.

  • firefox should play mp3 files just fine
    – mchid
    Oct 12, 2015 at 9:39

9 Answers 9


Searching for packages matching ogg, I found dir2ogg which seems to be exactly what you want. Just

sudo apt-get install dir2ogg
dir2ogg -r /path/to/mp3s/

And it recursively finds and converts all mp3 files under /path/to/mp3s/ to ogg (assuming I read the manual correctly).


Use a combination of FFMPEG and String Manipulation.

Change into the folder where your mp3's are located:

cd mp3folder

One example is to use a simple "for" loop:

for file in *.mp3
  do ffmpeg -i "${file}" "${file/%mp3/ogg}"

The double quotes prevent spaces in the filenames being treated as 'newlines'.

ffmpeg has several options to include in the conversion like codecs, bitrate, sample size, stereo/mono, etc... The above is the most generic conversion with default settings.

  • Excellent. dir2ogg didn't work on wheezy but this answer worked like a charm
    – Onimusha
    Dec 18, 2013 at 9:03
  • dir2ogg didn't work for me either, but I was converting m4a-->ogg. <a href="linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-general-1/…" title= linuxquestions.org">lq</a> but the for loop above did(replacing ffmpeg with avconv). When converting m4a/mp3 to ogg with the above process, the file size increases by 9 times. However, if you first convert m4a to mp3 and then mp3 to ogg, file size only 4x larger. <pre><code>avconv -i "ManjusriMantra.m4a" "ManjusriMantra.mp3" wait avconv -i "ManjusriMantra.mp3" "ManjusriMantra.ogg" <code><pre>
    – afc888ny
    Mar 14, 2016 at 4:04
  • this worked for me: ffmpeg -i sound.mp3 -c:a libvorbis -q:a 10 sound.ogg Highest quality setting, still noticeably worse than original. The default settings didn't work for me at all (on Cygwin, so sue me :)), but this question had good info: superuser.com/questions/273797/convert-mp3-to-ogg-vorbis
    – Kai Carver
    Oct 12, 2016 at 10:32

Be careful with conversions from MP3, M4A, etc. to OGG because the result may sound poor!

Warning: Both MP3 and OGG are lossy formats, unlike say WAV or FLAC. This means that they achieve their compression in great part by throwing away bits of audio information that are imperceptible to the human ear (called psychoacoustics [wikipedia])

When you encode (transcode) from one lossy format to another, most of those psychoacoustically redundant bits are already gone, so the transcoding quality will suffer and may even be "hearable" in the result. Hence, it isn't recommended to do such conversions unless absolutely necessary.

Minimize the effect if you do so by choosing a higher destination bit-rate than the source bit-rate

If you do this MP3-to-OGG conversion, you can minimize the chance of artifacts (poor quality) by using a higher destination bitrate than the source bitrate, e.g if your MP3s are at 128 kbps, try using Ogg at -q7 (variable bitrate level 7), which is usually around ~200 kbps.

You can pass the -q option to dir2ogg (available in the repos as @geirha mentioned) which should do what you want.


you can use the avconv a gpl program, I did a shell for exemplify (run it on folder with the .mp3 files):

if hash avconv > /dev/null; then
    for file in *.mp3
        do avconv -i "${file}" "`echo ${file%.mp3}.ogg`";
    echo "avconv not found"

or a more simple version, without validation of avconv installation:

for file in *.mp3
    do avconv -i "${file}" "`echo ${file%.mp3}.ogg`";
  • 1
    NOTE: The avconv package is a recent branch/fork of ffmpeg, with similar syntax and features.
    – david6
    Jun 13, 2014 at 19:26
  • NOTE 2: ffmpeg is officially deprecated and explicitly mentions that you should use avconv instead.
    – ashes999
    Dec 18, 2014 at 14:06
  • 2
    @ashes999 what on earth makes you say ffmpeg is deprecated? It's 2022 and still going strong. ffserver was deprecated
    – Kibi
    Feb 23, 2022 at 13:46

The parsing/replacing of mp3 by ogg is incorrect. The correct form should be:

for file in *.mp3;

   do ffmpeg -i "${file}" -acodec libvorbis "${file%mp3}ogg";


There is also soundconverter. It supports both GUI and CLI and can perform bulk transformations in both modes.


Here's one using mplayer I think this is faster than avconv. Although, firefox should play mp3 files natively.

for f in *.mp3; do
 newname=`echo $f | tr ' ' '_' `
 mv "$f" $newname
 mplayer $f -novideo -ao pcm:file=tmp.wav
 lame -V 0 -q 0 tmp.wav ${f/.mp3/.ogg}
 rm -f tmp.wav

In case you are doing only audio use the below code [else FF doesn't play the .ogg]

for file in *.mp3;
   do ffmpeg -i "${file}" -acodec libvorbis "${file/%mp3/ogg}"; 

This looks like it might solve your problem http://www.perturb.org/display/entry/687/

  • Can you elaborate on what "it" is? It would add more context to your answer and enhance its usability if the link you reference were to one day disappear =)
    – SaultDon
    Jun 7, 2012 at 21:17
  • Was going to do as you suggest but then saw geirha's answer, which seems much better than mine so I've upvoted it. Jun 7, 2012 at 21:40

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