When I run youtube-dl and extract the audio it gives me the error:
ERROR: audio conversion failed: Unknown encoder 'libmp3lame'
Could this be because I have ffmpeg and lame installed? Do the two conflict with eachother somehow?

  • try xtreme video download manager for downloading videos
    – Dinse Das
    Jan 2, 2014 at 1:28

3 Answers 3


Make sure that you have the libavcodec-extra-53 package for encoding to mp3 installed. To install libavcodec-extra-53 from the terminal run:

sudo apt-get install libavcodec-extra-53  

Libav codec library:
Libav is a complete, cross-platform solution to decode, encode, record, convert and stream audio and video.

  • In Ubuntu 14.04 the Libav codec library (libavcodec-extra-53) has been updated to libavcodec-extra-54.
  • In Ubuntu 15.10 and 16.04 the Libav codec library has been updated to libavcodec-ffmpeg-extra56.
  • In Ubuntu 16.10, 17.04, 17.10, and 18.04 Libav codec library has been updated to libavcodec-extra57.
  • In Ubuntu 18.10, 19.04, 19.10, 20.04, 20.10, 21.04, 21.10 and 22.04 Libav codec library has been updated to libavcodec-extra58.

I just had the same problem but installing that package didn't work for me. When I ran this command, the problem was solved: sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras.


If you're getting this error running youtube-dl on a server check out this example for how I solved it for running python app on heroku: https://github.com/rg3/youtube-dl/issues/302#issuecomment-60146845

The steps were

  1. make sure lame is installed (I used a buildpack) and
  2. make sure ffprobe is installed

There are presumably other ways: --extract-audio "requires ffmpeg or avconv and ffprobe or avprobe" https://github.com/rg3/youtube-dl#post-processing-options

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