I would like to keep only the original copies of my music on my computer, and then optionally transcode them if necessary when transferring them to my MP3 player. What can I use to accomplish this?

  • Which media players have this ability built-in?
  • Can I set up a transcoder to watch a folder for files to be transcoded and then moved to my MP3 player?
  • What potential is there for creating the functionality I need using a media player's plugin or scripting interface?

3 Answers 3


Rhythmbox already has this functionality. All you need to do in order to use it is to describe your device for Rhythmbox to know its capabilities. Quote from https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Rhythmbox/FAQ :

Create a .is_audio_player file on the device. You can set a few fields in this file to override the media-player-info device information like this:


Describe where the music is stored on the device as well as which formats it is capable of playing and Rhythmbox will transfer everything compatible directly and transcode everything incompatible. :)

  • Banshee also follows this.
    – Oli
    Commented Oct 17, 2010 at 7:43


SoundConverter can transcode your music files from various locations to one location. Once you start it up, go to Edit -> Preferences and edit the format, quality and output folder as you need:

SoundConverter Preferences

You can then close the preferences window and use the main interface to add your music folders (normally just ~/Music).

Add Music

Once it has finished loading the music, you can press the 'Convert' button and it will convert all of the listed files, putting the output files into the folder you chose in Preferences.

It is a simple program, and doesn't have the 'watch folder' functionality, but is good for one off transcodings. When you get new music, you can convert just those files/folders.


Amarok tries to tell what your media player can play, and if it can't handle what you are trying to put onto it, it transcodes them before transferring them to it.

Banshee also can do this, but I have never had any experience with it. You can, however, choose what codec it transcodes into by going to Edit > Preferences > Encoding.

In terms of scripting, you could make a bash, or similar, script that would do the exact functionality using a number of tools, however I don't know about media player built-in functionality.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .