10 Great Apps to Convert Audio & Video Files in Linux

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With the different audio and video formats available, there is often the need to inter convert amongst them – sometimes for quality and sometimes for compatibility. Here are some of the better software, that you can use to achieve the inter conversions on your Linux box.

Sound Converter

Available via the package manager, Sound converter provides basic batch audio file conversion. Select the files or drop in an entire folder, choose the output format and bitrate from within Edit > Preferences and basically, you’re done.


Gnormalize is a GTK based tool for audio conversion. In addition to converting audio (between mp3, mp4, mpc, wav, ogg, ape and flac), Gnormalize can adjust the volume of sound files to compensate for varying recording levels. You can also use Gnormalize to rip CDs, edit metadata and play your songs as well.


KDE users can try SoundKonverter. It has all the features of Gnormalize like reading tags, replay gain calculation but supports a few additional audio file formats.

OggConvert, WaoN and flac

You always have a plenty of choices at your disposal when choosing software in Linux. Here are some command line tools that are good for specific audio conversion tasks. OggConvert provides you tools to convert almost all major audio formats into Ogg. flac and WaoN are good to use use when working with Flac or mid files respectively.

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Then there is SoX – Sound eXchange. Although not just a conversion tool, geeks swear by it. You just cannot write an article about sound and not mention SoX. It does some hundred different amazing things and is rightly called the “Swiss Army Knife” of sound-processing programs.


FFmpeg pretty rules the roost here. You can get all geeky and learn the command line switches or you can try WinFF. WinFF provides a frontend to FFmpeg. It works on Windows and Mac as well. It (actually FFmpeg) can be used for batch conversion of audio and video files. Just add the file(s) you wish to convert, choose the desired format, apply device presets if you desire. Once you are set, hit the Convert button and out pops the command line with one big ass command! Glad we don’t have to type in that ourselves, thanks to WinFF.

You can do pretty amazing things with WinFF or FFmpeg in general. We saw how we can use it to create actions so that you can convert video for your iPod with a right click in Nautilus. Studying the command line that WinFF pops out, you can create more of such custom actions. You can for example, write an action to extract audio out of videos, the possibilities are endless.


Handbrake is a popular multi-platform video transcoder. It can be used to convert DVDs to MP4, MKV, AVI and OGM. It offers additional features like chapter selection, burning subtitle into the picture, cropping and scaling.


If Handbrake converts your DVDs to MP4s, DeVeDe takes in video files and creates DVDs and CDs that you can run on your regular home CD/DVD players. DeVeDe is available for Windows as well.

There are plenty of choices for you to consider and choose from if you are looking for some good Audio/Video converters for Linux. Did we miss out on your favorite software? Let us know in the comments

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23 Comments - Write a Comment



AVI isn’t supported anymore in the SVN HandBrake thankfully. Death to AVI container. ffmpeg terminal is the bomb…Yo! Educate yourself.

Say Huh?

How is it ever a good thing when a format converter stops supporting a format? By its very definition, a format converter should support as many formats as possible.

I understand that you don’t like AVI but, it should never be removed. It’s one thing to not develop support for a particular format but, to remove pre-existing support for a format is stupid.


no u

this is what i love about linux, when you find a program you want its in the wrong package format. this is why linux is not for the average desktop user



Thanks, I didn’t know about winff.

Avidemux is also very good which I use regularly. Available in the repositories.



I had no idea about all this.. used to think if vlc cant support it then that file is of no use :)

Thanks for the info!



Arista can transcode too.

What I’d really appreciate is the most user-friendly way, on Linux, to convert videos for the android 2nd gen phone (htc magic).



File conversion is the crown jewel of Linux and this is a handy guide.



You might be able to use one of these to convert a file to mkv, but try and watch it using Linux. The codecs for HD aren’t up to the task.



Another great tool is Mobile Media Converter from MIKSOFT, I prefer this to WinFF, and it also converts Youtube videos direct from the website.


Rambo Tribble

Whither LAME? Does it not bear inclusion amongst the “command line tools”?



I think the best video converter out there is “Fuoco tools”
Not in the repo bu a great how to can be found on ubuntu forums

Kimme Utsi

Thanks for this little tip. Will test out Fuoco tols on my Jaunty.


Lukáš Polívka

There is also Transmaggedon and Arista. Both for Gnome & Gstreamer-based. They should have compatible ‘presets’, only Transmaggedon is based more on bleeding-edge Gstreamer features, Arista relies on stable Gstreamer.



Yeah, WinFF pretty much pwnz :) I love it, works great to convert vids to my rockboxed Sansa e260.



Cool apps! thanks! I’v submitted a link of this article to linuxine.com in order to share it with more people.



Nice little write up and appreciate the all inclusive links. I have always considered ffmpeg and sound converter pretty much all I ever need but nice to have options. For ripping though I have always liked Acid Rip and MEncoder is a must have. Acid Rip can be found here http://untrepid.com/acidrip/



Thanks from one Varun to another… good job! will really be helpful



I use ffmpeg gui which runs on mono



Also check out firefogg.org cross platform browser extension to convert files into the ogg theora format :)



I was wondering about some good convert apps for Linux are, thanks for this.



I’m surprised that no one has mentioned LiVES yet. It’s not pretty, but it certainly is powerful in the video and audio editing side. (lives.sourceforge.net/)
I guess converting is more a bonus for LiVES than the main feature.



I have just discovered Gnac (GNOME Audio Converter). They have just released a new version with amazing features like customizable folder hierarchy (I like to have my music organized like genre/artist/year – album/). The interface is really nice and very intuitive too.



To convert video files in linux, http://sourceforge.net/projects/orsvc/

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