PDA

View Full Version : Batch Convert m4a to mp3 and Keep Tags



soxfan
2009-07-30, 06:16
My music collection is made up primarily of flac and mp3 files. Occasionally for one reason or another I get some m4a files. For consistency purposes, and also for being able to play the files across a larger range of devices, I would like to convert the m4a files to mp3 files. I'm primarily a Linux user and I've come across a real basic couple line script that takes care of the conversion, but unfortunately it doesn't bring over the tags. With the number of files we are talking about it is not really that big of a deal for me to manually re-tag the mp3 files, but I figured it was worth asking if anyone knows of a program that will do the conversion AND keep the tags. Like I said, I'm primarily a Linux user, but if there is a Windows-only program I am OK with that. Because this is only a once in a while thing I'm really looking for something that is free.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
John

maggior
2009-07-30, 06:47
Do you have an Windows machine that can access the .m4a and .flac files via a SAMBA share from your Linux box? If so, you can use either dbpoweramp or foobar2000 to do this. They both will carry tags over when a conversion is performed.

I don't know about any native Linux tools that would do that for you.

ajkidle
2009-07-30, 07:13
dbPowerAmp isn't native to Linux, but can be run via Wine. I'm using it on Ubuntu without issue. Should preserve your tags.

soxfan
2009-07-30, 07:29
Thanks for the suggestions on dbpoweramp. I've read lots of good things about the program over the years, here and in other forums. Am I wrong in thinking that this program is not free though? I thought I've read where it costs $30 or so. Certainly reasonable, but it's not like I'm going to use it all the time. I'll have to take a look at foobar2000.

Thanks again,
John

jo-wie
2009-07-30, 07:50
Not Linux.

http://www.xrecode.com/

maggior
2009-07-30, 08:10
Thanks for the suggestions on dbpoweramp. I've read lots of good things about the program over the years, here and in other forums. Am I wrong in thinking that this program is not free though? I thought I've read where it costs $30 or so. Certainly reasonable, but it's not like I'm going to use it all the time. I'll have to take a look at foobar2000.

Thanks again,
John

There is a free version. The key things missing from the free version are that you cannot encode LAME mp3 (you can only use the old BLADE encoder) and you cannot set it up to delete the original source file once the conversion has been made. The CDE ripper is either not part of the free version or is very limited.

LAME mp3, aside from better encoding, also creates gapless tags that are used by many players (iPod, Squeezebox, etc.).

A free application that will do LAME mp3 would be foobar2000.

Since you are converting from m4a, I'm not sure how that will work under Wine on Linux. It may require QuickTime to be installed - not sure how that would work under Wine.

soxfan
2009-07-30, 09:51
Thanks again for all the info. I've at least briefly looked at all three suggested programs. Seems like dBpoweramp running under Wine may be a winner.

As far as converting from m4a with dBpoweramp running under Wine, I was able to install the m4a codec and it seems to be working fine.

One follow up question however. When converting to mp3 the only option showing up says it is using LAME. Do I have the LAME option available only because I'm running under the 30 day trial period? If this is the case, after 30 days will the mp3 option totally disappear or will it automatically fall back to BLADE?

Foobar2000 looks like it might be an option as well. It seems to run fine under Wine. The only thing I need to look at further is when I went to convert the m4a files the program wants me to point to the lame.exe executable. I guess I have to find and install that separately?

Thanks,
John

maggior
2009-07-30, 10:00
Thanks again for all the info. I've at least briefly looked at all three suggested programs. Seems like dBpoweramp running under Wine may be a winner.

As far as converting from m4a with dBpoweramp running under Wine, I was able to install the m4a codec and it seems to be working fine.

One follow up question however. When converting to mp3 the only option showing up says it is using LAME. Do I have the LAME option available only because I'm running under the 30 day trial period? If this is the case, after 30 days will the mp3 option totally disappear or will it automatically fall back to BLADE?

Yes.



Foobar2000 looks like it might be an option as well. It seems to run fine under Wine. The only thing I need to look at further is when I went to convert the m4a files the program wants me to point to the lame.exe executable. I guess I have to find and install that separately?


Yes. If you search the internet for "lame mp3 download" you should find a windows binary. You can also check the forums at www.hydrogenaudio.org

Good luck!