Ubuntu – How to convert music between formats and keep its metadata


I tried to use Sound Converter to convert several folders of files from .m4a to .mp3 format and lost all file metadata in the conversion. I used Ubuntu 10.04 LTS with Sound Converter 1.4.4-2.

Is this expected? Should I be using another program to perform this function on Ubuntu?

Best Answer

I tested soundconverter 1.4.4-2 using maverick and a sample Apple lossless in the .m4a container from here: http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/lossless/, the metadata is preserved after conversion to .mp3, I verified this with the Banshee media player,Totem and Rhythmbox, I even made copies of the file and tried a batch conversion and all files converted to .mp3 has the original metadata, I converted a .flac lossless to .mp4 also and again the metadata in the .flac was carried over to the .mp4 file, even the cover art from the flac file was there, I then converted the .mp4 audio file to .mp3 and the metadata was still there, I also used Easytag-aac to embed a cover art in the .m4a file and after conversion I was able to see the cover art in the .mp3 file when playing with Banshee.

From my experience here I would say that the loss of metadata after conversion with soundconverter should not be the expected outcome. Even this dated thread http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=138419&page=3 from the Ubuntu forum shows that soundconverter is supposed to retain the tags in the output format.