Audio Conversion – How to Convert Audio Files to *.m4a


I want to convert a lot of *.flac and some high bitrate *.mp3 files to *.m4a files.
I want to use a fixed bitrate of 192kb (stereo) and want to keep the audiotags (except of, obviously, the tag "bitrate" – this sshould nbe set to the correct 192kb.).

I'm using 64-bit Maverick.

I tried about every program I could find.


  • Sound Converter

  • soundKonverter (KDE)

  • WinFF

  • Arista Transcoder, Handbrake, Transmageddon (fails, seems only video works)

  • ffmpeg (tried "-acodec libfaac -ab 192k -map_meta_data outfile.m4a:infile.mp3")

But either they don't transfer the tags
or they don't offer any way to set the bitrate to fixed 192kb
or the resulting file doesn't show the new bitrate in any audio program
(for example: nautilus saying "bitrate" n.a.")!

Best Answer

I'd stick with ffmpeg. You weren't far off. Here's what I've just used to convert a load of 50-meg flacs to 5-meg m4as, complete with metadata:

find -name "*.flac" -exec ffmpeg -ab 192k -i "{}" -map_meta_data "{}.m4a":"{}" "{}.m4a" \;

You could expand that to clean up the original files or save them somewhere else (I was actually struggling with that bit).

For some reason, mine was crawling along at 190kbits/s so there might be a better encoding string (I should hope there is, this is a bit silly).

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