Monday, November 7, 2022

Shell script to batch bulk convert *.flac files to *.mp3

I have many music files in flac format and I wanted to convert them to a more compressed mp3 format with ffmpeg on Ubuntu so I can upload them to a storage limited portable music player. To ease the conversion task, I decided to write this simple shell script to do the job. In brief, the script will do the following:

  • find all the files with the extension .flac in the current directory
  • replace the file name extension .flac with the .mp3 extension
  • create a temporary script that calls the ffmpeg command to convert
  • run the temporary script

The listing of the shell script is shown below.  

# Define the internal field separator as a newline

# Find all the *.flac files in the current directory and perform the conversion
for f in `find . -name "*.flac" `;
	# Use the input flac file name prefix and replace the .flac extension with a .mp3 extension
	f=$(echo $f | cut -c 3-)
	outfile=$(basename $f .flac)
	echo "Convert $f->$outfile..."
	# Form the ffmpeg command to convert the input flac file to mp3
	cmd="ffmpeg -hide_banner -i \"$f\" -ab 320k -map_metadata 0 -id3v2_version 3 \"$outfile\" "
	# Create a temporary shell script for running the conversion
	echo $cmd > /tmp/
	# Run the conversion to mp3
	bash /tmp/
	# Clean up
	rm /tmp/

To use this shell script, you can do the following:

  1. Save the code listing above to a file e.g. in a directory, e.g. /path/to

  2. Open up a Linux Terminal.

  3. In the Terminal, type in the command to change directory to the location of the flac files, e.g. /path/to/music/

    $ cd /path/to/music

  4. At the prompt, type in the command to run the shell script.

    $ bash /path/to/

    The flac files are converted to mp3 files.

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