Converting audio and video into open formats
Converting MP3s to Ogg-Vorbis
Please keep in mind that converting between lossy compression formats, such as MP3 and Ogg-Vorbis, will result in some loss of sound quality. You have a few options for converting MP3s to Ogg-Vorbis format. Two techniques are listed below.
Ubuntu's Universe repository includes an easy to use application for mass-converting MP3 music to Ogg Vorbis format.
- In Ubuntu:
Install the soundconverter package
Open it from the Applications->Sound and Video menu
- Add the files you wish to convert
- Tweak the settings for quality, filename, etc.
- Start converting!
- In Kubuntu:
Follow the above instructions using the soundkonverter package
Open it from "Kmenu -> Multimedia > SoundKonverter"
- In Ubuntu:
You can easily convert MP3s into Ogg Vorbis format using Audacity
Install the package audacity
- Start Audacity
To import an MP3: File --> Open
- Select an MP3 and open it
To export as an Ogg: File --> Export as Ogg Vorbis
- Give the file a name, and save
Converting Videos To Ogg Theora
Ubuntu has full support for the Free video format Ogg Theora out of the box, and there are a couple of methods for converting videos into this format:
The VideoLAN project has given the VLC media player (available in Ubuntu's Universe repository) streaming capabilities, including the ability to stream into a file. To encode an Ogg Theora video of a file VLC is capable of playing
Install the vlc package and run it (if working from command line these instructions are for the vlc or wxvlc commands, not the svlc command)
Choose File->Open File (NOT Quick Open File)
In the File tab select the Browse button and choose the video you wish to convert
Tick the box next to Stream output then click the Settings button which becomes accessible
Under Output Methods tick File then click the Browse button and choose what you want to save your output file as (possibly ending the filename with ".ogg", although that is not strictly needed)
Change Encapsulation Method to Ogg and tick Video codec and Audio codec, changing them to theo and vorb respectively
- Choose your desired bit rates for audio and video (you will need to do some experimentation with these to produce small files of high quality)
Press OK in the settings window, then again in the open file window. The file will now stream to an Ogg Theora video instead of being played normally.
- The program ffmpeg2theora is slightly more reliable than VLC, but it is based on the command line:
Install ffmpeg2theora from Universe
- Open a terminal in the same folder as the video you wish to convert
Run the command ffmpeg2theora -v N video_file where N is the output quality and video_file is the filename of the video. This will produce a file called "video_file.ogg"
For more options see the ffmpeg2theora manual with the command man ffmpeg2theroa
There is a rudimentary GUI available for ffmpeg2theora which allows configuration of most ffmpeg2theora options and provides a useful progress bar. It uses the QT4 toolkit, so you may need to install some extra packages to compile or use it. A pre-compiled binary can be found here and the corresponding source can be found here.
The program Transmageddon is a very simple gui for converting videos to Ogg Theora and other formats. It can be installed by typing sudo apt install transmageddon into the terminal. The settings are very limited because it targets people with low computer skills, however the default settings provide very reliable encodings that produce the best quality/file size possible. The only drawback is that it doesn't offer batch encoding, you're limited to one file at a time. Just open the program, choose the media file you want, and hit transcode, it will convert directly into the .ogg/theora/vorbis format, at best quality without further adjustments.