How To: Easily Convert FLAC audio to MP3s in Linux

I grabbed a bunch of FLAC files the other day, and as nice as they sound, I don’t think ~30-40MB per track is acceptable, so I did a bit of research and stumbled across this great post on LinuxTutorialBlog.

Turns out there’s a dead simple GUI based tool called SoundConverter – which really is as simple as pointing it at a directory and configuring your transcoding preferences (mp3, ogg, file-naming etc). A swift sudo apt-get install soundcoverter and a couple of clicks later and the job’s done.


If you really want a bash method, there’s a bunch of scripts and links in tfa, such as this one by Octavio Ruiz :

I’ve modded the LAME_OPTS line in the above script to use the -q 0 switch in lame (so it uses the highest quality algorithm it can), and changed the order of when the ${LAME_OPTS) options are passed to lame, which results in them actually being honoured. Which is nice. Should you have any specific encoding goals, you can always browse through the lame switches and mod it to your hearts content.

Sweet like chocolate =D

Note: To run the above script, just copy & paste into a file, maybe or something, then chmod +x to make it executable and run it on a folder like MyFolderOfFLACFiles.

How To: Compress a Directory of Files into Individual Archives

I’ve got a stack of files all thrown together in the same directory, and I wanted them compressed – simple enough, eh? Only thing is I wanted each file compressed to its own archive, so I can see at a glance what’s there, and if for some reason an archive gets corrupted, it’s just one file lost and I can replace it instead of having to dick around repairing corrupted “blob” archives that contain the entire bunch of files. And I want to be able to specify all files with a given file extension to compress.

Although I wouldn’t be surprised if you could do this in 4 lines of Perl, I don’t know flippin’ Perl (yet), so I wrote a bash script to do the job.

Bash, as it turns out, is a fiddly, finicky beast in that you really have to think about what the command-line will see under different circumstances and enclose variables in inverted commas or not in very precise ways (see this article to understand what I mean). All that if / fi stuff too… very odd.

To use the script, copy and paste it into a text file (in my case I’ve called it, save it, make the file executable using chmod +x and move it to /usr/bin or something so it’s in your path using sudo mv ./ /usr/bin/ – then run it inside any directory you want to zip files to individual archives by calling it with nds (for example) to compress all the .nds (Nintendo DS roms) in a folder into individual archives. Or use this link ;)

Anyway, job done – suggestions? improvements? props? death-threats? Let me know below!

Oh, and cheers to James McDonald for his WP-Syntax hack to stop all the embedded code appearing on a single (incredibly long) line!