Convert video files to mp3 in Ubuntu

In my previous post, I explained how to convert audio files from one format to another in Ubuntu. Ubuntu provides native support for this through Sound Converter which can be installed using a simple command. After trying Sound Converter, I was confident that there will be similar applications to convert video files. That made me to install applications like WinFF, Avidemux.

My objective was to convert *.DAT files from a VCD into *.mp3. I decided to try WinFF first. The interface was pretty simple to use.

But when I pressed the “Convert” button, I got the following message,

WinFF reported that the encoder ‘libmp3lame’ is unknown. I tried to install that via apt-get but could not find that in the repository as well. I tried to convert to other formats but in vain. I understand that I miss some libraries/encoders, but the help message was not very useful. The application could have suggested me to install the respective library like Sound Converter does for “mp3″ support.

Since WinFF failed to get the job done for me, I tried Avidemux this time. When I started avidemux, I quickly realised that this not going to be an application which everyone can use effortlessly. Avidemux might be a great tool but unless it gets a decent user interface it’s not going to be used by many. But since I was determined to convert my video files, I proceeded ahead with Avidemux.

When I tried to load the “DAT” file, Avidemux complained that it could not open that file.

I searched the Avidemux wiki but still couldn’t solve the problem. My search continued and in one forum I got a suggestion that I can rename the file to “mpg” and change the “video”, “audio” options to “MPEG-4 ASP (Xvid4)”, “MP3 Lame” respectively. But the result was same. Avidemux couldn’t open the file.

Then I realised that another user had the same frustrations like me and eventually opted to run the popular windows only tool FormatFactory on top of Wine. I decided to follow suit but I thought of trying out AnyVideoConverter on top of Wine. But AnyVideoConverter failed to start which left me with no options but to turn for FormatFactory.

I downloaded and installed FormatFactory using Wine and it started without any issues on my Ubuntu.

Since I wanted to convert video files into “MP3″ format, I clicked the “Audio” tab in the left pane and chose the option “All to MP3″. Then I was prompted to add the necessary files.

Once I added the necessary files, all I had to do was to click “Start” button.

After a few seconds, FormatFactory successfully converted the “DAT” files into “MP3″ format.

Thanks to FormatFactory and Wine, I was able to convert “DAT” files without booting into Windows. Many thanks to this wonderful article which was an eye opener for me.

I haven’t yet tried the FormatFactory|Wine combination to convert my videos into other format. Why don’t you try it and share your experience with us?

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