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Old 11-26-2007, 03:18 AM   #1
ToastyCheesy
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Default To convert .m4a files...

ok, I have a bunch of .m4a files sitting around on my hard drive sorted into folders. (I'd say there is a good 400-500)

Now that I have switched to a different better media player, I can no longer use .m4a files in this media player, or at least add them to the library.

What I am looking for, is a utility, or a script that will convert these .m4a files into .mp3 files, delete the originals, and place them back in the directory they came from. I would also like to keep the tags, but If I cant, then thats fine, I'll take the time to fill out the album info later on.
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: To convert .m4a files...

Find a media player that can handle m4a as well as mp3. Otherwise, you're taking lossy audio files, and sending them through ANOTHER lossy pass. The quality of the audio will drop pretty seriously.
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: To convert .m4a files...

> Now that I have switched to a different better media
> player, I can no longer use .m4a files in this media player,
> or at least add them to the library.
>
Hmm...isn't M4A also known as MP4 also known as AAC which is superior to mp3? Any decent media player nowadays can play those files...what media player are you using?
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:10 AM   #4
ToastyCheesy
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Default Re: To convert .m4a files...

Rhythmbox... no matter what I try, I cant get a plugin installed that works with M4a. What I heard about M4a is that its the audio track of an mpeg video.

Also, I have an mp3 player that wont play M4a, it only plays mp3, wav, wma, and ogg.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: To convert .m4a files...

> Find a media player that can handle m4a as well as mp3.
> Otherwise, you're taking lossy audio files, and sending them
> through ANOTHER lossy pass. The quality of the audio will
> drop pretty seriously.
>

wow, I cant even count the number of times I have heard that today.

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Old 11-26-2007, 06:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: To convert .m4a files...

If you're using Rhythmbox, I assume you're using some Linux distro with Gnome, right? Try Listen, which is a version of AmaroK for the Gnome platform. I think it can use an AAC plugin that will play m4a files.

http://www.listen-project.org/
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: To convert .m4a files...

> wow, I cant even count the number of times I have heard that
> today.

You've heard it a lot because it's right. You really don't want to re-encode lossy files in another lossy format. Instead of trying to turn AAC files into MP3 files, you should be trying to get the media player to play those AAC files.

As for alternative media players, my only serious experience with Linux media players is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amarok_(software)Amarok</a> (which does kick ass, but uses Qt rather than GTK+), but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banshee_(music_player)Banshee</a>, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExaileExaile</a>, and http://www.listen-project.org/Listen</a> (which coolie already mentioned) look like decent alternatives.

Finally, if you're planning to use a lossy audio format, you should be using Vorbis whenever possible. Not only does it tend to http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=35438consistently</a> http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=36465beat</a> just about everything else in terms of quality, but it has better support on Linux as well. Only use other formats if you have to.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: To convert .m4a files...

Amarok (which does kick ass, but
> uses Qt rather than GTK+), but Banshee, Exaile, and Listen

yes, I have tried some of those, Amarok is great, but I don't like the "click to add track to play queue" I would rather have something that does "click to play track instantly" Banshee was pretty similar to rhythmbox and still had trouble with .m4a files as did Exaile. Listen crashes Xorg causing me having to restart.

I think I'm having a problem with codecs, but I tried reinstalling all codecs with apt-get. (I'm running Ubuntu 7.10 with the realtime kernel, by the way)

My main proble is that my mp3 player wont play .m4a files. I really don't have any extra money to invest in a new one at the moment, so I had to use this slightly older one until I can. (It's a SanDisk Sansa e130)

My last MP3 player played many file formats including m4a, ogg, and more. I encoded my files in m4a as these formats did not slow down the mp3 player interface as much as the others did. I couldn't stand sluggish response from MP3, OGG, among other formats.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: To convert .m4a files...

Yes, Listen was one of my favorite media players, until something happened and it crashes everytime I use it now. I have tried reinstalling it, and even compiling it from the website. Nothing changed with my setup that caused it to crash either, it was just a normal day.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: To convert .m4a files...

> Hmm...isn't M4A also known as MP4 also known as AAC which is
> superior to mp3? Any decent media player nowadays can play
> those files...what media player are you using?

Yes...which is why he should look for a program to 'convert' the MP4A to an AAC. It's basically just putting the same music data into a different container (it does seem like some players don't like the mp4a files, annoyingly). I know there is a proggie called mp4UI that can do this, but I don't remember much about it other than the name. I ended up not using AAC much, but I at least know it's possible to do this.
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