Template:K Saucy/AudioVideoConversion


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Audio / Video conversion

Here is a nice review of some of the applications that enables conversion and handling of these types of files. Some specific examples and suggestions are here.


Mencoder is part of the MPlayer set of libraries (that also uses several of the FFMPEG libraries) for audio/visual conversion, including from DVD (.vob) format to other video formats. Some examples of usage are here.

FFMPEG video / audio conversion

FFMPEG is the swiss-army knife of video and audio format conversion. It succeeds when no other program can. It is free and open source. If it not yet installed on your system as part of another package (it is used by many video/audio editors), then install it:

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

For examples and further information, see this section.

  • FFMpeg requires that multiple restricted extra codecs be installed. This can be done in a single easy step from the command-line Terminal:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras

WinFF is a free, GPL-licensed open source GUI frontend for FFMPEG. Install:

sudo apt-get install winff xterm


Menu -> Applications -> Sound & Video -> WinFF
Join video segments

Individual video segments (MPEG-2, for example) can easily be joined:

cat samplevideo1.mpg samplevideo2.mpg samplevideo3.mpg > samplevideo123.mpg
You can then write the resulting MPEG-2 file to a DVD and play it in most DVD players.
Split a file into segments

Any file can be split into segments using the Linux command:

split -b 1440k my_big_file

which will split my_big_file into equal segments of size 1440 kb.

Save any streaming Flash video

An easy way is to install the Video DownloadHelper plug-in for Firefox.

Otherwise, most Flash videos download to the /tmp directory while you watch the video, creating a randomly-named video file there (such as Flashuh4G6s). When you close the webpage, this file in the /tmp directory will be erased. After the entire video has downloaded, but before you close the webpage, copy that file (such as Flashuh4G6s) to your home directory (where it will not be erased). Of course, for this to work, you must change your Flash (or Gnash) settings to allow an unlimited buffer. While watching your Flash video, right click to bring up the Flash -> Settings window. Set the Buffer to "Unlimited."

Once you have copied the file, rename it appropriately with the .flv added to the filename. You can then watch it using VLC or Mplayer.

Here is another method that involves making a symbolic link.

Save rtmp / flv streams

flvstreamer is a command-line application to dump rtmp streams. Install:

sudo apt-get install flvstreamer

Example of usage:

flvstreamer -r "rtmp://host/dir/file.flv" -o filename.flv

If you see the following the "WARNING: Download may be incomplete, try --resume!" message, try to use the --resume option:

flvstreamer -r "rtmp://host/dir/file.flv" -o filename.flv --resume

Convert Flash video audio to mp3

Once you have downloaded flash video content (.flv) from the Internet (using the Video DownloadHelper plug-in for Firefox, for example), the audio component can be converted to an .mp3 file. (This will work for any type of video file, not just Flash.) For details, see this section.


2ManDVD is a GUI utility for creating DVD videos. It is the successor of ManDVD. Choose the version for your architecture and install it from the 2ManDVD website. Click on the download link and select to open it with the GDebi Package Installer (default). (If you have previously installed ManDVD you must uninstall it first.) For a usage tutorial, read this 2ManDVD guide.


Menu -> Applications -> Sound & Video -> 2ManDVD


DeVeDe is a program to create video DVDs and CDs suitable for home players (i.e. VCD, sVCD or CVD) from any source video file that is supported by MPlayer. Choose the version for your architecture and install it from the DeVeDe website. Click on the download link and select to open it with the GDebi Package Installer (default). For a usage tutorial, read this DeVeDe guide.


Menu -> Applications -> Sound & Video -> DeVeDe


ManDVD is a QT-based DVD authoring tool which accepts several different file types as input. Install:

sudo apt-get install mandvd xine-ui

DVD Author

  • For more details on creating a "commercial" (.vob) format DVD-video, see this section.
  • DVD author allows you to create menus and format your MPEG-2 videos onto a DVD disc so that you can play it in a commercial DVD player. DVD Author is a command line tool, but several GUI's exist. Install:
sudo apt-get install dvdauthor
  • To prepare an audiovideo file (e.g. an .avi file) for conversion to DVD (.vob) format authoring (using a tool like dvdauthor), it is best to convert the file to a format with MPEG-2 (avcodec) video, AC3 (lav) audio, and the MPEG-PS (A+V) container as an intermediate first. This can be done using the GUI utility Avidemux, for example. Here is the Avidemux tutorial for doing this. Details are also found here.
  • QDVDAuthor is a Qt-based GUI for DVD Author. A package for Saucy does not exist, but the Maverick package can be used.
  • Enable the Maverick multiverse repository temporarily by adding it to the Synaptic Package Manager Origin of Packages ("Other" software):
Menu -> System -> Synaptic -> Settings -> Edit Origins -> Software Sources: Other Software -> Add...
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu maverick multiverse
  • From the Get and Remove Software menu (of Synaptic), install the qdvdauthor package (and the qdvdauthor-common package if it is not automatically installed as a dependency).
  • Once the download/installation is complete, disable the Maverick multiverse repository (to prevent conflict with other Saucy packages).
  • Download and install the addons:
cd /tmp
wget http://qdvdauthor.sourceforge.net/data/masks.tar.bz2 -O masks.tar.bz2
wget http://qdvdauthor.sourceforge.net/data/buttons.tar.bz2 -O buttons.tar.bz2
wget http://qdvdauthor.sourceforge.net/data/alpha_trans.tar.bz2 -O alpha_trans.tar.bz2
cd /usr/share/qdvdauthor/
sudo tar -xjf /tmp/masks.tar.bz2
sudo tar -xjf /tmp/buttons.tar.bz2
sudo tar -xjf /tmp/alpha_trans.tar.bz2 


Menu -> Multimedia -> QDVDAuthor

Follow instructions in the Quick-Start Guide:

QDVDAuthor -> Help -> Quick-Start Guide

For a tutorial on authoring DVDs, see this guide.

Other DVD authoring programs

There are several other DVD authoring programs. For additional information see the Ubuntu Community pages. Packages include:

  • Bombono, a GTK-based, GUI DVD authoring program. Install (requires multiverse repositories to be enabled):
sudo apt-get install bombono-dvd

KMediaFactory is a fast and simple KDE-based DVD authoring frontend for dvdauthor. (The DVD folders can then be burned to disc using K3b.) Install (requires multiverse repositories to be enabled):

sudo apt-get install kmediafactory
  • DVDStyler is a full-featured, cross-platform DVD-authoring frontend. Install:
sudo apt-get install dvdstyler


ToVid is a collection of tools to create a DVD from a number of different video formats. A GUI is available. Install:

sudo apt-get install tovidgui tovid

Ripper X CD Ripper/Encoder

Ripper X is a GTK-based (i.e. Gnome) open source utility to rip CD audio tracks to OGG, MP3, or FLAC formats. It supports CDDB lookups.

sudo apt-get install ripperx

Asunder CD Ripper/Encoder

Asunder is a GTK-based open source CD ripper/encoder which saves to Wav, MP3, OGG, FLAC, or WavPack. Self-installing .deb packages are available here.

Audex CD Ripper/Encoder

Audex is a port to KDE4 of the KAudioCreator package used in KDE 3. It can create output for LAME (MP3-compliant), OGG Vorbis (oggenc), FLAC and RIFF WAVE. Install:

sudo apt-get install audex

Gnac (GNome Audio Converter)

Gnac (GNome Audio Converter) converts between all GStreamer supported audio formats. It is not yet part of the standard repositories. See these installation instructions.

SOX (encodes/decodes audio)

SoX is a command-line utility to convert audio formats. See this usage guide. Install:

sudo apt-get install sox


Install MP3 support for SoX
  • Install the MP3 libraries (if not already installed):
sudo apt-get install libmp3lame0
  • For simple conversions, I have found FFMPEG to be easier, and FFMPEG already has mp3 support. Example:
ffmpeg -i audiofile.m4a -ab 128k -ac 2 -ar 44100 audiofile.mp3
where -ab specifies the bit rate, -ac specifies the number of channels (in this example 2-channel stereo), and -ar specifies the sampling frequency.
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