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How to convert video files to MP3 on Linux

You may have a video file on your Linux PC that you want to turn into a listenable MP3 audio file. Thankfully, there are many different tools on the Linux platform that can convert videos to MP3 audio files. In this guide, we will cover two methods.

The first method we will cover is with the Linux GUI tool SoundConverter, which is perfect for beginners looking to convert files from video to MP3 audio. The second method we will cover is with the powerful terminal-based tool called FFMPeg, which is great for advanced users looking for more control.

Need to convert MP3 files to open-source audio formats? We’ve got you covered.

Method 1 – Convert video files with SoundConverter app

SoundConverter is an excellent tool that lets Linux users easily transcode audio files between different formats. However, did you know that it can also be used to convert video files to audio as well? Really!

To start the conversion process with SoundConverter, you must install the program. To install the program, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. From there, enter the command-line instructions below that correspond with the Linux operating system you use.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install soundconverter

Debian

sudo apt-get install soundconverter

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S soundconverter

Fedora

sudo dnf install soundconverter

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install soundconverter

After installing the SoundConverter program onto your Linux desktop environment, follow the step-by-step instructions below to convert video files to MP3 audio files.

Step 1: Open up the SoundConverter app on the Linux desktop by searching for it in your app menu.

Step 2: In SoundConverter, locate the “add file button” (it is directly to the right of the “Convert” button in the app) and click on it with the mouse. When you click the “add file” button, a pop-up window will appear.

Step 3: Using the pop-up window, browse for the video file on your Linux PC that you wish to convert to an MP3 audio file.

Step 4: Locate the settings icon at the top-right section of the SoundConverter app and click on it with the mouse.

Inside of the settings area, check the box “Into folder”. Then, find the “Choose” button, and click on it to set up your output folder.

Step 5: Upon clicking the “Choose” button, you will see a pop-up window. Use this pop-up window to choose where your converted video files should save to.

Step 6: After selecting the output folder, locate the “Type of result?” Section, and change the drop-down menu next to “Format” to “MP3”.

Step 7: Close the settings window. Then, once the settings window is closed, find the “Convert” button and click on it. By selecting “Convert,” SoundConverter will begin to transcode your video file to an MP3 audio file!

Method 2 – Converting video files in the command-line with FFMPeg

While the SoundConverter tool is very good for Linux newbies, it isn’t for everyone. Some Linux users prefer the command-line, and FFMpeg is the best command-line conversion tool there is on the platform.

However, before we can go over how to convert video files to MP3 audio files, we must demonstrate how to install FFMPeg. Open up a terminal window and follow the instructions below to get it going.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install ffmpeg

Debian

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S ffmpeg

Fedora

sudo dnf install ffmpeg

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install ffmpeg

Generic Linux

FFMpeg is on nearly every Linux operating system, as it is the defacto media transcoder tool for the platform. So, even if you aren’t running a popular Linux OS, you shouldn’t have any issues getting it to work. To install, open up a terminal window, search for “ffmpeg” and load it up the way you typically install programs.

With the FFMpeg tool installed on your Linux PC, follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to convert any video file to an MP3 audio file!

Step 1: Open up a terminal window and use the CD command to move the command-line session to the directory in which the video file is located.

Please note, you will need to specify the exact location of this video file for the CD command to work. In this example, our video file is in ~/Videos. Yours will differ, so be sure to change the command example below to reflect that.

cd ~/Videos

Step 2: Using the ls command, view the directory that contains the video file which you wish to convert to MP3.

ls

Step 3: Take note of the name of the video file and change example.video in the command below to start the conversion process.

Note: FFMpeg can also convert video files to other formats. Simply change converted-audio.mp3 to the desired audio format (Ogg, Wav, Flac, etc.)

ffmpeg -i example.video converted-audio.mp3

When the process is complete, your video file will be converted to MP3. Access the converted audio file by opening up the Linux file manager to the location where the video file is.

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