ftransc: convert audio files

If you want to crunch those large FLAC files to mp3 and are looking for a quality audio converter, try ftransc. The advantage to ftransc is its ease of use from the cmdline. There is no need to be an audio expert. Using presets make ftransc very simple to use. It comes with a Qt based GUI as well. And if you are a Rhythmbox fan then you also have a ftransc plugin. It integrates with Nautilus as well.

ftransc is written in python and uses several audio libraries for conversion and metadata handling: Mutagen (for metadata), ffmpeg/avconv, LAME, FLAC, vorbis tools, faac, Musepack, PyQt, CDparanoia, WavPack.


  • GUI and cmdline modes
  • Nautilus and Rhythmbox integration
  • Supports all common audio formats
  • Audio presents for all codecs
  • Preserves metadata
  • Convert audio files in a directory recursively
  • Extract audio from videos and convert
  • Rip audio CDs


ftransc can be installed very easily on Ubuntu. Run:

$ git clone
$ cd ftransc
$ sudo make uninstall
$ sudo make install

CLI-only install

As you’ll see, the last command will pull a lot of dependencies. If you do not want the Qt GUI (ftransc_qt) you can edit the Makefile and remove python-qt4 from the apt-get line. This will download less than 3MB of packages as all Qt related dependencies won’t be installed.



Using the GUI is straightforward if you did a complete installation. To run the GUI, issue:

$ ftransc_qt

Right click on any audio file in Nautilus and you’ll find ftransc under Scripts menu.

To integrate into Rhythmbox, enable ftransc Audio Converter in the plugins list, right click on any track and select Convert Songs (ftransc).

Take a look at /etc/ftransc/presets.conf which has the presets for each codec. The following levels are configured (from best to lowest quality): insane, extreme, high, normal, low and tiny.


The cmdline syntax is:

$ ftransc options files


$ ftransc --help
$ man ftransc


1. Convert all mp3 files to wma using extreme quality

$ ftransc -f wma -q extreme *.mp3

2. Convert all audio inside a directory (non-recursive) to wma

$ ftransc -f aac --directory directory_path/

3. Extract audio from multiple multimedia files and convert to mp3

$ ftransc -q insane -f mp3 file1.avi file2.mpg file3.vob

4. Convert files recursively within a directory and sub-directories using find and xargs

$ find directory_path/ -type f -print0 | xargs -0 ftransc -f aac -q high

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