Jobim from OGG to MP3 using FFmpeg

Wave is a great song. First track on album of same name and first song in video.

Ran into a torrent. As I typically do. This audio torrent – Antonio Carlos Jobim – 1967 – Wave [remastered, 1988] Ogg Vorbis – was a wee bit different. MP3s are good enough for me, but this torrent was of Ogg Vorbis. Torrent done (Use first). Download done (Download from Extract done. Listened with VLC done. So what’s the problem? Well, MP3s are for me.

Struck success about an hour into researching how to convert .ogg  to .mp3. The short answer is to use FFmpeg for the conversion. The long answer is follow the steps explained below. These steps are inline with my thought process. FFmpeg was quite interesting so this post should help me in the future whenever I need to do the same again.

Step 1: Download FFmpeg from the official FFmpeg website.

You’ll find links to external sites for builds of FFmpeg on different operating systems. Play on a Mac so downloaded the static FFmpeg binaries for Mac OS X Intel 64bit. Extract the archive and you’re left with an Unix Executable File name ffmpeg.

Step 2: Execute ffmpeg using Terminal on Mac.

The first gain is understanding how to actually execute the file in Terminal to start converting files. Simply cd into the same directory where ffmpeg is located. Then run the following command:


You’ll see a lot of text on screen, but nothing has occurred. The text is very similar to the block of text displayed at the top of the page of the download site from which you downloaded the Mac OS binary for FFmpeg.

Step 3: Move the ffmpeg Unix Executable File to the same directory as the audio files.

Executing ffmpeg like in step 2 only executes in the same directory. So you’ll have to move the executable files in the same directory where you have the audio files you want to convert. Instead, you could move the all the audio files in the same directory as ffmpeg.

Since I extracted the download archive, the directory created was antonio carlos jobim 1967 wave remastered 1988 ogg vorbi. So I moved ffmpeg into that directory.

Step 4: Convert .ogg to .mp3 using Terminal.

Almost there. The next gain is understanding what command to use in Terminal to convert just one audio file from .ogg format to an .mp3 format. Take some time and do some research, but ultimately you may end up at a page site that lists out multiple commands like this ffmpeg audio format conversions list.

Here’s the command for convert one file form .ogg to .mp3 with a bitrate of 320k.

./ffmpeg -i "01 Wave.ogg" -ab 320k -acodec libmp3lame "01 Wave.mp3"

And if you want to see the entire line in Terminal then it’s below which includes the directory I cd into.

Paris:antonio carlos jobim 1967 wave remastered 1988 ogg vorbi Andres$ ./ffmpeg -i "01 Wave.ogg" -ab 320k -acodec libmp3lame "01 Wave.mp3"

Step 5: Convert .ogg to .mp3 using FFmpeg in a batch.

The last and final gain is performing the conversion in batch. There are 10 songs in the album and I don’t want to type the command ten times. This requires yet more research on how to run a for loop in Terminal. Read a few articles and sure enough someone had already posed the question on how to bulk batch convert mp3 files to ogg via command line. Yes, I want to do the opposite conversion, but the command is the same. Simply transpose .ogg and .mp3 in the article. Also, the library for .ogg must be replaced with .mp3 library in the command and I wouldn’t have figured that out easily if it wasn’t for step 4.

Lastly, here’s the command to convert multiple files in batch from .ogg to .mp3 using ffmpeg.

for file in *.ogg; do ./ffmpeg -i "${file}" -ab 320k -acodec libmp3lame "${file/%ogg/mp3}"; done

And the same command, but including the Terminal prompt:

Paris:antonio carlos jobim 1967 wave remastered 1988 ogg vorbi Andres$ for file in *.ogg; do ./ffmpeg -i "${file}" -ab 320k -acodec libmp3lame "${file/%ogg/mp3}"; done

Don’t forget that there are many switches with ffmpeg and I later found out that the .ogg file’s metadata is lost upon conversion to .mp3 because I had not use the ffmpeg switch to keep in during conversion.

Mac Terminal FFmpeg Bulk Conversion .ogg to .mp3
Command line text for bulk conversion using FFmpeg.

How Do I Do This Manually?!! When “the system is down” at an Apple Store.

On the Friday before Easter leaving the office around midday after beginning the work day early for the long procrastinated purchase of a mouse. A Magic Mouse actually. Waited and waited and finally the pain of using fingers and two hands on the MacBook became too much to tolerate.

Nothing new here; the Apple store was crowded. Avoiding the magnetic pull of the glowing Retina screens I scanned the walls to find magic. Vertical blue fuzzy blobs whizzed by in this concentrated state. These blue blobs were Apple store employees. More on them at the end. From past experience I didn’t even both to grab the mouse I simply asked one of the first blue blobs I noticed for their help in checking out. Nicely, they asked that I grab the mouse and return to a specific table corner for checkout because THE SYSTEM IS DOWN!!!

Returned to the corner table where I found no less than five blue blobs huddled around the center blob with a stack of credit card carbon copy slips and the companion slider. As I waited for my turn the perimeter blobs asked the center blob for advise on what products could be checked out manually with the credit card slider. Hand written and sales tax calculated on a calculator I admitted to the center blob the humor found in the situation that the blobs lost their equilibrium because the system went down and for not knowing how to process credit card checkouts manually. The blobs overheard me and found much less humor in it than I. There’s something to be said about this situation and reactions. We’ve forgotten how without computers and automation. The center blob was the sole proprietor of the “skills” to use the carbon copy slips and slider. Things couldn’t have turned out better – I was finally able to purchase the Magic Mouse and forget about everything that just happened. Well almost. Considering framing the carbon copy credit card receipt from the Apple store.

Unopened Apple Magic Mouse in transparent plastic packaging.
Shine Magic Mouse. Shine.

This classic BMW motorbike was waiting for me as I walked in the parking garage. Stuck in a permanent pose of tilt its circular large headlight angled in a sad slope. To boost its confidence I got off two pictures.

Classic BMW motorbike.
Classic BMW motorbike stationary in parking garage.
White and blue gas tank of BMW classic motorbike.
Front side close up of white and blue gas tank of BMW classic motorbike.

Return of the blue blobs. While I was nicely greeted by the store greeter and while I was given attention when requesting help to checkout, I largely found the number and appearance of the blue blobs terribly disappointing and off-putting. One was wearing a black leather cap. Backwards! Several others were wearing shorts. Shorts! Like molecules they circled each other and noticeable towards the rear of the store. On appearances alone the better characterization is moderate disorder. Had it not been for the Retina screens I could have been mistaken to think I’d accidentally entered BrandsMart. And I haven’t browsed a BrandsMart in many many years.

The Old Man and the Sea BOTMC

The Old Man and the Sea on a Park Bench
April 2014 Book of the Month Challenge

Location: Havana, Santiago’s shack, the Sea
Protagonist: Santiago the fisherman, Manolin the boy helper
Antagonist: Village fishermen, the big Marlin, sharks
Struggle: Santiago versus the big Marlin plus fights with hungry sharks

The writing is concise. No extra words.

Saddened that Santiago lives in a shack and uses newspapers as a pillow. Imagined a run down beach town similar to the town of the 1959 version of Black Orpheus. He has no one except for Manolin, the boy helper, the Sea and its millions of fish.

The Marlin and fisherman fight for many rounds over the course of a few days. Scared the old man might die. Hands raw and back and shoulders lashed and cut from the line. Why doesn’t this man wear GLOVES or use a proper fishing pole!  Surprising.

Way far out at sea without sight of land I wonder how this worn tired old man will return to shore. He finds his way as he’s done many times before.

A great fisherman proves himself to the village fishermen, to the boy and to the Marlin. To the world really. His finest hour. Though it is only those people who know of Santiago who can appreciate his adventure and the magnitude of achievement. Grand moments as there are many in life. In that perspective, this one’s man struggle is non special at all.