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Monday, August 3, 2009

Convert an MP3 File to WAV Format in Linux

How do I convert an MP3 file to WAV format under Linux using a shell prompt?

There are plenty of tools that to convert an MP3 file into WAV format. I recommend mpg321 which is a free command-line mp3 player, which uses the mad audio decoding library.

Install mpg321 or mpg123

Type the following command under Debian / Ubuntu Linux, enter:
sudo apt-get install mpg321

OR
sudo apt-get install mpg123

I recommend using mpg123 as it is updated frequently.

Install mpg123 under CentOS / RHEL / Fedora Linux

Turn on rpmforge repo and type the following command:
yum install mpg123

Convert an MP3 to WAV

The -w option will convert an .mp3 file to .wav file. The syntax is:
mpg123 -w output.wav input.mp3

OR
mpg321 -w output.wav input.mp3

A Sample Shell Script Helper Function

Add the following to your ~/.bashrc startup file (tested with bash v3.x+):
mp3towav(){
 [[ $# -eq 0 ]] && { echo "mp3wav mp3file"; exit 1; }
 for i in "$@"
 do
  # create .wav file name
  local out="${i%/*}.wav"
  [[ -f "$i" ]] && { echo -n "Processing ${i}..."; mpg123 -w "${out}" "$i" &>/dev/null  && echo "done." || echo "failed."; }
 done
}

Use it as follows:
mp3towav *.mp3
mp3towav "this is a test.mp3"
ls *.wav

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