VLC is the most popular video player across most computing platforms. It’s free, it’s open source, and it’s constantly updated to offer one of the most comfortable and customizable video-viewing experiences around. It’s also packed with dozens of lesser-known features, one of these being the ability to convert audio files between various formats.
Even though it’s a video player, those good folks at VLC are still thinking of the audiophiles. So we’re going to show you how to convert audio files in VLC.
Note: VLC is capable of editing video files, too.
Convert Audio Files in VLC
First, update to the latest version of VLC (you can do so from within the app by going to “Help -> Check for Updates”), then run it.
Click “Media -> Convert/Save.” In the Open Media window that opens, under the File, tab click “Add.”
Select the file or files you want to convert. You can select as many files as you like from a single folder by holding the Ctrl or Shift keys while you click the files. Once you’ve selected all your files, click Open, and they’ll all appear in the “Open Media” window.
You can continue to add more files to convert from different folders by clicking the “Add” button.
Once you’ve rounded up all the files you want to convert, click “Convert/Save” to be taken to the Convert window.
Here, you can ignore the two checkboxes for “Display the output” and “Deinterlace” (which relates to video files). The crucial thing is to click the Profile drop-down menu and go to the Audio section to select an audio format to convert to, then click Start.
Create Your Own Conversion Profile
If you don’t quite find the audio format you’re looking for in the drop-down or want to create files with different parameters to the presets, click the far right icon next to the Profile drop-down (Create a new profile), then the “Audio codec” tab.
Give the new profile a name at the top, then click the Audio checkbox.
Now you can specify which codec you’d like to convert your audio file to (we picked AAC to demonstrate), the bitrate you’d like to convert it to, and the number of output channels you’ll be playing it on (2 for Stereo, 5 for 5.1 surround, etc.). We recommend setting the sample rate to 44100 Hz or 48000 Hz for CD-level quality, but, of course, you can go lower if you’re looking for a smaller file size.
When you’re done creating your own profile, click “Create.”
This will take you back to the Convert window where your unconverted files will still be waiting for you. Click the Profile drop-down, select the profile you created, then click Start.
VLC will now convert your audio files, putting them in the same folder alongside the original files.
If you ever want to edit or tweak the profile you created, just click the wrench icon next to the Profile drop-down menu in the Convert window.
And that’s how you convert audio files in VLC player! The method to convert video files in VLC is pretty much the same, except using video files of course, and you can even convert videos and audio from the Internet by using the ‘Network’ tab in the Open Media window.
VLC proves once again why it’s everybody’s favorite multimedia player.