How to Convert .aiff to .mp3 files via Command Line

Yesterday I ran into an issue where I needed to convert .aiff files to .mp3. DBPowerAmp was recommended to me as a paid GUI tool. But I wanted something more lightweight, since this is a task I rarely need to do (most of the time, I’m already in Logic Pro, and exporting is simple there). So I searched far and wide and finally discovered the FFMPEG command line library.

FFMPEG is an open source project that can convert pretty much any media type to another type. For example, it can convert .mp4 to .avi, .wav to .mp3, and back again!

Installing the command line library on Mac was simple using Homebrew.

If you haven’t yet installed Homebrew, then run this command:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

Now that Homebrew is installed, run the following command to install FFMPEG:

brew install ffmpeg

Once the FFMPEG library is installed, then simply run the following command to convert media from .aiff to .mp3 (changing “FILENAME” and the file extension to meet your needs):

ffmpeg -i FILENAME.aiff -vn -ar 44100 -ac 2 -b:a 192k FILENAME.mp3

Side note: I was experiencing lots of errors when I was trying to install FFMPEG. My issues stemmed from a faulty Git setup on my computer. If you experience install issues, running the following two commands fixed the install issues for me:

(echo; echo 'eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"') >> /Users/mighty1/.zprofile
eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"

From there, I was able to install Homebrew and then FFMPEG.

Happy trails!

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Toby Cryns

Toby Cryns is a freelance CTO, expert WordPress consultant, and teacher.

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