I've got an old and temperamental MP3 player which doesn't deal well with MP3s that have fancy things like a variable bit rate.

Is there a command line tool for Mac or Linux that I could use to re-encode MP3s so they have a fixed bitrate?

3 Answers 3


For Linux, consider FFmpeg -- ffmpeg.org/

For Windows, Linux or OSX, use lame -- http://lame.sourceforge.net/


LAME is probably the best known name in the business, though it is a very advanced system and not for someone "new" to the command line.

  • Most of the GUIs use lame in the back-end, so you get my vote for mentioning it.
    – user3463
    Oct 6, 2010 at 4:42
  • D'oh! I'd previously looked at lame, but for some reason I'd assumed that it only accepted WAV files. Thanks. Oct 6, 2010 at 14:54

Check out MP3Packer http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=32379 it can change files from vbr to cbr.

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