I want to use the following to convert some M4A files to MP3. It works fine, but it displays the VLC GUI for each file and shows 'quit' as a second file to be converted. Is there a 'silent' mode, where it does the conversion with not graphics interface? Or is there something wrong with my syntax?

@echo off
for /f "delims=|" %%f in ('dir /b *.m4a') do (
  CALL "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" "%%f" --sout=#transcode{acodec=mp3,ab=128,vcodec=dummy}:std{access="file",mux=raw,dst="converted/%%"} vlc://quit

UPDATE: I edited per Answer #1

@echo off
for /f "delims=|" %%f in ('dir /b *.m4a') do (
  CALL "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" "%%f" --intf dummy --sout=#transcode{acodec=mp3,ab=128,vcodec=dummy}:std{access="file",mux=raw,dst=converted/"%%f"} vlc://quit
  move "%%f" trash/"%%f"

What it does is open a DOS command window as each file is processed. What I want is a totally silent mode (if possible). I have another batch file which does something similar (rips CD files to MP3) and it seems to work like that:

FOR /R D:\ %%G IN (*.cda) DO (
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc" -I http cdda:///D:/ --cdda-track=!y! :sout=#transcode{vcodec=none,acodec=%e%,ab=320,channels=2,samplerate=44100}:std{access="file",mux=raw,dst="%t%!PADDED!.%e%"} vlc://quit

What am I missing?

3 Answers 3


You can use this:

vlc -I dummy --dummy-quiet {path_to_file}

As per @MC10's answer, the -intf dummy or -I dummy (they do the same thing) hides the GUI but still opens a second command line window. Use the additional --dummy-quiet option to hide this window too.

So, for your scenario:

@echo off
for /f "delims=|" %%f in ('dir /b *.m4a') do (
    CALL "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" "%%f" --I dummy --dummy-quiet --sout=#transcode{acodec=mp3,ab=128,vcodec=dummy}:std{access="file",mux=raw,dst=converted/"%%f"} vlc://quit
    move "%%f" trash/"%%f"
  • this works but on Windows 10 at least you can't close the video. The close button doesn't do anything, I had to kill the process
    – Matthew
    Mar 23, 2018 at 1:26
  • Unfortunately, "C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" -I dummy --dummy-quiet --version vlc://quit still pops up a batch window, and it doesn't look like the VLC people think that's a problem: trac.videolan.org/vlc/ticket/6866
    – mrm
    Feb 14, 2019 at 0:09
  • --dummy-quiet doesn't hide the cmd window for me on Windows10. But -I dummy do hide the GUI.
    – GeneCode
    Sep 28, 2020 at 6:03

What you are looking for is the dummy interface. This will give you no GUI.


% vlc --intf dummy vcd://

Edit: While the dummy interface will give you no GUI, it will open a console. This is not what the question asked for so I am updating the answer.

This may be Linux only, I'm not sure yet. You can replace vlc with cvlc to get no interface at all.

  • Thanks. I tried adding that to my bat file and it didn't work as expected (I updated my question to show the results.) What went wrong?
    – jchwebdev
    Jul 29, 2015 at 23:18
  • Oh I see. Does replacing vlc with cvlc work? I'm not sure if that's just a Linux thing.
    – MC10
    Jul 29, 2015 at 23:23
  • No cvlc in Windows version. The thing is: my other example (ripping CD) works -exactly- as I want. Can't understand the difference.
    – jchwebdev
    Jul 30, 2015 at 0:19

You're missing to call VLC as a server. Not sure, but it seems "-I http" parameters are what you need. Hope this help.

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