In Feb 2011 I had a similar question: ffmpeg and libmp3lame produces bad audio quality? Now I'd like to know if it is possible to the get the original audio quality from a (flash) video? Every time I convert a video, the quality is worse than the original quality, not much worse but you can hear the difference. These are my attempts:

   avconv -i ~/"$2.flv" -acodec libmp3lame -c:v libx264 -qscale 1 -aq 1 -q 1 -vol 100 -ab 196608 ~/"$2.avi"

I tried to use the best quality -qscale 1, aq 1 and so on. I even tried to use -same_quant, I already tried -codec copy, shown in this thread, but then the quality is not better but even worse and I don't see any video then. Is there a way to achieve that? By the way, I don't care about the output format.

I made some test by downloading a video from YT and listen to it both on YT and on my local machine. I didn't convert the video, I just listened to a flv file itself and determined that the local quality is even worse than the file on YT. So I'm not sure if this is really an avconv problem. I wonder where this quality difference between the stream from YT and the downloaded file from TY come from. Any ideas?

  • Can you supply the complete, uncut console output for your command?
    – slhck
    Sep 24, 2012 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


In response to your update: depending on how you're downloading the video, you may not be getting the best quality version that YouTube is hosting. If you're using clive (or cclive), -f best will get the best it can.

If you want to reliably not lose any data when pulling audio out of a video file, convert it to .wav or ensure you're not re-encoding.

  • Thanks, but this tool doesn't work: verify video link ... error: Unknown error (http/403) (in cleanup) cannot access `DESTROY' field in class clive::Video at /usr/share/perl5/clive/App.pm line 106
    – Bevor
    Oct 5, 2012 at 15:44
  • Sorry, my fault for recommending clive when cclive has replaced it. Use cclive instead.
    – colons
    Oct 5, 2012 at 16:03
  • I will try it but atm, it doesn't work either. Obviously YT changed something. I get this error: sourceforge.net/apps/trac/cclive/ticket/20 Btw: youtube-dl doesn't work either due to YT changes. I think I have to wait some days until next try.
    – Bevor
    Oct 13, 2012 at 14:07
  • Oh man. Bummer. Thanks for pointing that out.
    – colons
    Oct 13, 2012 at 17:29

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