Ive been researching all of today and yesterday trying to find a solution, none have worked for me so far.

For example: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5784661/how-do-you-convert-an-entire-directory-with-ffmpeg

I want to be able to loop over all files in a folder (such as /Music/), find any files in any directory or subdirectory that ends with .flac, then convert those flac files to alac files using this command:

ffmpeg -i "$i" -c copy -acodec alac "${i%.*}.m4a"

the $i variable is the "name" of the file from the for loop. ${i%.*} should just return the name, not the .flac portion.

Anyways, after that command has been run, I want all of those saved .m4a alac files to then be sent to a "new library"... IE: Ill have two /Music/ libraries.

One has all the flac files

One has all the alac (m4a) files

Is this possible?

This is the commmand I have so far, definitely doesnt work, and even if it did, it doesnt create a new library like I want: for i in *.flac; do ffmpeg -i "$i" -c copy -acodec alac "${i%.*}.m4a"; done

Currently that command just throws the error *.flac: No such file or directory, which I assume is because its not searching subdirectories?...

  • You may use find. Here is an example: askubuntu.com/a/898121/333867 You need to adapt it from convert to ffmpeg.
    – Hermann
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 13:35
  • Use find and maybe xargs. Note: Unix does not have file-name-extensions. It is just a naming convention. (This is also true of MS windows, since Windows-95. But the file-explorer still uses them. ) Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 14:34
  • Paths of converted files in the new directory should be the same as in the original Music directory? For example, an original file path Music/one/two/song.flac should be repeated in New_Music, like New_Music/one/two/song.m4a? Or New_Music should have just heap of files?
    – MiniMax
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 15:48
  • matching paths, just a new root folder, such as "Music2" or something Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


shopt -s globstar


for orig_path in "${src_dir}"/**/*.flac; do
    #Change first directory in the path

    #Remove filename from new path. Only directories are left.
    #They are needed for mkdir

    #Remove extension .flac from path, thus we have original path with first directory
    #changed and file extension removed.
    #Original path:   "Music/one/two/song.flac"
    #New path:        "Music_new/one/two/song"

    echo mkdir -p "$dir_hier"

    #New path with extension:   "Music_new/one/two/song.m4a"
    #ffmpeg should create new file by this path, necessary directories
    #already created by mkdir
    echo ffmpeg -i "$orig_path" -c copy -acodec alac "${new_path}.m4a"

echo before mkdir and ffmpeg should be removed after checking.

  • removed echos, and it appears to work. Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 18:28

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