Convert m4v to wav

As Ubuntu users, especially audio and video editors, we may need to extract audio from our video files from time to time. With the growth of people using Linux as their prime operating systems and with the rise of more and more open-source Linux applications, there are solutions available to all end-user needs. Video to audio conversion is one such user need for which Linux provides a solution both through the graphical user interface and the command line.

In this article, we will explain how you can conveniently extract audio in wav format from your m4v video files on an Ubuntu system.

The commands and procedures described in this tutorial have been run on an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

M4v to wav conversion through the Graphical User Interface

The WinFF tool is the GUI alternative to the command line tools FFmpeg and avconv.

WinFF Installation

You can install it through the Ubuntu Software manager as follows:

Open the Ubuntu Software manager from the Activities bar:

Ubuntu Software manager

Click the search button located in the top right corner and enter the keyword “winff”. The search results will show the availability of the WinFF tool as follows:

Search for WinFF

Click on the WinFF search entry; the following view will open for you to install the software on your system.

Install WinFF application

Click the install button. You may be asked to provide authentication details through an Authentication dialog as only an authenticated user can install and uninstall software from an Ubuntu system.

Provide the password and then click the Authenticate button. The installation process will begin and the following dialog will indicate the successful installation of the WinFF tool

Launch WinFF sound file conversion program

You can launch WinFF from the above dialog or through the system dash by entering relevant keywords as follows:

WinFF Icon

Sound File Conversion

Launch the WinFF tool after which the GUI will display as follows:


From the Output Details tab, click Convert to and select Audio as follows:

Convert mode

Then click preset from the same tab and select Wav for CD as follows:

Select preset

Then click the Add button from the toolbar to add the mv4 file you want to convert:

Add sound file that shall be converted

Select the m4v file through the following dialog and then click the Open button:

File selector

You will be able to see the m4v file added to the list as follows:

Sound file shows up in conversion list

Click the Convert button from the toolbar after which the following command line prompt will appear:

Conversion starts

Click Enter after which WinFF will create the wav output of the video file and save it to the OutPut Folder. You can verify the presence of the wav file in the Output Folder by clicking the Open button against it in the Output Details tab.

Converted file shows up in output folder

Sound File Conversion Through the Command Line with FFMpeg

If you prefer using the Terminal over the GUI, Linux provides the command line tool called FFmpeg for you to convert various file formats. Open your Ubuntu Terminal either through the system Dash or the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut.

The FFmpeg mostly comes by default on latest Ubuntu systems but if you need to install it, you can enter the following command as sudo in your Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

Please provide the password for root after which the installation process will begin. You can then verify the installation by checking the version number of your FFmpeg utility as follows:

$ ffmpeg --version

The following output ensures that ffmpeg is indeed installed on my system

Check ffmpeg version

Now is the time to convert your m4v file to wav format. Use the following FFmpeg command to do so:

$ ffmpeg -i “filename.m4v” “filename.wav”


In the following example, I am converting an m4v file named small.m4v to wav format fila small.wav through this command:

$ ffmpeg -i small.m4v small.wav

I am assuming that your file is located in the home folder and you want the wav file to be created in the same folder. However, you can specify the specific source and destination folders in the ffmpeg command if required.

Convert file with ffmpeg

I can verify the existence of the newly created wav file through the ls command as follows:

Converted file

In this article, you have learned to successfully convert your video files in the m4v format to the wav audio format. In Ubuntu, you can use the GUI tool named WinFF to extract audio from your video files. In the command line, you can opt for the FFmpeg utility to perform this conversion. We have also covered the installation procedure for you to make the entire process smooth and effective.

How to Convert m4v to wav format in Ubuntu

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn