[FFmpeg-user] Problem playing back M4A files created by ffmpeg on embedded Linux devices.

MacFH - C E Macfarlane - News news at macfh.co.uk
Wed May 24 15:02:47 EEST 2023

On 24/05/2023 05:45, Umba Yumba wrote:
> I have Yamaha Receiver and a portable speaker that both accept USB storage as a
> source of media. Both of them claim that they can play MPEG-4 AAC.
> The following file formats can be used by the units:
> File           Sampling       Bitrate (kbps)
>             frequency (kHz)
> ---------------   ---------------     --------------
> MP3         32/44.1/48     8 to 320
> MPEG-4 AAC  32/44.1/48      8 to 320
> I created 3 files with the following commands:
> ffmpeg -i source.mp4 -y file1.mp3
> ffmpeg -i source.mp4 -y file2.m4a
> ffmpeg -i source.mp4 -y -c:a copy file3.m4a
> file1.mp3 is played with no problem when copied to USB device, however
> source.mp4, files2.m4a and files3.m4a do not play at all on my devices with
> embedded Linux OS. At the same time there is no problem playing all files using
> VLC Player.  Yamaha Receiver also can play all M4A files presented by MiniDLNA
> server. Any idea what can be done on ffmpeg side to have M4A files played
> directly from USB storage by my devices?


I *think* m4a/aac is a proprietary codec.  When Linux is first installed 
on a PC, a question is asked about whether to install support for such 
proprietary software, and replying "No!" can lead to difficulties in 
playing content later.  In your case, it could be that the embedded 
Linux devices were set up without support for proprietary software, and 
therein lies your problem.  It might be that, somehow or other, you 
could install it from a suitable repository.  Unless someone here can 
give you more specific help than I have been able to do, you may do 
better to ask in a Linux newsgroup or some such.

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