My Rubenerd Show podcast episodes are produced with a series of shell scripts to save me time and effort, so I’m always looking for ways to optimise them.
Today I learned about Apple’s
afconvert utility. The manpage may as well have been written by GNU given its lack of useful info, but “-h” tells you all you need to know.
Currently I use
ffmpeg) to convert CAFs from my iTelephone to an intermediate format. This is then rendered as FLAC for archival purposes, and MP3 for the podcast feed:
$ avconv -i "source.caf" "output.aiff"
Through some digging, the
afconvert equivilent is:
$ afconvert -f caff -d BEI16 "source.caf" "output.aiff"
But how do they stack up? I ran these three times on the same 201.1MiB source file using
afconvert in macOS Sierra, and the latest
avconv from Homebrew:
The results from this (albeit limited) test are clear,
afconvert is faster. Whether I’d notice a second or two difference is another question, but I’ll be adjusting the scripts to preference
afconvert when available.