Tag: convert

How to Convert YouTube Video into MP3 Audio

This is a useful tool and tutorial if you, for example, make a video on Youtube and then want to publish the audio quickly on Soundcloud (or somewhere else).

If you aren’t already running Ubuntu on your computer this will be a couple of steps more difficult for you but well worth the effort.

Step 1: Get Ubuntu on your computer

If you don’t know what this, look it up and get it done.  Apple and Microsoft are so restrictive, un-secure, and 1990….

Step 2: Open a terminal

If you don’t know what this is, go look that up too.

Step 3: Install Youtube-dl tool with Terminal

Make sure the youtube-dl app thing is installed on your machine by pasting this into your terminal.  Note, you cannot just ‘control c/control-v’ into a terminal but you need to hold down both control *and shift* before pressing V to paste…  ready?  Ok, control C this into your computers clipboard:

sudo apt install youtube-dl

Now press enter in Terminal.

This will complete the installation of the tool.  Say ‘yes’ if it asks you to do anything since it’s just hard to argue these days…

Step 4: Copy the ‘magic line’ into your clipboard

We say ‘magic’ in technology when we’re doing something that is harder than sending an email.

Copy this ‘magic line’ of whatever to your computer with control C

youtube-dl –extract-audio –audio-format mp3

Step 5: Paste the ‘magic line’ into your Terminal

Paste the ‘magic line’ into your terminal taking note of my notes in Step 3…  pay special attention that there is only one trailing space and no other stuff after the ‘3’ in mp3.  You are going to paste a URL here from the video in the next step so extra garbage before or after the ‘magic line’ could mess it up.

Step 6: Copy Video URL from Youtube to clipboard

Using the ‘share’ link from the Youtube video (I find this works better than the main video URL…) copy the URL to the computer clipboard.

Step 7: Paste video URL to Terminal

Paste the video URL at the end of the magic line in your terminal using again my notes from Step 3.

Step 8: Press ‘enter’ in Terminal and get some popcorn

Press ‘enter’ on your keyboard.  The thing should run and it will be dumping the mp3 audio into your ‘home’ folder on your computer.  It takes a bit of time for this step so let it go and have a coffee

Boom.  A nice MP3 of your video.

Thanks to all the folks who made the youtube-dl tool!

Thanks to all the efforts of the free software community who make all of this possible.

Extra note: If, for some reason everything looks like it was running fine and you can’t find your new MP3 file in the Home directory, it’s possible the defaults were changed by you or something else and the Terminal downloaded the video somewhere else.  Do a system wide search for your file and you’ll probably find it somewhere.  This happened to me a few times 🙁

 

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Working with PDFs in Ubuntu

Ubuntu is by far the best operating system in existence.  One of the things that hasn’t been broadcast around much is how Ubuntu is also awesome for business.

If you run a business (or work in one) you will know that PDF files are one of the most standard documents that you work with, or would like to work with.  Here is a bullet proof list of things that I’m always dealing with and that Ubuntu solves:

  • people sending .jpg or .tiff or .png files instead of PDFs (unprofessional but a reality)
  • PDF files being way too big which is unfair to bandwidth, especially if someone will be downloading on a mobile (good percentage chance)
  • I need to split a bunch of pages, do something, and then glue them back together again and I don’t want to print it all and scan it
  • I need to watermark or stamp a PDF with something
  • I need to create a PDF from a word processing document or spreadsheet

These are just some of my regular issues, but great news!  All of them will be solved for you in this post, once and for all, and for free.

How to Compress a Big PDF File Without Killing the Quality

This one took me a while, but all you have to do is:

  1. open a terminal (if you don’t know how, click here)
  2. Navigate with the terminal to where your over-sized PDF file is (If you don’t know how, go to the section on “File & Directory Commands” on this page.)
  3. In the gobbly-gook that is sitting in step #4 below, change the ‘OUTPUTFILENAME’ to the name you want the resulting file to be named and the INPUTFILENAME to the name of the file that is too big and is sitting in the directory you just navigated to.
  4. copy this gobbly gook into your computer clipboard AFTER doing step #3 to it.  I would recommend pasting it to a separate text editor (like body of an email) first, do your changes, and then re-pasting it to the terminal) :  gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dPDFSETTINGS=/default     -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -dDetectDuplicateImages     -dCompressFonts=true -r150 -sOutputFile=OUTPUTFILENAME.pdf INPUTFILENAME.pdf
  5. Copy your updated version of the gobbly-gook to the computer’s clipboard
  6. Paste it to the terminal with this *different* version of control V.  If you use the normal paste, it won’t work.  Do this: control + Shift (same time) then press ‘v’ and it will paste to the terminal.
  7. press the enter key and the process will run

You should now have a smaller PDF file that didn’t lose too much quality.  There are other versions of this command above which I found killed the quality too much. This one was great for me.

How to Convert a .jpg or a .tiff or a .png File to a PDF File

  1. Open a terminal (if you don’t know how, click here)
  2. Navigate with your terminal to where your .jpg or a .tiff or a .png files are (If you don’t know how, go to the section on “File & Directory Commands” on this page.)
  3. type ‘convert’ and then start typing the name of the file you want to convert.  *TIP: after you start typing the file name, you can press ‘tab’ and it will auto fill.  If it doesn’t completely auto fill it means there is another file name there similar so you have to type a few more letters and then ‘tab’ again.  This saves much time and errors.
  4. start typing the name of the file you want the newly created PDF to be named.  Likely it will be the same as the photo name which is great and convenient because you can use the same TIP above with the tab button and it will auto-fill it quickly.  Caution: if you use auto-fill make sure you change the last three letters to ‘.pdf’ so that it will actually open as a pdf!
  5.  Here is what an example command will look like before you press enter: convert photo_document.png photo_document.pdf
  6. Press enter

If you know how to do basic terminal navigation, this is truly a lightening fast process and super useful.  That said, there is probably a light conversion app out there that does this on Ubuntu and I’d like not to use the terminal if possible so please share

How to Take a Multi-Page PDF File and Split Them into Individual Files

  1. go to the Ubuntu software center search and get “PDF Sam” pdf_sam
  2. Use the ‘split’ feature
  3. Mess around with all the options (I don’t have time to do a full tutorial here)
  4. Enjoy!

How to Take a Multi-Page PDF File and Split Them at a Certain Point in the File

 

  • go to the Ubuntu software center search and get “PDF Sam” pdf_sam
  • Use the ‘split’ feature
  • Make sure you choose the ‘split after these pages’ and the file will ‘cut’ right there.  I haven’t tried it but I bet you could put a comma in there after each page number you want to split at and split a whole series of pages….
  • Enjoy!

 

How to Watermark or Stamp or Batch Adjust Multiple Pages on a PDF in 10 Easy Steps

Tutorial about how to stamp.

Tutorial about how to watermark.

How to Rotate All Pages in a Multi Page PDF File

I wrote this tutorial earlier for this one here.

How to Turn Anything You Can Print into a PDF Document (ie. Emails, web pages, etc)

I wrote this tutorial earlier for this one here.

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