How to Play AMR Audio Files on Ubuntu 22.04

How to Play AMR Audio Files on Ubuntu 22.04

Are you struggling to find a way to play AMR audio files on your Ubuntu 22.04 machine? 

Look no further! We’re here to help.

AMR, short for Adaptive Multi-rate, is a codec used for compressing and saving phone call audio, voice recordings (such as MMS messages), and VoIP applications. AMR uses the Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction (ACELP) compression algorithm, specifically tailored for speech coding.

AMR audio files may be saved in different formats depending on their frequency range. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of dealing with AMR files on your Ubuntu machine, enabling you to listen to them seamlessly.

Let’s get started!

What You’ll Need

Before you go into the tutorial, ensure you have the following things:

  • A system running Ubuntu (22.04 or later)
  • A stable internet connection

If you have all the requirements in place, then you can proceed to the steps below.

How to Play AMR Audio Files on Ubuntu 22.04: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Collect an AMR Audio File

    First, you need an AMR file that we can try and play on your device. You can find many free samples on the internet

    1. Download an AMR file from any of the provided samples.
    download amr file
    1. After downloading the file, ensure that it really is an AMR file. Sometimes a file may have an extension in the name but it may be a different type of file. To confirm if it’s an AMR file, use this command:
    file amr.amr
    check file type on linux

    As you can see from the above screenshot, it’s an Adaptive Multi-Rate Codec file. So now we can try playing it.

    Step 2: Play AMR File on Ubuntu’s Default Media Player

    The easiest way to play an AMR file is to use Ubuntu’s media players that come pre-installed. 

    If you’re using a GUI desktop version of Ubuntu, most probably it came with a few players. 

    In our case, we’re using the GNOME desktop environment and it comes with the Totem video player and Rhythmbox music player.

    1. To open the file in Totem, you can simply double-click the audio file. If it’s supported (which it is in the case of our demo file), it should start playing right away, like in the screenshot below:
    totem video player
    1. If you want to play it on Rhythmbox, then you need to bring the respective file to the Music directory.
    2. Move the AMR file(s) to the Music directory with this command:
    mv current/path/to/the/file ~/Music
    mv command
    1. Then launch the application with this command:
    1. After it’s launched, you should see the file in the Music tab of the application. Double-click on the file to play it (as shown in the screenshot below):
    rhythmbox play audio

    This should start playing the file on Rhythmbox.

    Step 3: Play AMR File on VLC Media Player

    If the AMR file in your possession didn’t play on Totem or Rhythmbox, then you can try using VLC media player. It’s a free and open-source media player that supports multiple codes, including AMR.

    1. Before you install VLC, you need to update your system. By updating your system, you can make sure you have the latest versions of software available on your software cache repository list. Update your system with this command:
    sudo apt update
    update linux
    1. Now install VLC using this command:
    sudo apt install vlc
    install vlc
    1. If you prefer installing from the snap store, you can install it by running this command:
    sudo snap install vlc
    install vlc
    1. Go to the application drawer. Search for VLC in the search bar. Click on the VLC media player icon to open the application.
    open vlc
    1. You can also run from the command line using this command:
    open vlc
    1. After opening the media player, you should see a similar interface as shown in the screenshot below:
    vlc media player
    1. Click on Media > Open File. Alternatively, you can use the Ctrl + O keys shortcut to do that.
    open audio in vlc
    1. Go to the destination where you have the AMR file. Left-click on it and press the Open button to play the file on VLC.
    opening audio in vlc
    1. As you can notice below, the file will start playing on the VLC media player.
    play amr audio files on ubuntu

    Step 4: Convert the AMR File to a Different Codec

    If you were unsuccessful in playing the AMR audio file on the media players we’ve covered so far, then it’s best to convert the file into a format commonly supported by media players. 

    For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll convert it to an MP3 file. 

    To perform the conversion, we will utilize FFmpeg, a powerful and widely-used tool for processing video and audio files. FFmpeg is renowned for its extensive multimedia framework and broad support for various multimedia formats.

    Here are the steps to convert the AMR file to MP3 using FFmpeg:

    1. If you didn’t update your software repo list in the previous method, you should do it now. This is so that you only have all the up-to-date packages in the repositories. Update the list with this command:
    sudo apt update
    1. After updating the system, you must install FFmpeg. Install FFmpeg using the below command:
    sudo apt install ffmpeg
    install ffmpeg
    1. To confirm if the installation was successful or not, you can check the current version of FFmpeg. To check its version, run the following command. You should get a similar output as shown in the below screenshot which means the installation was a success.
    ffmpeg -version
    ffmpeg version checking
    1. The basic syntax of the ffmpeg command is as follows:
    ffmpeg [options] [[infile options] -i infile]... {[outfile options] outfile}

    To convert the AMR file to an MP3 file, enter the below command:

    ffmpeg -i amr.amr amr.mp3
    change file format using ffmpeg
    1. You can check if the conversion was successful with this command. As shown in the screenshot below, the conversion was successful since the new file exists in the directory.
    ls command
    1. You can check the file type to see if the file really is an MP3 file. Check the file type with this command:
    file amr.mp3
    check file type
    1. If you’d like to examine the new file in more detail and see its size and other specifications, you can use this command:
    stat amr.mp3
    stat command
    1. Double-click on the file to play it on the default media player or open the file in your preferred one.
    play audio on vlc

    (Optional) Alternative Non-Command Line Option to Convert AMR File 

    If you don’t want to use command-line tools, you can also use web tools to convert the AMR file. We really love FileZigZag because it’s easy to use and supports a wide range of formats.

    1. Open your web browser and go to
    2. You can either drag and drop your file or press the Browse for Files button. If you chose the latter way, then choose your file from the file explorer.
    1. After uploading your file to the website, choose the format to which you want to convert it. You may add more files if you want by pressing the Add more files button. When you’re done, press the Start Converting button to start the process.
    filezigzag convert file
    1. This should start the conversion process. You can wait for it to finish or submit your email so that they can notify you when it’s finished. When it’s done, you’ll be taken to a different page. You can download the converted file from there by pressing the Download button.
    filezigzag download file

    In conclusion, if you encounter difficulties playing an AMR audio file on Ubuntu’s default media players, converting the file to a more commonly supported format is the recommended solution.

    We’ve shown you multiple ways to deal with them in this guide. You can either play them on the supported media players or convert them to other audio file formats and play them. 

    If you encounter any difficulties or have further questions, seeking assistance from the Ubuntu Forums can be helpful as it can allow Ubuntu users who may have encountered similar issues to offer guidance and support.

    If this guide helped you, please share it.

    Related Posts