Podcast Episode Encode & Tag Shell Script

After producing two podcast episodes I was ready to start streamlining my workflow. One of the most tedious steps was converting the WAV file output by Audacity to MP3 with XLD, adding to iTunes to update all of the MP3 tags and add album art, then removing from my iTunes library, and renaming the MP3.

 Example: Running the Script for Nine41 Episode 1
Example: Running the Script for Nine41 Episode 1

Setup to run on macOS, this shell script does all of this in a single command with two inputs – episode number and episode title. It uses FFmpeg to convert an audio file (will accept many different types), add the proper MP3 tags using the values entered and some constants in the script, embeds the album art, and converts to mono MP3 for uploading to your podcast hosting site.

I’m not claiming this is the best or most efficient script, but it works well for me, and saves a ton of time during the workflow of producing an episode.


  • Input: The script looks for any .wav file on the desktop. You can tweak this in Lines 3 & 37.
  • Output: Writes as a 128 kbps mono channel MP3 to the desktop. You can tweak this in Lines 3 & 37.

ID3v2 Tags Written

  • Title (We use the format of “Episode # | “Episode Title!”)
  • Album Name (Name of Podcast)
  • Artist (Hosts of Podcast)
  • Track (Episode #)
  • Genre
  • Copyright (Formatted as “Copyright 20xx Hosts of Podcast
  • Year (Current Year by System Date)
  • Filename (Written as “episode#_EpisodeTitle.mp3″

Things You’ll Want to Edit

  • Line 10: The Format of the Episode Title
  • Line 12: Podcast Name
  • Line 13: Hosts of Podcast
  • Line 15: Genre/Category of Podcast
  • Line 37: Path to Album Art
  • Line 37: If you want a more verbose output from FFmpeg, remove “-nostats -loglevel 0” at the beginning of the line.
 Screenshot of Script
Screenshot of Script



Download the Script

Recovering Texan proudly in the PNW. Cyclist. Avid traveler and aviation geek. Apple fanboy. Lover of cold brew. Maker of SassTags. Learning Python. he/him. ⚣

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