Convert Recorded FM Radio Programs from 3GPP to MP3 Format

Every Android phone comes with a FM radio built inside that is great for listening to radio programs when you are bored or have no internet connection. I personally listen to some the news talk programs or the music stations when going for a walk every evening. And sometimes the talk show or the informative programs are so interesting that you want to record some of them for listening one more time at a later time when you are not so busy talking with others.

While the Android phones have the in-built FM radio app that allows for recording of the radio broadcasts easily, these recordings are usually saved using the 3GPP audio format. Typically, you would record the FM programs by opening the menu in the FM app and choosing Record FM option. This opens up the recording interface and you can start recording by tapping on the small red dot icon.

Convert 3GPP to MP3

But the files are saved in the 3GPP audio format which is not recognized by many of the media players and can only be played by the VideoLAN VLC media player both in Android and the Windows PC. For making the recordings easily playable over a wide range of devices you would want to convert the 3GPP audio files into the MP3 format.

For conversion of audio files, there is nothing better than the FFMPEG command line tool which is able to convert a large number of media file formats. The process is similar to what we posted earlier about conversion of video file formats using FFMPEG. Suppose you have a file FM_20160501_200016.3gpp and you want to convert it into the MP3 format, then you would give the following command:

ffmpeg -i FM_20160501_200016.3gpp -c:a libmp3lame output.mp3

Convert 3GPP to MP3

This will convert the original 3GPP audio file into an MP3 file output.mp3 using the popular Lame MP3 library. You can then use this MP3 file in any media player you want.

You can download the required FFMPEG tools for Windows from If you are not so much fond of using the command line tools, then there is also a GUI front-end for the FFMPEG that makes things a little easier.