VLC could not open the mpga/mp4v/mp4a audio encoder

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

When you try to convert video files using VLC Media Player, there is a common error message that you might see during the conversion: “VLC could not open the mpga audio encoder“. Although the error messages contain keywords like “audio encoder”, it doesn’t only affect audio files. It can also happen when you’re converting between different video formats, like from MKV to MP4. You might see this error with other encoders too, like mp4v, mp4a, h264, hevc, mp2v, mp1v, wmv2, div3, and mjpeg.

This guide will show you several solutions to help fix the issue. Each solution is explained in detail to show why it might work.

VLC could not open the mpga audio encoder

Change “Strict standard compliance” to -2

“Strict standard compliance” is a setting in FFmpeg, a library VLC uses for multimedia. This setting keeps strict compliance with multimedia standards, which can sometimes cause compatibility problems, like the “VLC could not open mpga audio encoder” error, especially with media files that don’t fully meet these standards. Changing this setting to “-2” makes VLC less strict, helping it process more file types.

  1. Open VLC and go to “Tools” > “Preferences“.VLC Tools Preferences
  2. Change “Show settings” from “Simple” to “All“.VLC show all settings
  3. Go to “Input / Codecs” > “Video codecs” > “FFmpeg“.VLC could not open the mp4a audio encoder
  4. Set “Strict standard compliance” to “-2“.VLC Strict standard compliance setting
  5. Hit “Save” and give your conversion another shot.

Useful guide: How to Merge Subtitles With Video Permanently Using VLC

Enable “Keep original video track” and “Keep original audio track”

VLC lets you keep the original video and audio tracks during conversion. Enabling these settings can help avoid codec-related issues during encoding. Basically, it keeps the original video and audio streams, which can reduce compatibility errors.

Follow these steps to enable this setting:

  1. Open VLC and go to “Media” > “Convert / Save…“.Convert and save in VLC
  2. Add the video file you want to convert.
  3. Click on “Convert / Save” at the bottom.Convert video VLC
  4. Choose the desired output profile under “Profile“.
  5. Click the tool icon next to the profile to edit it.Convert edit profile setting in VLC
  6. Under the “Video codec” and “Audio codec” tabs, check the boxes for “Keep original video track” and “Keep original audio track“.VLC could not open the mp4v video encoder
  7. Click “Save“, and then try the conversion again.

Pro tip: How to Cut Video Using VLC in Windows 11

Try another conversion profile

Sometimes the problem is just with the profile you’re using. Trying a different one might just fix the problem. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Do the steps from second solution above until you get to the “Convert” settings.
  2. Pick a different profile in the “Profile” dropdown.Try a different VLC conversion profile
  3. If it still doesn’t work, try another profile.

Also see: How to Compress a Video in Windows 11

Pick a different audio encoder

If VLC is fussing over the encoder you’re using (like MPGA), switching to another might be the solution. To change the encoder, do this:

  1. Follow the steps from Solution 2 until you’re back at the “Convert” settings.
  2. Hit the tool icon next to the profile you’ve picked to edit it.Convert profile settings VLC
  3. Go to the “Audio codec” tab and switch the Codec to something else, like “AAC” or “FLAC“.Fix VLC could not open the h264 or hevc video encoder
  4. Press “Save” and try converting your file once more.

Related resource: How to Move Subtitles in VLC Player

Install VLC again

If none of the above steps work, the problem might be with VLC itself. Sometimes, a fresh install can fix things. Follow the steps below to reinstall VLC:

  1. Remove VLC through “Control Panel” > “Programs” > “Programs and Features“. Find VLC, click it, and then click “Uninstall“.Uninstall VLC media player in Windows 11
  2. Restart your computer to make sure VLC is completely gone.
  3. Go to the official VLC site, download the latest version, and follow the setup instructions.Install VLC Media Player Windows 11
  4. Try your conversion again after VLC is back.

Try another video converter

If you’re still stuck with the “VLC could not open the mpga audio encoder” error (or any similar ones), maybe it’s time to try a different video converter. HandBrake is a great alternative with lots of conversion options.

Handbrake video converter

One last thing

Different VLC versions might have different settings. If you can’t find a setting mentioned here, it could be because of the version you’re using. If “VLC could not open the mpga/mp4v/mp4a audio encoder” keeps being a problem, consider using a different app that focuses on converting media files.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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