Can't import WhatsApp OGG file

[Topic split from:]

I also have problems with .ogg audio from WhatsApp. I don’t think it’s just a problem with the file because this happens every time I receive WhatsApp audio. I’d really like to directly open these files in Audacity.

On the other hand, I downloaded a sample file linked by @Midimaster and I was able to open it in Audacity right away.

I’ve had success and failures opening these .ogg WhatsApp files as follows:

  1. Audacity: File → Import → Audio (FAILS – see error message below)
  2. Audacity: File → Import → Raw Data (Succeeds, imports garbled static-which options to use?)
  3. Quicktime: File → Open (FAILS - “file isn’t compatible with player”)
  4. VLC: File-> open SUCCESS - can listen to audio and export as .ogg which then imports into Audacity

I’m using Audacity 2.4.2 on Mac OS 10.15.5

Thanks for any help. Here’s the error message from item (1):
Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 8.19.19 PM.jpg

Try uploading the problem file to this page for analysis:
(your files isn’t actually “uploaded” anywhere - the analysis happen in your web browser).

If it’s not obvious what the problem is, copy and paste the info from that page into your reply.

Thanks for your help. Here is the output from that website:

Complete name : WhatsApp Audio 2020-07-15 at 06.24.54.ogg
Format : Ogg
File size : 76.2 KiB
Duration : 32 s 707 ms
Overall bit rate : 19.1 kb/s

ID : 100 (0x64)
Format : Opus
Duration : 32 s 707 ms
Channel(s) : 1 channel
Channel layout : C
Sampling rate : 16.0 kHz
Compression mode : Lossy
Writing library : WhatsApp

That bit is important.

Do you have “FFmpeg for Audacity” installed? (it must be the 64-bit version for Audacity 2.4.2)

I’ve tried to go through the steps, but I really don’t know. Let me explain: When I use Preferences → Library and then click “locate” here it what I see. So at that point I hit “No” assuming I’ve already installed it.
Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 10.25.29 PM.jpg
Also, I went through the steps reset my Audacity settings (clearing out the Audacity folder in Application Support) but that didn’t help.

I’m happy to try other things.


The line that says:
FFmpeg Library Version: F(55.33.100),…
indicates that FFmpeg is correctly installed.

I don’t have any WhatsApp file to test, so I’m having to make some educated guesses.
Try renaming the file from:

I tried what you suggested, renaming with the extension .opus, but got the same result.

I’d be happy to share just a second or two of the file here, but I can’t figure out how to do that with the tools I have (I’ve tried many things). Any suggestions? Or, is there a way I can share the file with you and not with the entire internet?


I might have figured out a way to share a portion of the WhatsApp .oog file. First, I renamed it to m.oog and then I ran the following ffmpeg Terminal command:

ffmpeg -i “m.ogg” -f segment -segment_time 1 -c copy m%03d.ogg

This segmented the file into 1 second segments, which I found to behave the same as described above; namely, not opening in Audacity or Quicktime, but opening in VLC.

Attached is one of those segments.

That opens up for me with Audacity 2.4.2 on Linux.
Remind me - This is the forum board for Windows users, but your profile says macOS…

You are right, I am using Mac OS. But I also have Windows via VirtualBox so I installed Audacity 2.4.2, including ffmpeg in order to check. It worked immediately in Windows for my original WhatsApp.ogg and the m024.ogg I made. So it appears the problem is Mac OS related.

Sorry to be posting in the wrong forum. I just did a search for WhatsApp audio problems and found this thread. Should I re-post in the Mac forum?


No need. I’ve split the topic and moved the Mac parts here.
Hopefully one of the Mac people will now find this thread and offer some help.

Here are some other things I’ve discovered while troubleshooting:

  1. Although the .ogg audio files people send me do not play in “WhatsApp Web” – which runs within Chrome, they do play in the stand-alone Mac OS WhatsApp program.
  2. However, when the .ogg files in the stand-alone Mac OS are downloaded, they still do not play in Mac Audacity, Quicktime, …
  3. the .ogg files also play in the iOS WhatsApp App. If those files are shared via AirDrop, email, etc… with MacOS they become .m4a and play fine

    So, to summarize: the only place there are problems is when Mac OS touches these .ogg files from WhatsApp. But there is one exception: the VLC MacOS program is able to open these .ogg files, and if they are exported as .ogg from VLC then they will play in Audacity

Unfortunately Max (my go-to Mac format converter) also chokes on that file (m024.ogg).

It’s a pain, but the only workaround I can see is the one you’ve found - open them in VLC and re-save them.

– Bill

I appreciate the effort you made, Bill. I’ve contacted the WhatsApp support team and referenced this discussion. Maybe they’ll come up with an answer.

I noted that although the file contains 1 second of audio, VLC shows it as being 24 seconds long. Maybe that’s a clue?
– Bill

Bill, if you see an earlier post I explain how I segmented the original file for the sake of sharing a sample here, using this Terminal command:

ffmpeg -i “m.ogg” -f segment -segment_time 1 -c copy m%03d.ogg

So I suspect that’s the source of the time inconsistency you mention.

Also, I have an update: I received a response from WhatsApp support. After requesting that I send them a screen recording demonstrating, they responded with this: “We are aware of the issue and we are working on fixing it in a future update of WhatsApp”

That’s very useful to know.

So for now, it seems that converting with VLC is about the best workaround.

Sometimes WhatsApp doesn’t support some OGG file the reason is may be the file size is too large which is not meet with WhatsApp file importing requirement, but I don’t know how to fix it because I am not techy savvy, but in a article I red about this WhatsApp Plus application which has feature to increase this size of any file but I would never recommend anyone to use it because it is a modified and unauthorized application which is develop by third party developer but if you still want to check it then app detail you can check here

[Link removed]

Advertising of any kind is not allowed on this forum.
Advertising an “unauthorized application” that may be not be legal is even more not allowed.
(WhatsApp TOS: Terms of Service)

I’m sorry if I did something wrong and next time I’ll take care of it