Extract Audio from a Video
Edited by Sean, Eng
Extract Audio from a Video
Have you ever watched a music video on your computer or taken a video on your phone, or camera, and wondered how to take the audio of it? There are many reasons you might want to do that, like if you want just the music from a music video, if you had a class and you recorded the lesson but don't require the video, or if you want to create a smaller file and don't necessarily need the video aspect. Thankfully, these days it is pretty easy to extract audio from a video and you can do it quickly, easily and for free.
This guide will show you how to extract audio from a video using specifics programs on Windows and Mac. Check out the two sections below to see exactly how to do it on either operating system.
Audio Extraction Programs for Windows
This section will highlight two specific programs for Windows that you can use to extract audio from a video file. Both of these only work with certain types of video files (although you can download codecs to expand their range of options) and between the two programs you should be able to extract audio from any of the major types of video files. Below, in each respective section, you can see the step by step process for using these two programs to extract audio.
VLC Media Player
Available for: PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and several other operating systems.
When you go to search for VLC Media Player you will likely see something called VideoLan with a big orange traffic cone as a logo, and that is the right program. VideoLan is the non-profit organization that created VLC Media Player and they are the ones that offer it for free. Not only can VLC Media Player be used to extract audio from videos, but it is also excellent for playing videos and supports a wide variety of file types that many other media players don't support by default. You can download it at VideoLan's website.
Below is a guide to show you exactly how to use it, once you download and install it, to extract audio from a video.
- 2Click on the drop down Media menu and scroll down and click on Convert/SaveAdvertisement
- 3On this menu, on the default File tab, click on Add
- 4This will open up Windows Explorer and will ask you to find the file you want to convert
- 5Find and select whatever video file you want to convert and then click on Convert/Save on the bottom right
- 7Select one of the audio types you want to convert it (Audio - MP3 is a good default choice)
- 8Now under the Destination bar in the bottom click Browse to select where you want to save the file to and you also need to name the file
- 9Press Start
This process is a bit confusing when you have to figure it out yourself, but they do have some information about it on their website and with this guide it should be pretty easy. Just convert it and then go find the new file to make sure it converted without any errors.
Available for: PC, Mac (only select versions) and Linux
This program is known for editing and creating audio, for free. Like VLC Media Player, Audacity is a free open source program that basically runs on donations and goodwill. It is easier to use than VLC Media Player, but by default it doesn't cover as many video file types and you may need to download codecs to fix that (more on that later). Here is the quick step by step process for using Audacity to extract audio from a video once you've downloaded the program and installed it:
- 2Click on the File menu on the top left and scroll down to Import
- 3On the Import click on Audio, or if that doesn't work use the Raw Data option
- 4Locate and select the video file you want to extract audio from
- 6Alternatively, you can physically grab the file and drop it into Audacity to import it
If you run into errors and it tells you that it cannot convert that file type then you will need to go find those codecs that I mentioned earlier. At the bottom of this section of the Audacity website you will see a section talking about Libraries and specifically FFmpeg import/export and LAME MP3 encoding. If you grab both of those libraries and add them to Audacity, which is easy to do and explained on their website, it will likely solve any problems you have with importing the audio of a video file.
Other Programs to consider
Audacity and VLC Media Player are safe, reliable and fairly easy to use, but there are plenty of other programs that will allow you to convert video files to audio. Unfortunately, if you use something like Google or Bing to search for programs that do this you will find a confusingly large amount of programs that claim to do this, but are of questionable reputation and safety. Some of those programs are legitimate and work well, while others may be minor viruses of some sort that want to infect your computer with spyware or adware. Here are a few more safe and trusted programs that you can use:
- Apple's QuickTime Player
Available for: PC and Mac
This wasn't included in the main list of programs to use for converting audio from a video because it isn't free. If you have a Mac you will be able to use this, most likely, to extract audio, but if you are on PC then you have the free version that requires you to upgrade to use their export/import tool. However, if you can use it is easy to use and does a decent job. Download it on the QuickTime website.
- MPEG Streamclip
Available for: PC and Mac
This program is free, easy to use and somewhat well known. Unlike many other audio or video converters, this one has plenty of reviews around the internet and it has been around for a significant amount of time. MPEG Streamclip is similar to VLC Media Player in that it supports a wide variety of video and audio file types, so you should be able to convert, or just play, a large majority of audio of video files with this program. It let's you do a little bit of editing when it comes to videos and audio, and it is generally pretty user friendly. Check it out and download on the MPEG Streamclip website.
As you can see, there are many different easily accessible programs available for converting and ripping audio from a video. With these programs you should be able to get audio from any file type and on either Mac or PC (or even Linux for two of these).
These programs will also work for videos from many different types of phones, including iPhones. For instance, Audacity cannot by default convert iPhone videos to audio, but with the codecs it can and VLC Media Player can do so by default. To do that just transfer the videos from from your phone to your computer, just like you would with any picture, and then use any of the programs on the guide to try to rip the audio out of the video.
If you have any questions about any of this feel free to ask and don't be afraid to experiment with these programs. They can be frustrating if something is going wrong, but between all four of these you should be able to find something that will work perfectly. Good luck!
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Recent edits by: Sean