How To Save Audio from a Video File

This blog post tells you how to save audio from a video file.

Warning: I’m not vouching for any downloads! You download and use apps/files at your own risk.

There are various reasons why somebody would want to save the audio from a video file. The audio track will likely be smaller than the video file, so saving some space could be a reason. The application/device you wish to use to listen to the audio might be another reason.

It could be you’re recording audio, but using a device that also captures video at the same time. Looking at the process has made me regret some of the recording hardware I’ve moved on, as I would’ve still found the captured audio acceptable.

I’m going to show you two ways to export the audio track from a video file.

Using Avidemux to save the audio track:

  1. Open the video file.
  2. From the menu, select ‘Audio’, then ‘Save Audio’.
  3. Then choose the location to save the audio.

Audio being saved from a container file

This is probably the simplest method for most people and there are Linux, MAC OS and Windows versions of the package. Basically you’re opening a container file and then removing the audio.

The audio that is saved will depend on what is in the container file. For example, I’ve saved AAC, AC3 and WAV audio from files.

Using FFmpeg to save audio from a video file using Windows:

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Using FFmpeg depending on your requirements you could type commands similar to ffmpeg -i example.mp4 -vn -acodec copy example.aac

Command prompt showing a FFmpeg example

You could decide to place the ffmpeg.exe application in the same directory as the file you’re processing as I’ve shown in the example.

You can try and substitute the filename and file extensions for your requirements. In the example above I already knew to export to AAC as I had already used Mediainfo to look at the audio information of the video file. You can also type ffmpeg -i example.mp4 to show video and audio information.

Converting between audio formats
At some stage later, perhaps I want to convert AAC to MP3 or WAV, so again using Ffmpeg, I could do the following:

ffmpeg -i example.aac example.mp3 or ffmpeg -i example.aac example.wav

So at this stage, some of you might be wondering why not just type ffmpeg -i example.mp4 example.aac or similar when saving the audio from a video file.

If you’re happy with video to audio output using -acodec copy, then the time saved using that command might be appreciated. It’s also possible that you might find a resulting audio file larger if you don’t use the -acodec copy method.

AAC, MP3 and WAV
Not the only audio formats around, but I will use the three for reference. If the original audio was only AAC, then if you’re happy to use AAC, you might find no benefit from converting to MP3 and WAV. A MP3 will likely be much larger than a AAC and a WAV even bigger.

This is obviously not a definitive guide on audio extraction from video and conversions. This blog post hopefully provides enough information to help point somebody in the right direction and enables people to quickly without fuss extract audio.

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