How to Create an Audio File from a Video File

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There are many reasons to create an audio file of a video file. Let’s say you or your children like to watch movies, TV shows, documentaries, or any other kind of videos at night. This activity is a big strain on your eyes. Creating an audio version of your favorite movies or TV shows makes perfect sense in such a scenario.

Reasons for Video-to-Audio Conversion

Other reasons to extract sound from video might be that:

  • you want to fall asleep while listening to your favorite stand-up comedian or listening to your favorite documentary from Sir David Attenborough
  • you don’t want to be disturbed by the flickering lights of your laptop’s or TV’s display, so instead you wish to listen to the audio only
  • there is a blind or a visually impaired person in your family or among your friends and you want to give them a nice present

Audacity and FFmpeg

To create audio from video, I use the free and excellent Audacity software tool together with the FFmpeg multimedia framework.

So first thing to do is to download and install the most current versions of Audacity and FFmpeg.

Thanks to FFmpeg, Audacity will allow you to open almost any kind of standard video file (avi, mkv, wmv, mpg, mov, or mp4) and save its audio track as a separate audio file such as mp3, wav, ogg, or wma.

Convert

To do the actual conversion, launch Audacity and go to File > Open or press the Ctrl+O keyboard shortcut.

Select one or more video files from your hard drive and click Open.

You will see the open file like this:

audacity-track

Audacity track

To save the video’s audio track into a separate audio file, simply click File > Export Audio.

Then give the new audio file a name and click Save.

Audacity will give you the option to edit the audio file’s metadata — Artist Name, Track Title, Album Title, etc. You can skip this step by clicking OK.

audacity-export-audio-options

Audacity — Export Audio Options

As for time-frame considerations, opening up a 20-minute avi video file takes approximately 15 seconds and converting that same avi video file to an mp3 audio file at 128 kbps (kilobits per second) takes another minute.

If 128 kbps doesn’t meet your needs, you can specify the audio format’s options when saving the output file.

The audio quality can be as low as 8 and as high as 320 kbps.

Once you have finished creating the audio files, you can burn them on a data CD or copy them to a USB stick or SD memory card, and play them back via your audio player system.

Have fun!

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