Video to MP3 FAQ: Methods Used to Convert Videos to MP3s

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Question: Video to MP3 FAQ: Methods Used to Convert Videos to MP3s

This video to MP3 FAQ explores the main methods you can use to extract digital audio from video sources such as: online services (like YouTube); video files on your computer, and more.

**Note**: as always, it is recommended that when working with any digital media source (such as video in this case) that you don't infringe on any copyrights.

For more on the dos and don'ts of copyright, you might want to first browse through our Legal Issues section which goes into more detail.


Conversion in the Cloud

Rather than the traditional method of installing software tools on your computer that are capable of converting video to audio, online resources can be used to achieve satisfactory results. Cloud computing is a growing technology that more people are now using for all sorts of tasks. There are quite a few websites on the Internet which can extract audio from a video and encode it to an audio file in a format like MP3. Some online conversion services require you to upload the original file first in order to perform the extraction process. However, others only require you to provide a Web address (the URL link to the video) to do the transcoding in the cloud before downloading the newly created audio file to your computer.

To see an example of how this is done, we've written a tutorial on how to convert a YouTube video to an MP3.

Conversion Software

If you've got a lot of video files stored locally on your computer or external storage device (like a USB hard drive / flash drive, etc.) and need to extract the audio from them, then a software tool is the best option to use. As well as better conversion speed (compared to uploading/downloading files using an Internet-based service), the software installed on your computer usually has a better range of format support too.

Another advantage of using conversion software is that if you've got video files that are particularly large, then it makes sense to do the audio extraction locally -- rather than waste a lot of time uploading and downloading large files using an online conversion service.

For more information on using a software tool to extract audio from video files, read about creating MP3s from video clips.

Recording Software

Using the right type of software, it's possible to record the audio output from your computer's soundcard to create MP3s. Software programs like Streamosaur, Aktiv MP3 Recorder, and others utilize the sound output from your computer to generate digital audio files.

For a look at free applications that can record streams via your soundcard, be sure to see free streaming music recording programs.

Software Media Players

Software media players are often thought of as just being capable of playing back videos and digital music. However, some have built-in tools for extracting audio from video. VLC Media Player is one example of a jukebox program that can do this to enable you to build up an MP3 library from your video material. If you use this as your main media player, then it makes sense to also use it as a video to MP3 converter -- thus negating the need to install unnecessary software on your machine.

Browser Extensions

An extension (or addon) for your Web browser that can convert videos into downloadable MP3s can be a handy tool while surfing the Internet. Just about all Internet browsers are catered for these days -- the majority of addons are free to download and can extend the usefulness of your browser when watching streaming video.

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