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How to Extract Audio from Video Files for Free

updated 1/11/11


I was editing a home video of my son's piano recital.  I decided I wanted to start with the video of him playing, but then cut over to some still shots I took during the performance without interrupting the audio track, but Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 would not continue just the audio of the video while displaying a still photo. 

I needed to extract the audio track from my main video so I could import it as an audio overlay that would span across all of the photos and video clips.

  1. Download the free program called AVIdemux
  2. Open AVIdemux.
  3. Open your video in AVIdemux either by File>Open, or by dragging the video onto the AVIdemux interface.
  4. Click the big blue "i" button in the toolbar to see what format/codec your audio was encoded with (e.g. 8-bit PCM ; MP2)
  5. Under "Audio" on the left, select the format/codec you want to use to save the audio track...I recommend .mp3 for greatest compatibility.  ("Copy" will simply save in the same format as the original, as displayed in step 4; selecting another format will transcode the audio to the new format.)
  6. Click Audio>Save, give the file a name and the extension matching the format/codec you chose in step 5 (e.g. MP3=.mp3 ; MP2=.mp2).
  7. You have now successfully ripped the audio track from your video file.

Also, see here how you can also use AVIdemux to rotate your AVI files nearly losslessly.