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How to Extract Audio from Video Files for Free

updated 1/11/11


Problem:

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. 

Need:
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.

Solution:
AVIdemux
  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.

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