More on extracting audio from video

Christopher Breen
19 February, 2009
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I’ve received a fair bit of follow-up email to my blog entry from last week, Extracting audio from movies with iLife. Now seems as good a time as any to address a couple of those messages. So, here goes:

Will extracting audio work with commercial DVDs as well?

No, it won’t. Commercial DVDs are copy-protected in such a way that you can’t use the iLife applications to extract the video or audio content from them. You have two ways to deal with this.

The first is to remove the copy protection. You can learn more about that from my DVD Ripping FAQ Playlist blog. Once you’ve ripped the DVD to something like a QuickTime movie, you can then extract the audio using the techniques I outlined in the original article.

The other option is to capture the audio as it plays from the DVD. Both Ambrosia Software’s $US69 ($A108) WireTap Studio and Rogue Amoeba’s $US32 ($A50) Audio Hijack Pro capture audio playing from a DVD and save it as a file compatible with iTunes.

What if I want to take the audio off of a YouTube video and put it on a CD to play in the car? Can I do this?

Not immediately, no. This is another two-solutions situation. The first solution is the audio capture option I just mentioned.

The other is using a tool such as TastyApp’s $US15 ($A23) Videobox to download the movie and convert it to a form where you can extract its audio with the iLife applications. Or, if you’re using Firefox, you can use the free (donations appreciated) Flash Video Resources Downloader add-on to download Flash videos. Once you have those videos you can open them in QuickTime Player Pro, extract the audio, and then convert that audio track to an AIFF file that you can bring into iTunes. If QuickTime Player appears to be choking on your Flash files, download and install Perian, a free QuickTime component that allows QuickTime to play a host of files it doesn’t natively support.

Before engaging in this kind of activity, be aware that some material on sites such as YouTube is copyrighted, meaning that you may not have the right to download and convert it.

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