How to Convert Video to Audio (Mp3) using VLC

Sometimes, you want to convert your video and just keep the audio and save it as an MP3. It’s simple to extract music from videos. You don’t have to download any additional software to do it if your computer already has VLC Media Player installed. The convert feature that comes with the free player allows you to remove the video part and just keep the audio or the music. That means you can remove all those moving images and just save it as an MP3 or any other audio format like WAV, FLAC or OGG. This is a great feature if you want to just keep the music from the music videos. You’d be reducing the file size drastically.

To just keep the audio (music) of video files using VLC Media Player:

  • Click on Media > Convert/Save [CTRL + R].
  • Click on Add.
  • Browse and open your video file.
  • Click on Convert/Save.
  • Under Settings, in Profile choose Audio – MP3.
  • Hit Browse and give a destination file name.
  • Click Start.

Video to MP3 Audio

The conversion process will begin immediately. You will notice the audio extraction process happen as it is indicated by the player’s progress slider. Once the slider reaches the end, you can browse to and locate the destination audio file. The size will be low and the MP3 file can be easily copied to your smartphone, music player or any other mobile audio playing device.

The conversion from video to audio is not just limited to MP3 format. You must have noticed other formats in the convert dialog. The profiles that come by default are Vorbig (OGG), FLAC and CD. You can also select WAV as the encapsulation in the conversion profile editor. There are also several audio codecs like MPEG Audio, MPEG 4 Audio (AAC), A52/AC-3, Vorbis, Flac, Opus, Speex and WMA2. These are advanced audio formats and just MP3 would be enough for the most of us.

Video Tutorial

15 thoughts to “How to Convert Video to Audio (Mp3) using VLC”

  1. Capture audio directly from YouTube (YT) vid using VLC and without first downloading the video. I have divided the steps into two procedures. It seems long and complex, but once you’ve done it a time or two it’s easy. This was done using a Win 7 computer:

    Proc. 1:

    1. Copy to the Win clipboard the video URL from YT.

    2. Load VLC, use Ctrl-s to get the Open Media dialog box.

    3. Click the Network tab, paste the URL into the network URL entryfield provided.

    4. At lower right, click the Stream drop-down arrow and choose *Play*.

    5. When the vid starts to play (if it does–some YT vids seem to be protected and will not stream/play), pause it with VLC’s Pause button.

    6. Press Ctrl-j to open the Current Media Information dialog and choose the Codec tab.

    7. In the Location entryfield near the base of the dialog, select and copy the entire very long URL string. This is tricky, because the cursor will not appear when the mouse pointer is clicked in the field. Click there anyway, pretend the cursor is there, and press the Home key to get to the far left end of the URL string. Then do Shift-End to select the whole string, then Ctrl-c to copy it. Close the dialog box.

    8. Then, back in the VLC window, click the Stop button to entirely stop the playback and clear VLC for the next procedure.

    Proc 2:
    1. Do Ctrl-s again, choose the Network tab, and this time paste the new long URL into the network URL slot.

    2. Then use the Stream drop-down to choose *Convert* (NOT Play).

    3. In the Convert dialog, to the right of Profile choose Audio – MP3.

    4. For Destination file, click the Browse button and browse to the target folder and enter a name for the .mp3 file-to-be and give it a .mp3 extension.

    5. Click Start.

    6. VLC will now convert the vid to audio at about 2-3x the usual play speed but with no sound. The usual progress bar will display progress in the VLC window.

    7. When it’s done, your .mp3 file should be in the specified folder.

    8. Done. Close VLC.

    If anyone knows how to get the long URL without having to do Proc 1, please post.

    1. Following the websites instructions, I don’t see “Media>Convert/Save” as an option. There is File>Convert/Stream, but when I save it shows up as code on a TextEdit file. And CTRL + R doesn’t bring me anywhere. Also tried David S’s suggestions. Proc 2 #5: There’s no Start, just Save, which also creates a Text file. Help.

  2. You should probably tell people to make sure they turn off the “looping” feature before doing this tutorial. When looping is on, VLC just wants to convert the file over and over and it doesn’t stop. It took me a long time to realize that this was my problem.

    1. Thank you ever so much ! I was bothered by that problem and would never have figured that out ! (I had to terminate the process via Task Manager to finally get rid of the loop ! ) . Really that issue should be included in the tutorial.

  3. Easiest process I have found and it works well for me.
    Could another program be interfering on those having trouble. I do run an anti-virus and ad-blocker and they haven’t blocked.

  4. The prior version of VLC allowed a direct stream from youtube to .mp3 without an intermediate save of the .mp4 to disk followed by use of “Convert”. That procedure no longer works–it is much slower and produces only an empty .mp3 file. Is the older more-efficient feature gone, or is there a way to make it work again? Thanks,

  5. Followed steps exactly through to clicking on Start and expecting “The conversion process will begin immediately. You will notice the audio extraction process happen as it is indicated by the player’s progress slider”. No, it doesn’t. Just sits there with grayed out buttons and never (after > 1 hour for a 5 minute video) does anything other than creates an mp3 file with a length of 0.

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