From time to time you may come across a video that has a really compelling audio track that you feel like extracting. It could be a song that appeals to you, a useful bit of advice or information, or even just some ambient noise that you think you’d like to use in a project of yours. Whatever the case, it is certainly possible to extract the audio that you require from a video – but there are a few things that you should keep in mind when you do so.

  • Only extract the segment of audio that is needed

On the whole this probably goes without saying, but it is far better to just extract the segment of audio that you need rather than the entire audio track itself. The reason for this is twofold: Firstly you’ll end up with an audio file that only has the relevant bits that you want, and secondly it will undoubtedly be a smaller file size than if you extracted the entire audio track.

  • Keep in mind copyright issues

Generally speaking, if the copyright holder has made a video publically available and you want to extract the audio for personal use – that’s fine. However the video was made available by someone who does not own to copyright, or you intend to extract the audio and derive profit from it in any fashion – that’s not. If you’re not sure whether or not it is illegal, it is always better to look up the copyright issues involved beforehand.

  • Choose a good file format

For most people, MP3 is the ‘go to’ file format when extracting audio from video – but there are a number of other options out there too including WAV, WMA, FLAC, and so on. Depending on the audio quality of the source, the quality that you want to store the extracted audio as, and the compression that you require – you may find that you should be looking at other options. In some formats (such as MP3) you may even want to choose the bitrate of the encoding carefully.

  • Retain a high quality audio extract

Assuming you’re compressing the audio to a smaller file size, having the original quality still available should you ever need it is definitely a good idea. Either extract the audio without using any compression and save that file as the original, or keep the video itself around.

If you keep all these things in mind, you’ll find that you could save yourself from a lot of hassle later on. As you may have noted, not every software offers the features that you would need to extract only segments of audio or save it in multiple formats which is why it is important that you choose carefully. Take your time, and decide on a software that gives you everything that you need.