Rip the Audio Track from a Video with QuickTime

Jul 23, 2012 - 3 Comments

Rip Audio Tracks from Video using QuickTime

Though Mac OS X from Lion onward includes built-in encoding tools to perform conversions of video to audio, you can also extract an audio track from a movie by using QuickTime Player. No downloads are necessary, no enabling any buried features, it’s a simple Export setting in QuickTime and you’ll wind up with the audio track as an .m4a file, here’s how:

  1. Open any compatible video with QuickTime Player
  2. Pull down the File menu and choose “Export”
  3. From the “Format” drop down menu, select “Audio Only” and click “Export”

Conversion is usually very fast though ultimately it will depend on the speed of your Mac and the size of the video file. If you’re ripping the audio from a 45 minute TED talk so you can listen to it on the iPhone, it will take quite a bit longer than extracting audio from a short video.

This may even work in the Windows version of QuickTime Player too, though I’m unable to check that at the moment.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. koen says:

    And what about the contrary, how to export a video WITHOUT a audio track? (to save it with a new one!)

  2. Floris says:

    I used to get a free tool from that lets me use ‘Convert To’ which was great, but with the new iTunes and Lion, it always errors for me, on both the Mac Pro and the iMac, so THANK YOU for reminding me I have quicktime installed and it lets me export. This certainly helps.

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