Last week saw the release of version 2.0 of popular media player VLC. Apart from the core functions of playing audio and video/DVD files, VLC also provides a simple way to convert video files to mp3 tracks.
Using VLC To Convert Video Files To MP3 Tracks – I have tested video files with the following formats: .flv .mp4 .mpg .avi and they successfully converted to mp3 tracks but other video formats may work too.
1. Open VLC and from the menu select ‘Media’ then ‘Convert / Save’ to display the Open Media window:
2. Click the ‘Add’ button then browse to and select the video file you want to convert
3. Click the ‘Convert / Save’ button to open the Convert window – the source video file you just chose will already be displayed as in the example below:
4. Click the ‘Browse’ button and browse to the folder where you want the mp3 track to be saved then type in the filename you want to give it including the .mp3 extension and click ‘Save’ e.g. in my example I would give the track a filename of katie melua – the flood.mp3
5. Back in the Convert window – it should now show the destination file location and title (including .mp3 at the end)
6. Click the drop down arrow in the Settings section and change the profile from ‘Video – H.264…’ to ‘Audio – MP3’. Note: In the latest VLC 2.0.4 there is a slight bug – you have to choose ‘Audio – MP3 (MP4)’ instead of just ‘Audio – MP3′ or else VLC will crash
7. OPTIONAL – press the wrench/screwdriver icon next to the Audio profile to edit the profile. Click the Audio Codec tab and change to a higher bitrate if required (default is 128 kb/s) then click ‘Save’
Note: the higher the bitrate the larger the mp3 file size will be. I increased to 192 kb/s but didn’t notice any real improvement beyond that – a lot will depend on the sound quality of the original video.
8. Now press the ‘Start’ button to begin the conversion process
The conversion usually takes less than half a minute for an average music video – you can see progress along the time toolbar (and the titlebar of VLC begins with ‘Streaming’ during the process). Once complete, you should find your new .mp3 audio file saved in the location you specified.
VLC is a great media player anyway but it also does a good job of converting music video files to MP3 songs.
Tip: you can also use VLC to take a snapshot picture from a video.
The mp3 quality mainly depends on the quality of the sound in your original video but is generally good enough for normal listening.