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How To Convert Video Files to MP3 with VLC

Sometimes you might want to convert a video file to an mp3 to take with on an iPod or to just listen to the audio without the video.  Today we take a look at how to use the free program VLC to convert video formats to an mp3.

Note:  For this article we are using VLC version 1.0 on Windows

Open up VLC and select Media and Convert / Save.

1 mediasave 

Now in the Open Media window click on the Add button and browse to the location of the video file you want to convert and after you have it click the Convert / Save button.

2 open media 

When the Convert window opens you should see the source of the video file you want to convert and you will need to browse for a destination for the MP3.

destinatiosn

Explorer will open so you can choose a location and here is where you want to label the file with an mp3 extension and hit Save.

kj

Now in the Convert window you should see the source file and destination path fields filled in.  Now click on the Edit Selected Profile button.

conv

Under the Encapsulation tab select WAV.

encaps

Now under the Audio Codec tab choose the MP3 codec, choose a Bitrate, amount of channels, Sample Rate, and then click the Save button.

sshot-2009-07-20-[23-59-28]

Click on Start to begin the encoding process.

start

You will see a countdown timer on the main interface while the conversion is taking place.

5 convertins 

You will find the converted file in the destination location you chose before and now you can play your MP3 on any compatible media player or portable device.

WMP

We successfully converted MOV, MPEG, and AVI video files to mp3.  FLV files would convert but unfortunately had horrible sound quality. This is not a preferred method those who are discerning about audio quality, but hopefully it can help someone out in a pinch.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/23/09

Comments (36)

  1. Beauseph

    This software seems to have a lot of good, useful things in it!

  2. thezachperson31

    You’re doing it wrong. Just click the drop-down menu next to Profile and select the “Audio – MP3″ option.

  3. Tammy

    I do not have anything that sez convert/save, do I have a wrong version?

  4. D

    I converted an flv file to mp3 and then tried to play it using windows media player but it wont play. This is the message: Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file. Yet the file quite clearly says it has an mp3 extension. Can anyone help?

  5. fastbullet

    NOTE: This does not apply to Linux users

    Thank you so much.

  6. Mike

    @fastbullet: so what.

  7. Luke

    Thanks for posting a how-to on this that actually applies to current versions. Nice and to the point.

    *If you download YouTube videos with Firefox’s Download Helper you’ll see various options like flv, and mp4. There’s also higher and lower quality, for mp4 it’ll show something like HQ18 and flv is HQ35. So my point is if you download HQ35 then convert with VLC the sound quality will be very good as oppose to the low-quality flv option.

  8. col

    This also works on VOB files so if you’ve got a favourite concert or the like on dvd it’s easy to take it with you

  9. angch

    Encapsulation should be “RAW” and audio codec should be “mp3″ should you choose to tinker with the profile. Or just select the default Audio-MP3 profile like thezachperson31 said.

    If you followed the article excactly, Windows Media Player probably wouldn’t play a mp3 encoded .wav saved as a .mp3. Misdetection of filetype/encoding will mess some players up. It’d either play white noise, or just plain spit it out.

  10. shahid

    best of all
    hats off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. kristen

    how do I convert a flip video so that I can burn to a disc and play it on a dvd player?

  12. Ildi

    Thank you so much for these informations! I didn’t know that VLC do this work:))

  13. dave w

    I have been trying the methods detailed here for over half an hour, and only once did it actually work! Every other time it crashes moments after hitting the “Save” button. No combination of selecting “MP3″ from the drop down list, or going into the settings dialogue makes any difference….

    I’m using good quality .flv files with stereo audio, which play perfectly in VLC to begin with

    I have used VLC in its various versions for years, but it is SOOOOOOO frustrating at times!

  14. Oxs

    Encapsulation should be the same as the extension of the original file.
    For example is you want to convert example.flv to example.mp3, on Convert window select Audio – MP3 Profile then click on edit and under encapsulation tab select flv on audio codec tab select MP3 with 128 kb/sbitrate. This worked for me.

    Good Luck

  15. Mida

    It worked for me, did the same thing as “thezachperson31″ and had no problems.
    wonderfull program

  16. isank

    this is wrong way to convert video files mp3 which is demonstrated here, if you want to convert anything then you will have to select only convert in the dropdown list,not convert /stream.Now in the profile select audio cd,don’t make changes in encapsulation and in audio codec select mp3(which will be wav),in destination folder go for xyz.mp3,,,,,,,and click start you are done……..

  17. vintagedrinkin

    ummm i have done everything as above but the song that im converting goes for like 4minutes but ends up playing in high speed in 4 seconds after it gets converted. has it got to do with the bitrate, channels and sample rate?? im not sure what im doing and why it ends up playing that. could please HELP!!??

  18. vintagedrinkin

    can you still convert “.rm” files using these steps!!??

  19. JerryB

    @ angch
    Thank you very much -

  20. Xantes

    Couldn’t be more correct as “thezachperson31″ says!
    You must do select that settings otherwise you shown us nothing!

  21. Ammy

    u al are fuddu people

  22. flor

    im converting a vlc file to mp3 and ive followed steps to the letter and even followed suggestions from comments in 2nd and so on tries to convert but the result is always the same. The file created does not seem to have anything, i.e file size is 0kb! i dont know what im doing wrong. :P kindly advice!

  23. maria

    thanks a ton this has made life easier

  24. Adaila

    ive tried virtually every method written on this thread, and everytime i convert it and play it, it just plays white noise… help?

  25. jithendra

    thanks a ton. for those who haven’t got it, please try this out. don’t change the audio codec and instead of video-H264.+AAC(TS) GIVE THE LAST OPTION ——-AUDIO-MP3 and these are all above the Start button.

  26. Yes Indeed

    I’ve tried all of the ways above and none of them have worked….bottom line for me is that VLC is pretty good for playback but it really SUCKS for converting video formats.

  27. magdy safout

    شكراااااااااااااااااااااااااااااا

  28. magdy safout

    شكرااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااا

  29. magdy safout

    شكراااااااااااااااااااااااااا على البرنامج

  30. one hun

    Ok, the way vlc encode pm3 from a net stream is very poor and even trying all the above sugegstiones the resut is crappy…
    My way: use vlc 1.1 to convert in .flac (trough profile: audio – flac) then convert the flac file to mp3 with another tool (ie: winamp lame plugin): lame offers better encoding and flexibility than vlc mp3 encoder. Quality keeps the same as original; working even with youtube video.

  31. jasmine

    mysticgeek & angch, thanks a lot for useful information!

  32. Hana

    Hi all, I can’t seem to convert my .oma files to .mp3 files. After I done every component properly and click Start, the tutorials says that the VLC player is supposed to start streaming the file. However, there was no streaming at all, and almost immediately a .mp3 file is created but it is of 0 bytes @_@ This is odd since I’ve tried to convert .flac files into .mp3 files using the same programme and the same method. Does the problem lies with the fact that they are .oma files I’m converting? Please help me out~

  33. Katrina

    Tried this, although I didn’t see where I was given the option to put it in a destination file. no worries I just did a search on my computer however when it plays it’s just noise and not the song I attempted to convert… not sure what I’m doing wrong.

  34. SUNNY

    Hii can u plz tell me how can i convert a vedeo which was in vlc to .kvm.i had vedeo which was downlaod frm net,when i trying to play in my mobile it doest play means it doent suppot.

  35. zain

    thank you very muc for your help

  36. vinodeditor

    thanx 4 give me Answer (How To Convert Video Files to MP3 with VLC)

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