I've got an mp4 video file. I'd like to take the audio from that video, and create an audio file. The output encoding could be AAC or MP3, it wouldn't make any difference.

Which applications would be easiest to do this, and what steps should I take?

7 Answers 7


Using QuickTime Player:

File / Export / Audio Only

QuickTime Player / File / Export / Audio Only...

  • 1
    Clean and easy way for a base OS X to do this. Aug 5, 2014 at 14:48
  • Note: this creates a .m4a (AAC) file. This 100% answers the original question, but if you need MP3 this answer will not do it.
    – Phrogz
    Feb 3, 2016 at 4:27
  • …however, you can use iTunes to convert your m4a to mp3 afterwards, as described in osxdaily.com/2009/12/03/convert-m4a-to-mp3
    – Phrogz
    Feb 3, 2016 at 4:35

You can use -c copy with ffmpeg to extract audio without re-encoding:

ffmpeg -i input_file -c copy audio.m4a

Run ffmpeg -i input_file to see what format the audio stream is. If it is MP3 instead of AAC, change the extension of the output file to mp3.

This would re-encode the audio as 256 kb/s AAC:

ffmpeg -i input_file -ab 256k audio.m4a

It is likely that ffmpeg is not on your system. You can install brew (brew.sh) and then do a brew install ffmpeg to install ffmpeg.

  • 3
    You also need to add the -vn argument so that ffmpeg doesn't mux video into the m4a file.
    – katrmr
    Mar 31, 2017 at 1:52

To rip audio from a video file, you can use iTunes. It'll create an AAC file.

  1. Drag the video into iTunes

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  2. Select the file in Movies, and hit the menu commands File - Create New Version. Hit the Option key, and the command Convert To AAC will be enabled.

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  3. The AAC file will be created in the same directory that the mp4 video is located.

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  • You can change which audio encoder to use (Apple Lossless, MP3, AIFF) in the preferences.
    – Édouard
    Aug 5, 2014 at 13:11

I use Evom from The Little App Factory to achieve this. It works very well and it's free.

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Once you download it, you will see this window:

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Drag and drop the video(s) onto the window and another window will pop up.

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For the most amount of control, I recommend the "Folder" tab. Here, you can create a new name for the file, select where you would like it to go, a range of formats, and even the quality. After that, select "Convert".

In my case, I selected it to be converted to an MP3 file and move it to the desktop. Here's the result.

enter image description here

This process is very easy and you can even convert more than one video at a time.


this works best for me:

  1. Create a folder, for instance called "video stripper".
  2. In Automator, create a Folder Action.
  3. Associate the Folder Action with the folder "video stripper".
  4. Drag the action "Import audio files [into iTunes]" to the Folder Action. 4b. (Optional) add the action "Import files into iTunes" if you want to have the imported audio files added to a dedicated play list.
  5. Save the Folder Action under an arbitrary name.

Henceforth all audio from video files dropped into the folder will appear automatically in your iTunes library. If you never need those video files again, select "Delete source files after encoding" in the action "Import audio files".


I have used the Mac app, Music Converter, a number of times without any problems. It is free from Shedworxs and saves me from having to open iTunes.


Note: I'm not in any way affiliated with the authors of the app or the company.


It seems there are many options. If you are going to edit the audio in Logic Pro you can extract the audio when importing the file there as well.

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