Thursday, July 12, 2007

Convert FLV's from YouTube into audio-only mp3 files.

Took me awhile to figure out how to make VLC do this right due to its clunky UI, but whatever.

You'll find this useful if, like me, you want to take a particularly long YouTube file with you on the go but you need it to play on your mp3 player as audio only (space concerns, the video on your media player sucks, whatever).

For your enjoyment:

You'll need:

  • VLC Media Player
  • Some way to grab FLV files -- I recommend VideoDownloader since that's the easiest way to get the FLV from a site like YouTube -- what's up with the VideoDownloader URL? I don't really know.
Download, and install VLC Media Player, and make sure it doesn't mess with your file associations.

Now, by default, VLC Media Player will attempt to always encode the video of an FLV and there's no way to change this behavior via the GUI, which is stupid, so we have to work around it using the command line -- don't worry, its really easy.

Make a new short-cut to the VLC Media Player by copying the short-cut on your desktop or if you're savvy navigating to %Program Files%\VideoLan\VLC\vlc.exe and right clicking + 'create new shortcut.'
Next, edit the short-cut. In the "Target" field, outside -- OUTSIDE -- of the quotations that contain the path to the VLC Media Player, type in "--no-video" (no quotation marks), save the short-cut, then rename the short-cut to "VLC Media Player -- No Audio" so you don't get it confused with the fully functional version.

Download a FLV and open it in VLC Media Player to make sure that everything's working. You should hear audio but see no video -- if so, you're a winner. If not, start over from step 1 and try again.

Now, open your FLV in VLC Media Player once you're ready to rock and roll -- either drag and drop it onto the VLC Player or open it via File --> Quick Open.

Click File --> "Wizard"

Select "Transcode / Save File" then click Next.

Select an Existing Playlist Item, select the FLV you just started playing, and click Next.

Check "Transcode Audio" and from the drop down list select "MP3" -- don't mess with the "bit-rate" option, even though I'm sure you want to. Click Next.

Select "RAW" on this screen and select "Next" again.

Click browse, enter a file name -- don't forget the .mp3 extension, that is IMPORTANT because VLC Media Player won't do this for you -- and click "Finish."

The VLC GUI will seem like its playing a file called "Streaming...", that's the transcoding process, don't touch the player at all until its finished. Yeah, I know it looks stupid. But, it works.

Your new mp3 file has been created. Congrats!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

THANKS!

jheaton said...

Found this entry via a Google search... thanks for posting such detailed and clear instructions for this process.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping 8)

Anonymous said...

Cheers for this, have spent ages trying to find out how to convert VLC's - it works perfectly!

Anonymous said...

thanks.

Jakobi Weldon said...

Hey thanks a lot man, it worked perfect, I've been looking for a song for hours because all I had was the flv video that was worthless for what I wanted to do with it.

Bet's On said...

Glad I could help.

rokdd said...

thanks! really great article :)

rokdd said...

sorry but that doesnot work for my movies..... songs are not fluently played :(

Damon said...

Thanks a lot!
Didn't work at first, but I forgot the --no-video. Once I opened VLC player the right way it worked perfectly!

Anonymous said...

"Next, edit the short-cut. In the "Target" field, outside -- OUTSIDE -- of the quotations that contain the path to the VLC Media Player, type in "--no-video" (no quotation marks), save the short-cut, then rename the short-cut to "VLC Media Player -- No Audio" so you don't get it confused with the fully functional version."

Sorry, I didn't understand the steps. Can you clarify.

Bradrail Blinds and Awnings said...

any chance you looking at this post again and see if you can update / review how to do it with the latest vlc as i cant get it to work..

amy said...

Good info! I've spent hours trying to do this. VLC has been updated so I'm trying to translate your instructions to the latest version - it partially worked, but the mp3 I ended up with is 1/2 speed. Any idea what I need to change to get the right speed? Thanks!

Radical Ed said...

Sorry, I haven't upgraded VLC in forever, so I'm not sure what's the dealio with the new version.

Phedre Dassin said...

Oh man...you have no idea how long I've been wanting to do that! I had been messing around with VLC for an hour or so trying to do the conversion on my own. But with no luck.

This worked really well. VLC's conversions have some audio errors that I'm not sure how to correct, which is irritating when trying to listen to music, but they're minor enough that I guess I can choose to overlook them.

Thank you so much!

Jack said...

Hi,
blog post is for very old VLC player.
I am using VLC 1.0.5 at the moment and above instructions does not work!

I have followed the following instructions and it works fine for my new VLC Player:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoitTdH7w8I

Arron, I suggest to post at the top of this blog post: "EDIT: see comments bellow for new version of VLC Player".

Or you can update the blog post to reflect new version. :)

Warren said...

I realize it's been a few years, but this just came in handy for me. I broke down and read the command line documentation last time I had to do this, but your steps did the trick much more easily. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"don't touch the player at all until its finished. Yeah, I know it looks stupid."

Why does it look stupid?

jack said...

YouTube To Mp3 conversion is very easy now.

Anonymous said...

wow this rocks even if it's from 2007 it still works in july of 2012 kudos!

videos from flv to dvd said...

Thanks for this flv to mp3 files tutorial. i really appreciate for this.

computer monitoring said...
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