I need to extract sound from videos. There must be know loss of quality (since the sound files will be used in speech-to-text services).

So I want to extract the audio from the video exactly as it is and then place it in a new container to create an audio file.

What tools are available for this? Can VLC do it? Some online service?

EDIT: Please notice that I want to extract the sound exactly as it is from the video (so I do not loss quality).

And I tested this with the GUI version of VLC, but I did not see any way to do what I want there. However I just found this page that says you can do it from the command line with VLC:

VLC HowTo/Extract audio

Since I am not going to do this myself, but tell my users how to do it I am looking for an easy way for them. (They are not programmers. But I am. So I can perhaps write a version myself with ffmpeg, but I want to avoid that if I can.)

Is this perhaps not the right group to ask this question in?

3 Answers 3


If you aren't adverse to using a terminal to extract it, FFmpeg is a very good tool that you can use. The command that you'd want to run in ffmpeg -i [input file name here] -c:a copy -vn -sn [output file name here].

-c:a copy: This argument copies the audio stream of the file.
-vn: This argument informs FFmpeg to not account for any video streams.
-sn: This argument informs FFmpeg to not account for any subtitle streams.

Altogether, this results in a lossless extraction of the audio stream from the video file. If you have some knowledge in making scripts, you could create a script that will perform this action for a set of files so that you don't need to do it manually.

  • Thanks, yes I saw that solution (after posting the question). Since I am not going to use it myself I was looking for a more userfriendly way. But maybe this is the best. It is not clear to me yet how to do the encapsulation. This is not included in this script.
    – Leo
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 23:56
  • 1
    @Leo The most userfriendly way to do this is to get FFmpeg Batch AV Converter. It takes a bit of setting up, but it's mostly self-explanatory for the purpose since all you need to do is just plug in the parameters, specify your output, and you're good to go. Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 0:07
  • Thanks, I have never heard of that. I will take a look!
    – Leo
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 2:27

When using sound for speech-to-text, the quality is actually not very important. You can extract audio using ffmpeg, After Effects, Premiere, Nuke, Resolve or any editing software you like. Load in the clip, export again but as a .wav. Boom, you have only the sound.

  • Thanks for trying to help. But Google says they want very good quality on the sound for best result. And I did some tests before posting this question. Using VLC to extract audio and then uploading the sound file to Google speech-to-text I got much worse result than the auto-generated captions on YouTube for the same video.
    – Leo
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 12:38
  • 1
    Did the sound you extracted using VLC sound audibly worse than the original?
    – stib
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 18:50
  • I did not notice any difference.
    – Leo
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 2:28

MPEG Streamclip can save audio track (or batch) without recompression.

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