Friday, November 05, 2010

Creating MP3's from YouTube Videos on a Mac

Just realized I haven't written anything here in a while and what I wanted to talk about today isn't really game related, but I think it will be useful nonetheless.

With the shutdown of certain peer to peer network programs (like LimeWire) there has probably been a number of people having trouble getting music files. Now I'm not here to promote piracy, but there are times when I'm sure you'd love to take the music portion of a YouTube video and easily convert it into an MP3. Not just for music but other things, too.

There are a bunch of websites and tools out there to do it, but I'm going to share with you my method. I found that the online tools tend to be slow, inconsistent, and generally a pain in the ass.

Now the first thing you are going to want to do is make sure that your Mac can import FLV files into iMovie. Mine just started to be able to do this after installing the full Adobe suite which may be required and if so, sorry about that (unless you already have it). If you can drag and drop an FLV file into iMovie without screwing around you are golden.

The FLV file is the file that contains the "flash video" that YouTube uses. The tool that I use is the excellent iFunia YouTube downloader. It's free and you can get it here. Just go to YouTube, find the video you want and cut and paste the address into the software. No mess.

Now you have the FLV file, drag it into iMovie. Move the clip into the timeline and select "Split audio" from the edit menu. You will now be separating the audio from the video.

Now run a free great audio tool like Audacity. Arrange the windows on the screen so you can drag the audio track from iMovie into Audacity. Make sure in Audacity you have grabbed the LAME MP3 stuff to be able to export to MP3.

Once your audio is in Audacity you can trim it (if there is extra stuff at the beginning or end you don't want) or play with fading, volume, etc.

Now just export it as MP3 and voila! You are done.

It sounds like there is a lot of setup involved but it's really not that bad and once you have this solution ready to go it's very easy to continue to use it and becomes quite intuitive. Enjoy!

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