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By Gabriel Coleman - Last Updated: Contact Author

How Do I Convert from MP4 to MP3 | Video Converter Guide

There are just many situations where we need to convert MP4 to MP3. When we find the background music of an MP4 video beautiful and plan to save it only in the audio format of MP3, we need such a converter; if we want to dub a video with some interesting music, but this MP3 audio is from another MP4 video, then firstly we need to change this video to audio; or we change MP4 to MP3 simply to create some funny listening material, save video in smaller size, etc.

When converting an MP4 video to an MP3 audio, the audio part or track is extracted and split from the video. Some say you can simply change the file extension from .mp4 to .mp3. But it will have a fetal drawback: the result file size will be as large as the original video file. This article will show you reliable solutions of converting MP4 to MP3 in a way that your original file will be kept and you will have a new audio file that can be played back normally or further edited.

MP4 to MP3 Converter

Actually, it is technically easy such that most video converting or editing tools can realize this. We cannot list all tools here. But to make a long story short, we will show you the 5 best ways to convert MP4 to MP3 which we have tested and can help you a lot. Let's dive right in.

Part 1. How to Convert MP4 to MP3 on Windows and Mac

A video converter is better than a video editor for extracting audio from a video. So we'll not recommend a video editing software in this article. But VideoProc is an exception. This pack comes equal with video converting and processing abilities. It has such a powerful conversion kernel that it embraces 370+ codecs, and allows you to customize video audio in details.

VideoProc does a great job in the video to audio conversion on both Windows and Mac. Not just MP4 to MP3, it can change any video to any audio format. It also helps you polish and edit your video files. So with it, you can do more about your MP4 video, like rotating, merging, cutting, adding special effects, etc.

While, what makes VideoProc standout among other tools is about its leading technology, ie, Level-3 Hardware Acceleration. It can help the hardware, GPU, CPU, etc. using its potential to the utmost for encoding. It follows that the converting speed would be much faster. So why not download it now, and follow the detailed steps below to let it help you with MP4 to an MP3 job?



Step-by-step Guide on Converting MP4 to MP3 Using VideoProc

1. Install and run VideoProc on your Windows or Mac. Then choose the Video option at its home page to the next screen. Click +Video to import the MP4 file.

2. Move down to the bottom to find the Music option.

3. Check the MP3 format.

4. After all the settings above are done, toggle on the Hardware Acceleration Engine option to enable VideoProc Level-3 Hardware Acceleration technology.

5. Set the output folder, so you can find the converting file quickly.

6. Click the RUN button to start, and wait for the conversion process finishing.

detailed steps about how to convert MP4 to MP3 on VideoProc

Pros:

  • - Convert MP4 to MP3 offline in the fastest way.
  • - Provide many format/device options for your output.
  • - Flexible for you to adjust output quality, Sample Rate, Bit Rate.

Cons:

  • - Does not have a timeline for nonlinear video editing.

Part 2. How to Convert MP4 to MP3 with VLC

VLC is also a great helper for you to change .mp4 file to .mp3 file. But VLC does this job without converting if the MP4 video file is composed of an MP3 file. Its logic is much more like extracting the MP3 audio file from the MP4 file and removing the image part. But if the MP4 is not composed of an MP3 file, there is still conversion happening. Anyway, here are the detailed steps. Check them now.

1. Open VLC and click on the Media button to locate the Convert/Save feature. Or you can just use the shortcut CTRL + R to pop up another page.

2. On the Open Media page, click on the Add menu to import the MP4 file, and then choose the Convert/Save button to the next step.

VLC Open Media page

3. Then the Convert page would appear. In the Profile part, choose Audio - MP3 option; Click Browse button to set the destination; and lastly, click the Start button, and VLC would automatically begin the MP4 to an MP3 job.

VLC Convert page

Part 3. How to Convert MP4 to MP3 in iTunes

iTunes generally helps Apple users manage the iOS data very well, but it can be used as an MP4 to MP3 converter simply. And here are the detailed steps.

1. Launch iTunes. Click iTunes and choose Preferences on a Mac, or click Edit and then Preferences on Windows.

Notice: Since macOS Catalina, iTunes has not been available on Mac any more.

2. Choose Import Settings in the General section, which is right next to the When you insert a CD box.

iTunes import settings

3. Choose MP3 Encoder in the Import Using option. And then click OK.

iTunes MP3 encoder

4. Click OK again to exit the iTunes preferences page.

5. Right-click or control-click the song title of the MP4 that you would like to convert into an MP3. Select Create MP3 Version.

After that, iTunes will create an MP3 version of the song directly below the MP4 version. But how to find the place where the converted MP3 file is located?

To access the MP3 file on Mac, click on the Finder and select Music. Double-click on the iTunes folder and then double-click on iTunes Music folder.

To access the MP3 file on Windows, click on Start and select Music. Double-click on the iTunes folder and then double-click on the iTunes Music folder.

Part 4. How to Convert MP4 to MP3 Online

There are probably lots of users who love the online tools. They are simple to use, no complicated operating steps. There is no need to download some installation file. Etc. Honestly, online tools help us a lot in our daily lives.

However, they also have some shortcomings, which we felt bound to tell you. Most online tools have limits on the size of the importing file, like a maximum of 200MB. They need a network connection, which is very different from desktop applications, like VideoProc, Windows Media Player, VLC, and iTunes. The third one is about the data security issue. Online tools move your files to the web servers to process. So there is a high risk that your data would be deleted, lost, or leaked.

So basically, we would not suggest our users get some online tools. While since there are some users still looking for it, here is one we have tested for you. It is ZAMZAR.

Supported platform:
Any OS (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android) that has a web browser.

ZAMZAR MP4 to MP3 online tool

There are just three steps needed, add files > choose the target format to MP3. There are also some other format options > Click Convert Now button to start.

Besides the MP4 files saved on your computer, the online video files are also supported. You can simply put in the link, ZAMZAR will also help you change it to MP3.

Note:
The converted file can only be stored for 24 hours in that server. So please remember to download it to your local drive in time.

Pros:

  • - The output audio quality is sound.
  • - Intuitive: Show you the file name, file size and progress.
  • - You can choose Email when done, which will be convenient for some people.
  • - It saves you local storage since you can save the file in the cloud.
  • - The output mp3 file is much smaller than the input, in my test, Input: 10083kb -> output: 465kb.

Cons:

  • - Does not allow you to change the output file name.
  • - The conversion speed depends heavily on your network condition.
  • - If you want to convert big file (up to 2GB), you should sign up and spend some money.

Part 5. Can I Convert MP4 to MP3 Using Windows Media Player?

If you are a Windows user, you may know Windows Media Player, a powerful built-in application on Windows. There are lots of hidden features which we may have not known before, including "Rip Music". This feature seems be able to convert an MP4 to MP3, although it is somewhat hidden. But is it still so? Let's see our test first.

In the following , we will unravel this mystery with detailed steps.

1. Open the MP4 file with Windows Media Player.

2. At the library page, find the Organize button, click it, and choose the Options feature. Then we will go to another unique page with many settings.

Windows Media Player Options feature

3. Find the Rip Music. In this feature, you are enabled to rip the video file to audio. Then choose the location where you plan to rip the video.

However, when we chose the location to the desktop, or some other locations on the computer, the music ripping did not work. So we guess Windows Media Player disabled some options in the recent updates. So the MP4 to MP3 conversion using Windows Media Player failed. And we are not alone. See the user comments in this post.

In the Rip settings, you can set the format to MP3 right below the Format features. In Audio quality, you can adjust the MP3 file quality. And after all these settings are done, click the OK button to start.

Windows Media Player Rip Music

Pros:

  • - As a player app, it is convenient to preview and playback.
  • - Provide many format/device options for your output.
  • - Flexible for you to adjust output quality, Sample Rate, Bit Rate.

Cons:

  • - This conversion feature is hidden.
  • - You cannot preview the progress or to see the remaining time or length.
  • - It does not provide access to the output location directly, so you may fail to find the output file.
  • - You cannot rename the output file (you can only choose to sort based on the detailed information of the files).
  • - It is not very intuitive sometimes. It is not convenient to switch the interface or return.

TL;DR

Even though we have narrowed down dozens of choices to only 5 ones, which we recommend, there still needs users to choose one among these 5 MP4 to MP3 converters. For some users, this is still hard, right?

So to make it simpler, we would strongly recommend you choose the first one, ie. VideoProc. It is much easier to use than Windows Media Player, VLC, and iTunes, but also much safer than the online tools. Most importantly, with it, you can polish your MP4 video in the way you want. So why not give it a try now?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gabriel Coleman

Gabriel is a technical editor with several years of writing experience. Gabriel covers video processing, post-production, hardware, Windows, Apple's Macs, iPhones, iPads, and all kinds of technology topics. He loves collecting cool gadgets and trying new things like virtual reality, drones, 8K TVs and the latest 4K games. He also has interests in reading, photography, climbing, scuba diving, and tennis.

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