When you find the background music of an MP4 video beautiful and plan to save it only in the audio format of MP3, the first idea you come up with is to convert MP4 to MP3. Some say you can just change the file extension from .mp4 to .mp3. However, converting an MP4 to an MP3 is more complicated than you think. The audio part or track is extracted and split from the video. So, simply changing the file extension has a fatal drawback: the result file size will be as large as the original video file.
To solve this problem, we have tested many tools and select 5 best MP4 to MP3 converters. With the help of these capable video converters, you can change MP4 to MP3 in a smaller size but less quality degrading. Let's dive right in.
1. VideoProc Converter
Most of the time we would not recommend a video editor in this conversion topic, but VideoProc Converter is an exception. This pack comes with both video editing and converting abilities. It does a great job in the video to audio conversion on both Windows and Mac. With a powerful conversion kernel, it can extract audio from any video including MP4 to MP3. Before the conversion, its versatile toolkit can help you produce better audios by mashing up multiple MP4 sources, trimming redundant parts, removing background noise, adjusting the speed, etc.
VideoProc Converter - The Best MP4 to MP3 Converter for Lossless Conversion
- Customizable codec options to output lossless MP3 audio files.
- Batch convert MP4 to MP3 on Mac and PC in the fastest way with its full GPU acceleration tech.
- Support 370+ codecs and formats covering both popular and weird ones.
- Personalize music info as you like: cover, name, artist, album, comment, and lyrics.
- One-stop video processing: 4K video editing, compressing, screen recording, etc.
How to Convert MP4 to MP3 with VideoProc Converter
Step 1. Install and run VideoProc Converter on your Windows 11, 10, 8, or 7. Then choose the "Video" option at its home page to the next screen. Click "+Video" to import the MP4 file.
Step 2. Move down to the bottom to find the "Music" option. And choose "MP3" as the output format.
Step 3. Toggle on the "Hardware Acceleration Engine" option to speed up the conversion. Then select an output folder for your MP3.
Step 4. Click the "RUN" button to start, and wait for the conversion process finishing.
VLC is a free and open-source media player that supports most video and audio codecs and formats. It 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.
- Change .mp4 files to .mp3 files on different systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- Customizable options for output MP3 audio files: bitrate, sample rate, and channels.
- Completely free and safe.
- Can't convert multiple MP4 files to MP3 in bulk.
- No preview option for the converted MP3 file.
How to Convert MP4 to MP3 with VLC
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.
3. Choose Convert in the drop-down menu of the Convert/Save button. Then the Convert page would appear.
4. In the Profile part, choose Audio - MP3 option.
5. Click the Browse button to set the destination.
6. Click the Start button, and VLC would automatically begin the MP4 to an MP3 job.
iTunes generally helps Apple users manage iOS data like syncing, updating, and downloading audios and videos. But in this post, we will introduce it as a media converter that supports multiple encoders, e.g. MP3, AIFF, ACC, WAV, and Apple lossless encoder. So you can employ it to change an MP4 file to MP3. Moreover, it is now available on both Mac and Windows.
- Customize bitrate, sample rate, channels, and stereo mode.
- Convert and sync the MP3 audio file to your iPhone in one stop.
- Batch convert MP4 files to MP3.
- Only workable for unprotected files.
- Run slowly while converting large files.
- It is not as powerful as a professional converter for its limited compatible formats.
How to Convert MP4 to MP3 in iTunes
1. Download and install iTunes on your computer if you are using Windows without pre-installing it.
2. Launch iTunes. Navigate to Edit > Preferences > General > Import Settings.
3. Choose MP3 Encoder in the Import Using option. And click OK to exit the Preferences page.
4. Press on the Shift key, and go to File > Convert > Convert to MP3.
5. Select an MP4 file in the pop-up window. Then iTunes will start converting it to MP3.
6. When the conversion finished, choose Music in the media column, and you'll find the converted MP3 audio in the library.
4. 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 to be able to convert an MP4 to MP3, although it is somewhat hidden.
- Convenient to preview and playback.
- Various format/device options for your output.
- Flexible to adjust output quality, sample rate, bitrate.
- This conversion feature is deeply hidden.
- You cannot preview the conversion progress or see the remaining time.
- 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.
How to Convert MP4 to MP3 in Windows Media Player
1. Insert a blank CD into your computer.
2. Launch Windows Media Player, and open your MP4 video in it.
3. Hit Burn on the right tab. Click the drop-down button and choose Audio CD.
4. Add this video to the burn list, and hit Start burn.
5. Once the burn finished, go to Organize > Options > Rip Music > Select an output folder > Set format to MP3. Click Apply and OK to start to convert it to MP3 in Windows Media Player.
Note: You might see an easier solution that saves the MP4 as a file with an .mp3 extension in File > Save as. Yes, it used to work. But now the Save as button greyed out because all files are saved in temp directory since Windows Media Player 12.
You may have heard of FFmpeg a lot out there. As an open source software project, FFmpeg can easily transcode any type of media files, owing to that it has a large number of libraries and programs.
However, compared with the regular software that we access, FFmpeg requires that users should have a little knowledge of coding. In most software, we just need to import the source MP4 file, choose the export file format, which is MP3, and then the software will help us do the rest of jobs. So it may not be friendly to the newbies.
- Covers a large range of video and audio file formats.
- Requires some knowledge of coding, and not friendly to the newbies.
How to Transcode MP4 to MP3 in FFmpeg
1. First, you should install FFmpeg on your computer (Window, Mac, or even Linux).
2. Open the Command Prompt and type into this FFmpeg command,
ffmpeg -i file.mp4 file.mp3
Please note that file.mp4 should be the name of your MP4 file and file.mp3 is the name for your export MP3 file. You can change them to the ones that you like.
And that's it. You just use FFmpeg to finish the work of changing a MP4 file to a MP3 file.
Just like FFmpeg, Audacity is also an open source software project. But the difference is that Audacity only focuses on the audio files. You can use it as an audio editor and an audio recording application.
So now you may wonder if Audacity can handle with the MP4 video file. The answer is YES, but only with the help of the FFmpeg library. And it means that we need to install the FFmpeg library into Audacity first if we want to use it for converting MP4 files into MP3 files. Anyway, here are the detailed steps,
- Also works for editing your MP3 file.
- Needs FFmpeg library to import video files, so why not just simply choose FFmpeg?
How to Convert MP4 to MP3 in Audacity
1. Install both Audacity and FFmepg on your computer.
2. Run Audacity, and by default, now your Audacity should be built in the FFmpeg library. You can click on the Edit button, then choose Preference, and find the Libraries option to check it. If the FFmpeg library is not recognized, you can click on the Locate button to manually import it. Or you can also click on the Download button which will lead you to the Audacity official page where you can learn everything about how to install the FFmpeg library into Audacity.
3. Now go to File > Open to locate and import the MP4 file into Audacity. Audacity will only read and extract the audio track in the MP4 file.
4. Then go to File > Export > Export as MP3. And Audacity will save the audio track as an MP3 file.
7. Online MP4 to MP3 converter
There are probably lots of users who love the online tools. They are handy and easy-to-use without downloading and installing. However, when online converters move your files to the web servers to process, 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.
- The output audio quality is sound.
- Intuitive: show you the file name, file size, and progress.
- Convenient to share the music via email.
- Not allow you to change the output file name.
- The conversion speed depends heavily on your network condition.
- Only 2 free conversions per day.
How to Convert MP4 to MP3 Online
1. Go to the official website of Zamzar.
2. Upload your MP4 files or paste a video link.
3. Choose MP3 as the output format.
4. Hit Convert and download the converted MP3 to your computer.
Even though we have narrowed down dozens of choices to the top 5, it is still hard for some users to pick one from these MP4 to MP3 converters. So to make it simpler, we would strongly recommend you choose the first one, VideoProc Converter. It is much easier to use than Windows Media Player, VLC, and iTunes, and 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?