How can extract audio from my DVD's on my mac?
January 1, 2009 5:25 AM   Subscribe

How can I extract audio from DVD's on my mac?

I have an iBook G4 and am trying to sample audio parts of movies for a music project I am working on. Also, what program can I manipulate said files (i.e. Audacity maybe?) with?

Thank you for your help!
posted by fishthefly to Technology (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's kind of a long way around, but I've found it works pretty well:
Use Handbrake to rip the DVD.
Open the file in MPEG Streamclip. Under the File menu there is an option to Export Audio. This will export it in AIFF format, which can be converted to mp3 by iTunes if needed.
At least, this worked for me when I needed some audio for my recent iMovie project.
Happy New Year!
posted by photomusic86 at 6:02 AM on January 1, 2009

Personally I would do this with Audio Hijack Pro. It's $32 but I've been using it for years for a zillion projects and I consider it a great buy.
posted by bcwinters at 6:24 AM on January 1, 2009

Audio Hijack Pro in trial mode is usable up to 10 minutes.
posted by mcwetboy at 6:49 AM on January 1, 2009

I use Wiretap, especially when I want an MP3 of a concert DVD for example. However, it basically records any sound playing through your Mac. So, you should turn off all system sounds, and quit all programs besides Wiretap and the DVD player. And, obviously, it takes as long as the audio file is in real time to record. The current version also has editing capabilities. I don't know the limitations of the free trial, but it may be worth a look.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:17 AM on January 1, 2009

Mplayer can grab DVD audio under linux - it's entirely possible that you may be able to install Mplayer OSX, and run it from the command line to do the same thing.
posted by god hates math at 7:32 AM on January 1, 2009

I just checked, and Wiretap Pro is fully functional during the 30 day free trial period.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:32 AM on January 1, 2009

seconding audio hijack pro and there is a free trial version, too.

screw handbrake. that approach takes much longer.
posted by krautland at 7:41 AM on January 1, 2009

(and mplayer? linux? seriously? I don't think he wants his audio by this time next year.)
posted by krautland at 7:42 AM on January 1, 2009

Response by poster: I have had success extracting just the ac3 english audio stream (which is all that I want) thanks to mac the ripper. How can I play and manipulate that stream? MPEG Streamclip did not accept the ac3 format.

Thanks again everyone for your help!
posted by fishthefly at 8:55 AM on January 1, 2009

From the Handbrake documentation:
I just want audio, not video. Can I do that?
Not with HandBrake, no. You could just encode the video at a low resolution with a fast low quality encoder like ffmpeg, then extract the audio track.

Or you could use OSEx. I'm trying it now. Seems straightforward.
posted by fcummins at 11:16 AM on January 1, 2009

If you just want to grab a snippet(s) use AudioHijackPro. You can also use AudioHijackPro to record the audio from the whole thing, but as it records in real-time, it will take the full 90 minutes or whatever.
Note, if you are running on a slow machine you probably don't want to run anything else and just let your computer sit while it does it (when I would use AHP to record streaming audio on my old iBook G3/600 I would get skips in the audio file if I tried to run other programs during the recording)

If you want to rip audio from the whole thing (like you want to make an audio-only DVD Commentary to listen to on your iPod), I think it would be easier to do it this way:

Rip the DVD with Handbrake.
(if 2-pass encoding is checked, uncheck it so the rip will go quicker)

→ You'll get a .mp4 video file.

Open that video file with Quicktime Pro,
open Show Movie Properties by pressing ⌘J,
in the movie properties window highlight Video Track,
press delete,
do a Save As... to the movie file, giving it a new name (ex:

→ now you have a much-smaller, audio-only .mov file

Drop this audio-only .mov file onto iTunes, make sure it's highlighted in iTunes, and then select Create MP3 Version from under iTune's Advanced menu.

If you want iTunes to remember the playback position for the MP3, do the following:
highlight your new MP3 audio file in the iTunes window,
press ⌘I,
click the Options tab at the top of the song info window,
tick the box by Remember playback position,
click Okay

posted by blueberry at 1:57 PM on January 1, 2009

I've had WireTap for years and use it frequently for all sorts of audio capture, mostly NPR and Charlie Rose.
posted by neuron at 9:48 PM on January 1, 2009

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