Online videos amuse and enlighten through a variety of formats such as WMV for the PC and Quicktime for the Mac. If you have the appropriate player installed, your web browser automatically plays such offerings or you can download media files and play them through stand-alone applications. If you need only the audio portion, such as a speech or music, you can convert the file to MP3, which also saves on storage space.
Convert your file online by visiting a web converter like Movavi (see Resources). You can enter a URL, if you want to convert an Internet video, or click "File" to browse a file from your computer. Although this site avoids the downloading and installation of an unfamiliar program, it limits you to 100MB files that are no longer than 10 minutes. You can, however, control the size of your MP3 output by clicking the "Advanced" link and specifying the sample rate, bit rate and types of channels.
Use a free converter such as Video-to-MP3 Converter (see Resources). This software only works on downloadable files but has no restrictions on the file size or duration. You can enter tags such as title, artist, album and comments, as well as trim the file so only the specific audio that you need is converted. Unfortunately, your output is limited to one of the presets, which tries to balance file size with audio quality.
Buy a commercial product such as AVS Video Converter. You can use almost any video type as input, including MP4 and MPEG 1 and 2, and even import videos from YouTube or Google video by entering the URL. You can also specify a bit rate, sample rate and number of channels. You can play both input and output media within the software itself and trim portions as needed.
- File size and audio quality increase with the bit rate, expressed in kilobytes per second, and sample rates, in kilohertz. You can experiment with these values if you need to control the file size. For example, a file with a bit rate of 256 and sample rate of 44,100 is bigger but sounds better than one with a bit rate of 128 and sample rate of 22050. CD quality has a sample rate of 44,100 and bit rate of 176.4, while AM quality recordings use a sample rate of 11,025 and bit rate of 11.