How to Extract Audio From Video

Professional audio mixing console with faders and adjusting knobs

You’ve just finished hosting a live stream video podcast and you nailed it. You asked sharp questions and didn’t talk too much, your guest’s insights were razor sharp and not a single tornado swept you both away to a land of witches and idiot scarecrows. 

Now you’ve got to edit the video — and, for your subscribers on Spotify and elsewhere, break out the audio. That’s where extracting audio from video comes in. Lucky for you: There are many apps available that make this achievable in minutes. The best one is Descript, because it’s the only one that lets you edit both video and audio without exporting to another app. Also, this is the Descript blog so what would you expect us to say.  

We’ve rounded up the top 7 options below. 

Record or import audio, make edits, add fades, music, and sound effects, then publish online, export the audio in the format of your choice or send it directly to your hosting service.
Create your podcast from start to finish with Descript.

7 software recommendations to extract audio from video

1. Descript

Descript provides all-in-one audio-and-video editing software, along with automatic transcription, and a bunch of magical features. Like voice-cloning technology, automatic filler-word removal, and Studio Sound, which removes noise and enhances your voice in a single click. Descript is unique in that its transcription capabilities allow for editing audio and video the same way you would edit a text document.

Descript makes it extremely simple to pull audio from video, as you’ll see in the step-by-step process detailed below.

2. Wondershare

Wondershare offers a variety of video and creativity applications, several of which are capable of stripping audio from video. 

  • Filmora is Wondershare’s full-featured video editing software. 
  • DemoCreator is a streamlined screen recorder and video editing application focused on creating demo and explainer videos. DemoCreator makes it easy for users unfamiliar with the video editing process to make a professional-looking video. 

In both programs, you can extract the audio from a video by importing the video file, right-clicking, and selecting the appropriate “Detach Audio” option. If you do not need the extra video editing functions, Wondershare also makes UniConverter for converting audio and video files quickly.

3. VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is a free and open-source media player that has been around since 2001. VLC remains relevant and robust through steady development and provides support for just about every audio and video codec out there. VLC provides advanced functions, like the ability to download YouTube videos and to create video loops, that make VLC a popular media player for audio and video savvy users, content creators, and video editors.

To extract audio from video in VLC Media Player first, find the Convert/Save option in the Media menu and select the video files you wish to convert. From there, you can convert to the audio format of your choice, including MP3 and FLAC.

4. Apple iMovie

Apple iMovie is an application that comes preloaded onto most Mac machines. iMovie is a decent video editing software for novice content creators, though other options on this list provide more robust editing solutions. In terms of pulling audio from video files, iMovie is fully capable.

To extract audio from a video using Apple’s iMovie, select the Share/Export button from the top right. Click the File option to export a video and select Audio Only as the Format.

5. Audacity

Audacity is a popular, free, open-source, cross-platform audio editing software. Consistent updates, a straightforward interface, and a strong following make this a freeware staple for many. Just know that if you’re not familiar with audio or video editing, the interface could take some time to learn.

To get audio from a video in Audacity, open the video file in question. Be patient; it might take a moment to open depending on the file size and length of the video. Once opened, select “Export” under File to export just the audio.


REAPER is a digital audio workstation (DAW), with powerful recording, editing, and music production capabilities. While REAPER has many features for professionals making music, the process for extracting audio from a video is quite simple. Import your video file into REAPER by dragging it into the software. Click the “Export” option, find the desired audio format, and save the audio.

7. Online Audio Converter

For those looking to avoid installing additional software, there are also online solutions for extracting the audio from videos. One of these is Online Audio Converter from 123apps, which is a free, web-based application that allows you to upload video content and convert it to audio.

Upload your file using the Open Files button, select your preferred audio format, and hit Convert.

Step-by-Step: How to extract audio from video in Descript

Now that you’ve read all of that and made the highly astute decision to use Descript, let’s dive in a little deeper with a step-by-step of how to separate audio from video.

1. Install and open Descript

If you don’t already have Descript installed, sign up to download the software. It’s free to get started. The free plan includes up to 3 hours of transcription a month. Once you set up an account, you’ll see a button to download and install the application (it’s a powerful tool, so it only works on desktop).

With the application installed, open it up.

2. Create a new project

From Descript’s dashboard, press the +New button at the top and select Project from the dropdown menu.

You will be prompted to give your new project a name. Once you do, press the Create Project button.

3. Import the video file

In your newly created project, drag and drop the video file into the box with the microphone icon. Alternatively, you can press the Choose a File button to browse to the video file location.

4. Export the audio file

Once the file loads, on Windows click on the File menu at the top of the application and select Export. On Mac, click the Share button, then the Export tab.

The Export menu will pop up. In the File Export group, select the Audio button.

Ensure Exporting is set to Current Composition. Select your preferred audio file format such as M4A, WAV, or MP3 format. MP3 and M4A will be smaller files with the MP3 file being the most universally compatible with devices. WAV files are much larger in size but offer lossless audio quality.

Click the Export button and choose where to save the file.

If you want to extract audio so you can edit it without editing the video, Descript makes that easy too. Here’s how. 

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above (if you haven’t already)

  2. Detach the audio 

Click on Project files in the sidebar on the left. Hover your cursor over the video file and right click. Now choose Detach audio.  

You’ll see the audio and video waveforms stacked right below the video window. You can make changes to the audio without changing the video. This option is great for adding voiceover, music, or other sound on top of your video. 

  1. Create a new Composition (if you want)

Or you can create a whole new Composition (file) with just the audio. Just right click on the audio waveform, and click Copy. Now click Add new at the top of the Sidebar; choose Composition. Paste your audio file next to where it says Speaker. You’ll see the transcript from your video, and below that the waveform. Edit either or both to your heart’s desire. 

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