Let’s say you’re surfing Youtube one day and you come across a sparkling 1080p music video from RadioHead that sounds great.
Is there an easy way to download just the audio part so you can listen to it on your portable music player? In other words, you want to convert the video file into a traditional mp3 file but don’t want to trash the audio quality during the conversion.
Is there a way to do this?
There are a few steps involved but once you get going it’s cake.
First we need to download the free and nimble open-sourced music player called foobar2000.
FUBAR is a military acronym for Fucked up beyond all recognition but the foobar2000 player is actually a misnomer because nothing about it is “fucked up“. On the contrary, foobar2000 is categorically the best music player I’ve ever used and in my opinion, it rivals iTunes and even the illustrious Winamp. It can play almost any music format, especially DVD-As and Super Audio CDs and for for audiophiles like me – that’s bliss.
Head on over to foobar2000.org and download the latest stable version.
When clicking through the foobar2000 installation wizard keep most of the defaults.
So on the Choose Install Type screen keep it set to Standard installation and click Next.
In the drop down box above the component list, make sure you set the type of install to Full
This is important because it’ll enable the Converter option which we’ll need later.
After clicking the Install button, the installation wizard will whiz by and kick open the Quick Appearance Setup box.
Pick a basic theme and click OK. We can always change this later (Ctrl + p opens preferences to change it) so don’t get stressed.
Drag and drop the Mp4 file into the foobar2000 workspace then press the play button to make sure you can hear the music. I’m testing a lossless audio rip for this demonstration but you use anything you like.
The point is that it needs to play here before you can convert it. If it doesn’t play for you then your mp4 file might be corrupt; however, if it plays, right click it and choose Convert and pick Quick Convert from the fly-out menu.
On the Quick Convert screen double click MP3(LAME) in the codec list
Now slide the quality slider all the to the right of the screen to 320kbps; this will give you the best mp3 audio quality from your mp4 rip.
Click OK to return to the Quick Convert screen.
Now when you choose the Convert button in the bottom right corner of the screen, you may see a scary transcode warning about audio quality. Basically, foobar2000 is informing us that we’re going to lose audio quality because we’re re-encoding a previously encoded file.
That’s unfortunate; however, the audio degradation is minuscule and only noticeable to people with extremely discerning ears.
Go ahead and click Yes.
After this foobar2000 will prompt you for a location to save your mp3.
When you click save foobar2000 will ask you to locate lame.exe.
Now we need to get lame.
What the heck is LAME?
We’ll that’s the second part of the process here.
LAME is a recursive acronym for “LAME Ain’t an MP3 Encoder”. It’s an open source MP3 codec that lets you encode audio into the popular MP3 format.
We need to download the LAME bundle and then point foobar2000 to the lame.exe file so we can finish converting our RadioHead Youtube rip.
Incidentally, on the LAME download site you’ll see several options. Just make sure you pick the right one.
For example, if you have a 64bit version of Windows, you’ll want the 64bit LAME codec. The version on the website without the 64bit designation is for 32bit systems.
Download and extract the compressed LAME archive to a new folder in Program Files.
To keep things simple, I created a new one called LAME.
Browse to the lame executable and click Open.
The file will start converting like a champ.
When you want to convert files like this in the future you should see a “Last Used” option in foobar2000 whenever you right click the files in the playlist and choose Convert.
Check out 4KDownloader
Alternatively, an easier way to convert files from Youtube is to simply get 4kdownload and be done with it.
This nifty tool makes it super easy to download videos directly from Youtube. Simply copy the Youtube web address to the clipboard and then click Paste Url in 4K Video Downloader to get going.
You can select to download the entire video or just the audio.
then you can play the songs directly inside 4K Video Downloader to confirm it came out okay.