This morning I was asked if I could extract the audio tracks of certain Youtube videos and make a compilation of them on an audio CD in order to listen to them using a CD player. “I don’t know how or if it’s even possible,” I replied. “Come on!” she said, “I know you can figure it out if you tried.” And so I was faced with another technical challenge. But thanks to the ease of looking up information from the Internet, in only minutes I learned I have all the tools I needed on my Fedora 17 Linux PC.
You might wonder, “Why would anybody want to do that?” In her case, it was to be able to listen to some guy’s seminar without using a PC. He was just standing there talking. What he had to say was much more important than watching him say it.
First we must download the Youtube. I use a Mozilla Firefox add on called “Flash Video Downloader Youtube Downloader”. It gives me a choice of what format to download with. In this case I downloaded in .flv format. The file downloaded to Downloads of my home directory.
First open Terminal and enter the following commands based on the name of the files you downloaded:
- $ ffmpeg (This is to make sure you have ffmpeg on your system: If you get a command not found message, install ffmpeg)
- $ cd Downloads
- $ ffmpeg -i nameoffile.flv -vn -acodec copy yourfile.m4a
- $ ffmpeg -i nameoffile.m4a yourfile.wav
Now the file is in wav format, perfect to make audio CDs out of. Just use your favorite CD Burner application to make an audio CD out of it. I use K3b.
If you are a Windows or a Mac user, I’m sure you can get the tools you need for this job, but it they may not be freeware.