How to convert MP4 to MP3 with VLC

Edited by Ben Jacklin

June 15, 2021

Do you have an MP4 file but only want to rip the audio without the video? Converting it to MP3 will give you a high-quality audio file. Thanks to VLC, you can easily change from one media type to the other.

To use VLC to convert MP4 to MP3, follow the following steps. Whether you only want enough support to convert one file or you need to know how to use the VLC batch convert MP4 to MP3 functionality, VLC can be used on a variety of devices needing a converter.

How to convert MP4 to MP3 with VLC on Windows 10/8/7 and Mac

Step 1. Select Convert / Save

Open the Media drop-down menu and click Convert/ Save. This will open a new window in VLC.

Step 2. Select your file

In the Open Media window, click the Add button, and select the file you want to transcode. Click the Convert / Save button in the lower-right corner of the window.

Step 3. Set the extension/type to MP3

In the Convert dialog box that opens, select the appropriate conversion settings. In the Profile drop-down menu, select the Audio – MP3 preset.

Step 4. Set the destination

Now you need to decide where your MP3 file will be saved in the Destination file textbox. Enter in the file manually or click Browse to find the desired destination on your computer. In the dialog box that appears, change the file extension from .mp4 to .mp3 manually and click Save.

Step 5. Convert MP4 to MP3

Finally, click the Start button. Your file will be converted shortly to the selected destination.

How to batch-convert media files in VLC

Step 1. Add multiple files

In the Media menu, select the Convert / Save option. In the Open Media dialog box, click the Add button and select multiple files to upload to VLC.

Step 2. Click Convert / Save

Click the Convert / Save button. In the Convert dialog box, find the Profile section. Here, select the Audio – MP3 preset.

Step 3. Batch-convert MP4 to MP3

Click Start. All converted files will be saved to their initial folders.

Why use VLC as an MP4-to-MP3 converter

When you need to convert MP4 to MP3 VLC is an excellent tool. It can handle MP4s of a very large file size, is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and has an intuitive conversion process. Because VLC can also handle a variety of file types, you can use VLC to convert MP4 to MP3 or any other extension/type you need.

To get an MP3 from MP4 VLC needs the user to understand the interface. Having a small amount of technical knowledge is necessary with VLC thanks to the unusual information that users have to deal with – audio codec, profile, destination. These are not everyday terms for non-technical users who just want to know how to convert MP4 to MP3 with VLC Media Player.

More things you can do with VLC Media Player

As well as an MP4-to-MP3 converter VLC offers users plenty of additional functionality.

  • Play any DVD on the go, ignoring the region coding

    Never worry about region codes again thanks to VLC ignoring the RPC-1 firmware drive. This region-free player can play pretty much anything.

  • AirTunes streaming

    Whether you want to use AirPlay or the older AirTunes functionality, you can use VLC to get there. After you open a file on your Apple device, click the device you want to stream to and the process will begin. Maintaining a connection is easy and doesn’t require any extra setup.

  • Play subtitles

    Just like converting, adding subtitles to videos is easy. When you navigate to the Edit selected profile dialog box, you can add a subtitles file to your MP4.

  • Add logo to your video

    From the Tools drop-down menu, click on the Effects and Filters option if you want to add graphics and effects. The Video Effects tab contains the Add Logo box, meaning that you can easily upload and orientate your log in any video you want.

  • Play damaged and unfinished videos

    Corrupt files can be a pain to deal with, especially if there was an error with the MP4-to-MP3 converter VLC offers. But VLC can open damaged and unfinished videos, meaning you can use it to extract and rectify any errors you made along the way.

VLC MP4-to-MP3 converter alternatives

Although many people convert MP4 to MP3 with VLC, there are many alternatives on the market. Learning how to convert MP4 to MP3 using VLC player is a valuable skill, but check out these alternatives on the market to give you some other options with different features.

OS: Windows, Mac

Available online or as a desktop app, Movavi Video Converter is extremely straightforward and can quickly turn any MP4 file into an MP3. As well as MP3 and MP4, there is support for converting media files to over 180 formats as well as editing tools such as compression without quality loss and trimming.

You can even include subtitles through the intuitive interface. The library of conversion and optimization profiles makes Movavi Video Converter one of the fastest pieces of video converter software available today.

Pros:

  • Support for over 180 media file formats
  • Easy-to-use editing tools such as compression and trimming
  • The intuitive interface makes it easy for non-techy types too

Cons:

  • Online video converter lacks editing features
  • Some features in the app are behind a paywall

OS: All web browsers

A powerful online alternative to VLC, Zamzar offers a variety of plans to help you convert all the files you need. With support for up to 100 concurrent conversions and high-speed downloads, Zamzar would be an excellent option for a team working remotely that needs lots of files changed.

Zamzar’s affordable pricing plans can stretch to meet business needs, but the free option is there for small-time users. Restricted to only 2 files per day, however, means that a subscription is necessary for anyone planning to use it regularly.

Pros:

  • All online – accessible anywhere
  • A free plan is available in addition to subscription plans
  • A highly skilled support team can help you out with any errors

Cons:

  • The free plan is very restrictive
  • No editing tools
  • A lot of the best features that Zamzar offers are only with the subscription plans

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux

Available as a cross-platform solution to converting as well as recording and streaming audio and video, FFmpeg is an open-source project with plenty to offer. Including some truly advanced tools such as the motion interpolation filter and TrueHD encoder, FFmpeg is perfectly capable of handling professional needs.

Although the FFmpeg team is always working on improving and developing their software, there are still bugs in the system. You can send error reports to the team straight away, but be conscious that you may find the program shutting down or crashing occasionally.

Pros:

  • Fully open-source
  • A positive team working on improving and adding functionality
  • A range of tools in addition to converter functionality

Cons:

  • Some bugs in the software can be frustrating to deal with
  • You will need to understand the command line to get the best out of it

OS: Windows 7/8.1/10, Mac, Linux

A simple tool for converting video to audio, HandBrake converts video from nearly any format available. It is both free and open-source, meaning you can take advantage of a range of features such as built-in presets and batch scanning without paying a penny.

Although the source code is constantly being updated and improved, it is still buggy in places. A lack of sophisticated editing tools can also hold HandBrake back, especially as this is designed mostly to edit videos.

Pros:

  • Can handle almost any filetype
  • Open-source
  • Batch scanning functionality

Cons:

  • Many of the best features are just for videos
  • Some bugs can make using HandBrake difficult

Comparison table

Software

OS

Pros

Cons

Movavi Video ConverterWindows, Mac

Wide range of editing tools

Can convert to over 180 filetypes

Ultra-fast conversion rates

Some features are locked behind a paywall
ZamzarAll browsers

Available anywhere, thanks to online hosting

Can handle business level needs

Free plan available

Most of the best features are locked behind a paywall

Lacks a downloadable version

FFmpegWindows, Mac, Linux

Open-source

Dedicated team adding complex editing tools

Some bugs in the software

Can be difficult to use if you don’t understand the command line

HandBrakeWindows, Mac, Linux

Open-source

Excellent range of built-in tools

Can handle almost any file

Some bugs in the software

Lack of high-end editing tools

Final thoughts

Although a lot of people use VLC to convert MP4 to MP3, there are alternatives on the market. Some of these alternatives, such as Movavi, offer additional editing and audio manipulation tools that VLC wasn’t designed for. For people who often need to work with complex editing tasks, this can be a real lifesaver.

Movavi Video Converter offers support to over 180 file types and has editing tools that will keep your files in excellent quality or even improve them. When you want to convert MP4 to MP3 VLC doesn’t need to be the only option you have. Try Movavi Video Converter and test out the additional functionality.

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specialises in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.

Frequently asked questions

Can I convert MP4 to MP3 using VLC?

Yes. By using the import and convert functionality in VLC, you can make the most of the VLC media player convert MP4 to MP3 feature. For a full walkthrough, see the guide above.

How do I convert MP4 to MP3 in VLC Media Player?

  1. Open your files in VLC.
  2. Click Convert / Save.
  3. Set your preferred destination and profile.
  4. Set the file type to MP3 in the Edit selected profile section.
  5. Start the process and enjoy your new MP3.

What are VLC’s MP4-to-MP3 converter alternatives?

In addition to VLC, there are several other MP4-to-MP3 converters on the market today. Depending on your needs, you may choose one of the other leading software providers, such as the ones listed below:

  • Movavi Video Converter
  • Zamzar
  • FFmpeg
  • HandBrake

How do I batch-convert media files in VLC?

Batch conversion is easy with VLC, especially if you follow these steps.

  1. Open your media files in VLC.
  2. Click the Convert / Save button from the Media menu.
  3. Select your destination and profile as desired.
  4. Change the filetype to the one you want instead.
  5. Click Start and you can enjoy your new files.