QuickTime X: Extracting Audio (Very) Easily

| TMO Quick Tip

QuickTime X has a drop-dead simple way to extract the audio from a movie file and save it out as a separate entity. Here’s how easy it is.

First, you’ll just open your video in QuickTime and choose File > Export.

The familiar Mac OS X dialog box will pop up, asking you where you’d like to put your exported file.

If you toggle the Format option near the bottom to Audio Only before you start the export, QuickTime will save just the audio out as an .m4a file, ready to be imported into iTunes.

Or ready to be put anywhere else you like, really. You are the boss of your .m4a files, my friends.

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Lee Dronick

This is one I knew about, but I love your tips because there manymthat are new to me.

Yesterday I created trailer in iMovie on my iPhone and I want the built in soundtrack for other projects. This is a good way of getting it.

Melissa Holt

I am honestly surprised that many of my tips are new to you. smile


Does this tip work only in Lion? I am using QuickTime v10.0 in Snow Leopard and when I open a .mov or .m4v file and choose File from the Menubar, Export is not an option, not even a greyed out one. Shift-Command-S is a shortcut for Save as, which does not provide an Audio Only option.

Melissa Holt

Hey jazzyj,

Yep, as far as I know, this is Lion-only.


Lee Dronick

Jazzyj, you should be able to export in a number of audio formats. However, it may be a QuickTime Pro feature only. Anyway, poke around the export menus.

Melissa, I know what I don’t know which knowing that I guess make me wise. I am often called a wise guy.

PS: I may mail you the movie trailer I created yesterday, or a link to it, I think that you will get a kick out of it.

PS: I am here at the Fashion Valley Apple Store.


Thanks for the QuickTime Pro tip! Yes, I found a lot of options when choosing Export in QuickTime 7 Pro.

Melissa Holt

Hey Lee,

Thanks for the tip for jazzyj! That’s very helpful and much appreciated.

I look forward to your trailer.


Lee Dronick

Your welcome Jazzyj.

My trailer is too long for email. I will put it on my website and announce a link when it is available.

Lee Dronick

Okay Melissa, and anyone who wants to see it, here is the link to the movie trailer, Highway 163 North. This is the video from which I want to extract the audio, the sound track. It was my first movie trailer made on the iPhone using the iMovie app. I brought the movie into my MacBook where I could resize it and code it into the webpage.

Melissa Holt

Hey, that’s awesome! I especially loved the typographical effects you chose. Excellent work. smile

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