How to extract Audio Sound and Music from Flash Videos (.flv) files and convert it to (.mp3) on Linux and BSD

In my quest to know Linux better and use it capabilities to fulfill a multimedia tasks I came across the question:

How can I extract audio sound and music from Flash Videos .flv file format?

After a bit of investigation online I’ve found out in order to achieve this task the quickest way is via the handy ffmpeg conversion tool .

It’s rather easy actually, all necessery to do the conversion is to have the ffmpeg installed.
FFMpeg is part of Debian and Ubuntu repositories, so if you haven’t installed it yet, go straigh and install it with:

debian:~# apt-get install ffmpeg
...

Many modern day Linux distributions already have the ffmpeg pre-installed by default, ffmpeg even have a Windows version so this little tutorial should be directly applied on a Windows host with installed ffmpeg.

Convertion of a .flv file to .mp3 file for example is a real piece of cake to so do issue the command:

debian:~# ffmpeg -i input_file.flv -ab 128 -ar 44100 output_file.mp3

The few mmpeg options meaning is as follows:

-i (specifies input file)
-ab (Set the audio bitrate in bit/s 64k by default)
-ar (Set the audio sampling frequency (default = 44100 Hz).)

For more options checkout the ffmpeg help.

I found ffmpeg to be a bit slower than I expected. A 17 minutes .flv video file is converted to .mp3 for 38 seconds time.

Here is the textual output I got on my Debian Linux while extracting the flash video’s sound and converting it to mp3:

debian:~# time ffmpeg -i g7tvI6JCXD0.flv -ab 128 -ar 44100 output.mp3
FFmpeg version SVN-r25838, Copyright (c) 2000-2010 the FFmpeg developers
built on Jan 21 2011 08:21:58 with gcc 4.4.5
configuration: –enable-libdc1394 –prefix=/usr –extra-cflags=’-Wall -g ‘ –cc=’ccache cc’ –enable-shared –enable-libmp3lame –enable-gpl –enable-libvorbis –enable-pthreads –enable-libfaac –enable-libxvid –enable-postproc –enable-x11grab –enable-libgsm –enable-libtheora –enable-libopencore-amrnb –enable-libopencore-amrwb –enable-libx264 –enable-libspeex –enable-nonfree –disable-stripping –enable-avfilter –enable-libdirac –disable-decoder=libdirac –enable-libschroedinger –disable-encoder=libschroedinger –enable-version3 –enable-libopenjpeg –enable-libvpx –enable-librtmp –extra-libs=-lgcrypt –disable-altivec –disable-armv5te –disable-armv6 –disable-vis
libavutil 50.33. 0 / 50.39. 0
libavcore 0.14. 0 / 0.14. 0
libavcodec 52.97. 2 / 52.97. 2
libavformat 52.87. 1 / 52.87. 1
libavdevice 52. 2. 2 / 52. 2. 2
libavfilter 1.65. 0 / 1.65. 0
libswscale 0.12. 0 / 0.12. 0
libpostproc 51. 2. 0 / 51. 2. 0
[flv @ 0x1336760] Estimating duration from bitrate, this may be inaccurate

Seems stream 0 codec frame rate differs from container frame rate: 2000.00 (2000/1) -> 29.92 (359/12)
Input #0, flv, from ‘g7tvI6JCXD0.flv’:
Metadata:
duration : 1060
starttime : 0
totalduration : 1060
width : 480
height : 360
videodatarate : 76
audiodatarate : 94
totaldatarate : 179
framerate : 30
bytelength : 23723246
canseekontime : true
sourcedata : B5F9E82C6HH1302704673918653
purl :
pmsg :
Duration: 00:17:40.35, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 174 kb/s
Stream #0.0: Video: h264, yuv420p, 480×360 [PAR 1:1 DAR 4:3], 77 kb/s, 29.92 tbr, 1k tbn, 2k tbc
Stream #0.1: Audio: aac, 44100 Hz, stereo, s16, 96 kb/s
WARNING: The bitrate parameter is set too low. It takes bits/s as argument, not kbits/s
Output #0, mp3, to ‘output.mp3’:
Metadata:
duration : 1060
starttime : 0
totalduration : 1060
width : 480
height : 360
videodatarate : 76
audiodatarate : 94
totaldatarate : 179
framerate : 30
bytelength : 23723246
canseekontime : true
sourcedata : B5F9E82C6HH1302704673918653
purl :
pmsg :
TSSE : Lavf52.87.1
Stream #0.0: Audio: libmp3lame, 44100 Hz, stereo, s16, 0 kb/s
Stream mapping:
Stream #0.1 -> #0.0
Press [q] to stop encoding
size= 16576kB time=1060.81 bitrate= 128.0kbits/s
video:0kB audio:16575kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead 0.002404%

real 0m38.489s
user 0m37.126s
sys 0m0.764s

When talking about conversions, another very useful application of ffmpeg is in case if you want to:

Extract Audio from online streams

Let’s say you have a favourite radio, you often listen and there are a podcast you want to capture for later listening, or just catch a few nice songs, using ffmpeg it’s a piece of cake by using the command like:

debian:~# ffmpeg -i http:///xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/some -ab 128 -ar 44100 captured-radio-sound.mp3

The possible ways of use of ffmpeg is truly versatily, you can use it for instance if you have to convert some kind of audio or video format to another one I have given a very simple example of converting a .flv file to .avi and vice versa in my previous post

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2 Responses to “How to extract Audio Sound and Music from Flash Videos (.flv) files and convert it to (.mp3) on Linux and BSD”

  1. Julio C. says:
    IceWeasel 9.0.1 IceWeasel 9.0.1 GNU/Linux x64 GNU/Linux x64
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:9.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/9.0.1 Iceweasel/9.0.1

    Interesting and very simple way of extracting that audio stream. I’ve fond some similar way using mplayer but didn’t work as straight as this one.

    I’ll see how far i got with online content…

    cheers!

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  2. hopestronger says:
    Firefox 70B9 Firefox 70B9 Windows XP Windows XP
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/70B9

    I recommend iDealshare VideoGo which can extract Audio from MP4, AVI, FLV, MOV, WMV, MKV, VOB etc and then convert to MP3, AAC, AC3, WAV, WMA, Apple Lossless, M4A, DTS, AIFF, MP2, AU, RA, FLAC, OGG

     

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