Extract Audio from iMovie… well, sorta’

Right before I posted this tip I Google’d and found this answer. I’ll still put my solution out jst because, well because I spent so much time writing it.

I was talking to my buddy the yesterday and he was showing me his new Sprint Instinct. It’s kinda cool and compares feature wise pretty favorably to the iPhone. However in all-together elegance, it’s not quite there. Anyhow we get to talkin’ ’bout phones, I pul out the iPhone which leads to a discussion on Mac stuff. Somehow the conversation turns to iMovie, the topic of today’s post. I was explaining that I figured out how to pul the audio tracks out of iMovie. The catch is that there really isn’t any way to pull out audio from within iMovie itself, no way that I’ve been able to find.

The trick is to extract the audio before you fiddle around in iMovie. So far I’ve managed to do this with .mov files but it may work for other formats. I since I work primarily with Apple tools when I do video editing it has worked out.

I used Audacity for the past couple of years and only recently got serious with it. I learned that you can open/import .mov files in audacity and work exclusively with the audio. After editing you can then spit the audio back out in multiple formats like mp3 or wav to be re-imported into iMovie. You can then delete the original audio track in Movie and line up the edited track accordingly.

There are many other nice features found in Audacity. You can use it to record any sound coming from your machine (set the Sound Flower driver for the input source in Audacity and set Sound Flower as the output source in Audio preferences), you can use it to record ad-hoc narrative from the built-in mic (Just hit record with the default settings), and you can add noise reduction, amplification and/or special effects to your audio. I’m still only scratching the surface on this tool.

Why would I want to do that?
Audacity, iMovie, audio extraction become important when you want to do a screen cast. Screencasts are a good way to introduce a programming concept, IDE feature, or a particular solution to a problem. However recording a screencast realtime exposes bloopers and blunders, like coughing, throat clearing, and other bodily noises that you would rather not entertain your audience with. You’d probably want to cut long boring sequences or re-narrate stuttering for clarity.

I’m drifting off topic so let me stop here. Look for more tips on video and image editing here in the future.

2 thoughts on “Extract Audio from iMovie… well, sorta’

  1. Love the new look!

    I’m really satisfied with the Instinct, except for the lack of WiFi capability. Traveling around the country, my ATT/iPhone-using colleagues often have no service. I almost always have voice and 3G available.

    I do wish it supported .ogg media, though.

  2. What no WiFi on the instinct? Can we get at least one phone that has the total package? A decent web browser, Flash support, WiFi, true 3G, a camera that produces print worthy pics, Multi-Media messaging, audio streaming in different formats and please, please, stereo over bluetooth (A2DP)??? It doesn’t have to be a fancy touch screen or anything, just something with a decent keypad. I’m sure there’ll be a manufacture reading this post who will nail all of the above but the danged thing won’t support email or phone calls!

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