Ripping Audio from Japanese video and movie files

An excellent way to study Japanese is to watch movies and videos. The more you watch the same videos, the more you pick up on new words and phrases. Wouldn't it be great if you could some how get the audio track and put it on your ipod! Or actually cut out phrases and then insert them into an SRS (spaced repetition system like Anki) giving you repeated, focused exposure.

So how to do this? I use two free, open source tools. The first is VirtualDubMod. This lets us rip the audio stream from the movie as a wave file.

So after downloading virtual dub mod and running it, you should have something like the above. Now open one of your movies. On opening it may display some warnings, generally you're fine to ignore these.

Clink on the "streams" menu and select "stream list". You should get a window that looks like the following.

Choose the save wave button and it will write out a wave file containing all the audio for that movie. Cool right? This is now ready to go straight to your ipod but it's probably a little on the large size, it'd be smaller if it was an mp3.

So how do we make it into an mp3. Well, this is were our second piece of free software comes in - Audacity. Download that. You also need to go here and download this. It's a tool Audacity uses to make mp3s.

Load up audacity.

Now go to file open and open the wave file. This may take a little time, then you'll have a little wavy line representing the audio (pretty technical right?). At this point you can select a small part of the line and just save that out as an mp3. If you say you wanted to break some dialogue down into phrases. Or you want Jack Bauer shouting "Toooonnnnnyyy" as your new ring tone. By default the entire sound is selected so to make an mp3 all we do is go to file "Export as Mp3". Then you can fill in some info about the file you're going to create and that's it!

*When you first make an Mp3 Audacity might ask you where the encoder is. That's the second thing you should have downloaded. Just point it to the directory where you saved it.

Happy learning!
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