Q: I know that the iPod can listen to only the audio track of a my videos by accessing them from the Music section. Is there any way to play a video file’s audio only in iTunes?
If not, can I convert the a copy of the video to AAC? I’ve tried playing around the with iTunes converter setting used for songs, but when I right click on a video I can only select “Convert Selection for iPod” and not “Convert Selection to AAC”.
A: You’re right, iTunes can’t play only the audio track of video files, and it can’t convert video to audio. However, there is an easy (though not terribly obvious) way to do this with third-party software. For the benefit of both Mac and PC owners, we’ll explain the process using Apple’s QuickTime Pro, which is identical on both platforms. For other software, the process is similar.
Keep in mind that this clearly only works for videos you yourself have imported into iTunes manually; videos purchased via the iTunes Store cannot be modified due to the copy protection Apple imposes upon them.
You’ll need to copy the file out of your iTunes library first, so simply drag it to your desktop. Then, open this file in QuickTime Pro.
Choose “Export…” from the File menu with the video open, and select either “Sound to AIFF” or “Sound to WAV” options from the Export pull-down menu. The files that result from this conversion can be imported into iTunes for conversion to AAC or MP3, if you wish to futher reduce their filesize.