In this article you will discover two pretty nice workarounds to edit MP4 files and to convert them into an MP3 that any MP3 player is available to play.
The idea to write this article came after a friend of mine asked me to find a very quick solution to convert tens (or was it tons 😉 ) of MP4 files in MP3 files.
Don’t forget that your Mac will help you to do a lot of stupid file converting without even having a strong knowledge about codecs and QuickTime headers.

Prerequisites:

  • Mac with Mac OS X Tiger or Leopard
  • iLife software especially GarageBand (for the second version)
  • MP4 files (produced by iSquint or Handbrake or any other software)

First version: Converting a lot of MP4 files using Automator

Step 1: Open “Automator” and choose “Custom”. You will get an empty placeholder

Opening Automator

Step 2: Choose in the left box the “Get specified Movies” element and drag’n’drop it in the placeholder

Step 3: Choose in the left box the “Import Audio files” and once again drag’n’drop it in the placeholder. Change the Encoder to MP3. Of course if you want you can leave it on “AAC encoder”.

Importing Audio Files

Step 4: Now the magic part 🙂 Drag’n’drop all your MP4 files you’d like to convert into the “Get specified movies” block and press the Run button. Voilà!

Drag'n'drop of the MP4 files

After about x minutes (time depends on the number of files you would like to convert) you will find your MP3 files in iTunes. As a little bonus you will get a cover with a snapshot of the video file you’ve converted. Nice isn’t it? What is the magic about this trick? You did nothing than to use a QuickTime encoder and to extract the audio track.

Second version: Editing and converting using GarageBand

This is a pretty nice trick especially if you have downloaded MP4 files in the purpose to build a ringtone or to cut ads or voices before and after your track.

Step 1: Open GarageBand and select in New Project > Movie

Step 2: Drag’n’drop a MP4 file into GarageBand. Two tracks will appear : “Movie Track” and “Movie Sound”

Step 3: Edit the loop with the wave preview

Step 4: With the Cmd+T you can cut the loop

Step 5: Select the “Movie Track” – track and delete it

Step 6: Free editing of the wave

Step 7: Send the ringtone to iTunes

Now you can impress your friends by always having the coolest ringtone on your iPhone. Of course instead of cutting a loop, you can only delete the movie track and export the song as an MP3.