Sometimes, we want to extract the audio stream out of a video file because we want only the soundtrack instead of a large video file. Several websites, applications, and browser extensions allow you to extract the audio out of a video file by converting it into a WAV, MP3 or in some other audio format.

In this article, we will talk about one of the command line based file conversion utility FFMpeg through which you can convert an mv4 video file to an audio WAV format in a Linux system. We will also discuss file conversions via the graphical way using the WinFF, which is actually a front end of the FFMpeg utility. FFmpeg and its front-end WinFF are open source applications that allow manipulating and converting video files in other formats easily.

We have used Debian 10 for running the commands and procedures mentioned in this article.

M4v to wav Conversion Through the Command Line with FFMpeg

To open the Terminal in your Debian OS, go to the Activities tab on the top left corner of your desktop. Then search for the FFMpeg using the search bar that appears. When the Terminal icon appears, click on it to open.

Now in order to install FFMpeg, run the following command as sudo in Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

When prompted for password, enter the sudo password.

The system will ask for confirmation by providing you with a Y/n option. Hit y to continue and the installation of MMPeg will be started on your system.

Once installed, you can check the version of MMPeg by running the following command in Terminal:

$ ffmpeg --version

To view a list of all FFmpeg-supported formats, execute the following command in Terminal:

$ ffmpeg --formats

You can also find the list of FFmpeg-supported formats at the FFmpeg official website.

Now in order to convert files using the FFmpeg, the following syntax can be used:

$ ffmpeg -i Input_File Output_File

For instance, to convert our “wind.m4v” located at ~/Downloads folder to “wind.wav” format, we have used the following command in Terminal:

$ ffmpeg -i ~/Downloads/wind.m4v wind.wav

The above output file wind.wav will be created in our current directory.

To verify if the wav file is successfully created, run the ls command at Terminal.

M4v to wav conversion through the Graphical User Interface with WinFF

In order to convert the Mv4 to wav file format through the graphical user interface using the WinFF, follow the below procedure:

WinFF Installation

WinFF can be installed through the Debian Software Manager. To launch the software manager in your Debian system, hit the super key on your keyboard and from the left sidebar, click the Software manager icon.

When the Software Manager opens, click the search button located at the top right corner of its window. In the search bar, type the keyword winff. When the search result appears, click on the WinFF utility as shown in the following screenshot.

When you click the WinFF utility, following window will appear. Click on the Install button.

Following authentication dialog box will appear. Enter the password for the authorized user and click the Authenticate button and the WinFF will be installed on your system.

When the installation is finished, you will see the following view. You can launch WinFF by clicking the Launch button.

To launch the WinFF from the system menu, hit the super key on your keyboard and type winff in the search bar. When the result appears, click on the WinFF icon to open.

Sound File Conversion

When the WinFF is launched, you will see the following view:

To add the source file that you want to convert using the WinFF, click the Add button from the toolbar:

Now select the source file and click Open.

Now in order to convert the video file to an audio format, click the Convert to option under the Output Details tab. From the drop-down menu, select the option Audio as your output file format.

Then under the Preset, select Wav for CD option as shown in the following screenshot.

Under the Output Folder, click the Open button to select the folder where you want to save your converted files. You can also choose to save the converted file in the source folder by checking the Use Source Folder box at the bottom.

Once done with configuring output settings, click Convert button from the toolbar.

When you click the Convert button, the conversion process will start in the Terminal window. Press Enter to continue after which the file will be converted to wav format.

You can see the converted file in your output folder. `

FFMpeg provides a number of ways for editing and converting video files across different formats. In this article, we have learned how to install and use FFMpeg and its command-line alternative WinFF for converting the mv4 video file to a WAV format in a Debian system.

How to convert M4V to WAV format in Debian

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn