Farkie lets you rip audio from YouTube

Recording audio streams no longer requires a desktop application like Audacity, thanks to this Web site.

Last week, producer Danger Mouse (best known as half of Gnarls Barkley) finally released his new album, a collaboration with noise-pop artist Sparklehorse called "The Long Dark Night of the Soul." The catch: because of an ongoing legal battle with record label EMI, the "album" isn't an album at all, but rather a blank CD-R with artwork created by movie producer David Lynch. If you're interested in supporting the cause, you can order the CD-R with a poster ($10) or full book of artwork ($50) here.

But how do you get the music? NPR has an exclusive first listen, and the album's also available on YouTube (for now). But turning these streams into music files that you could burn onto the CD-R used to require a desktop application like Audacity.

Not now. Farkie is a Web site that offers the ability to rip the audio from YouTube videos into a variety of file types, including WAV, AVI, and MP3, as well as save entire videos as QuickTime (MOV), Windows Media (WMV), or Flash Video (FLV) files. It's a little clunky: you have to enter the URL of the YouTube video into the address bar on Farkie, then select the proper element from the results--it helps to uncheck all the boxes except "media" so you'll see only audio and video files. Then you have to wait while Farkie converts the stream to your chosen file type on its servers. Finally, you have to right-click to download the file from Farkie to your hard drive. It's not fast, but it's free and it works.

In theory, it should be able to convert streams from other sites as well, but I had trouble with the NPR link because it's an embedded Flash application and Farkie could only find the JavaScript files used to launch the application and various other side-links; it couldn't find the underlying media files. But there's plenty of material on YouTube to fill your hard drive.

Follow Matt on Twitter.

About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.

     

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