How to import a .pcm file from a dvd (OS X)?

Hi all

I ripped the stereo audio channel of a Pat Metheny concert DVD and have a .pcm file as a result. The program “aiff from pcm” doesn’t work with this file and the SoX version for OS X that i could find is intel only (i have a G4). so I’m trying to import it into audacity. I used the import → raw section and have played around with the bitrate/endianness/samplerate etc and after many attempts with static noise the best I could get was music on the left channel and static on the right with 24bit, 48000hz, Big Endian. Is there anything I’m missing to also correctly import the right channel?

Thank you for help!

What happens if you open it up in QuickTime Player and press Command-I for INFO?

If you had QuickTime Pro, you could export it straight from there.


PCM from a DVD should be 48000, 16-bit, Stereo. That’s non-surround television sound.


It says that it can not open the file because it is no movie file.

I re-tried it his way - 16bit signed, 48000hz and tried all endienness options (little, big, standard, none) - and only got static.

Could it be a 20bit signal? Is there a way to import 20bit raw data? The Options from the respective drop down menu are 16 and 24 bits, is there a hidden option or a command line workaround?

I tried again, the only way to get music (on the left channel, static on the right) is to import it 24bit signed, 48000hz, big endian. I’ll rip the file again bit still am thankful for hints on how I could import both channels.

I have ripped the file again and still can only get the left channel to work with the setting 24/48000/bigendian. Any Ideas how to import both channels are greatly apreciated!

Perhaps the DVD has a mono soundtrack, or perhaps it’s copy protected?

It’s Pat Metheney’s “The Way Up” Concert DVD and has 2channel stereo PCM and surround sound AC3 and Dolby Digital sound tracks. And “Mac The Ripper” should have taken care of a possible copy protection. (Ripping my own DVDs is legal where I live, even if this means circumventing a copy protection.)

Have a look on the Doom9 forum, they are one of the best resources on the net for this kind of thing. (it’s where I go when I get stuck with DVD technology). They are mostly Windows orientated, but you may find some Mac stuff there.

Can you play it in a DVD player and then record it into Audacity? I know that means you are going Digital=>Analog=>Digital, not ideal but it should work. I lifted a song off a DVD soundtrack from a movie for my wife - it gave perfectly acceptable quality.


I’ll try Doom9 but I’ll have to wait for a couple of days before i can post since I just signed up.

I’m trying to stay digital. I thought of playing it on a DVD player with optical out and recording it with the optical in of my rockboxed iriver h140, but afaik it does only 16/44.1 If the file is 48khz or mor than 16bits lots of info will get clipped.

Another possible source of help:

You might also want to try ripping with Handbrake

Looks promising, thanks! I’ll dig into it.