Need advice fixing audio problem


I have a home video that I captured off a vhs tape using an “Easycap usb video capture device”. The device saved the video to my Windows 7 computer as an .mp3 file. It all worked ok except for the audio quality. When I open the file and playback the video the sound is awful and not as it should be. I guess the words ‘fuzzy’ or ‘furry’ best describe how voices now sound in the .mp3 video.

I’ve got “Audacity” audio editing software in my pc and figured if I extract the audio file from the video perhaps there is some tool in Audacity that might fix the problem? I could then use the repaired audio file in the video. Trouble is I’m not skilled enough with Audacity to know which features if any would help solve my problem. Could someone give me some advice on this please?


Do you have Windows set to show you filename extensions? That’s important because MP3 is not a video format. Its full name is MPEG 1, Layer 3, a sound format for MPEG 1 videos. Windows is famous for hiding the “real” filename, so it’s possible you got MyShow.mp3.mp4 or some other variation and Windows is hiding the .mp4 extension. Hiding the extension is fine until something goes wrong. Then it causes problems.

It’s possible your capture may have transferred damaged.

sound is awful

Audacity doesn’t do Disaster Recovery particularly well. If the sound is a mess, Audacity typically changes it to a different mess. you never get back to clear audio.

You should find out why your transfer failed.


There are quality settings on the “Easycap” software …
If those are set low you’ll get a small video file , but the sound & video quality will suffer.
Where it says “bit rate” (kbps) use the highest value for the best sound & video quality ,
( the file will be big though: ~1Gb per hour for video-cassette quality ).

Thanks Trebor,

I’ll have another go at Easycap and see if I can improve the quality. The size of the resulting video file is not a big issue for me.

Thanks Koz,
It seems I have made a slight error in my opening post. I used AudioExtractor to create an audio file to use in Audacity and this gave me the .mp3 extension. I have Windows set to show file extensions and my Easycap video file is actually .mpg.


Did the video file sound OK before you extracted the sound?

You are warned to either not use MP3 at all in favor of one of the other formats such as WAV, or if you’re stuck, choose the highest possible MP3 quality.

MP3 sound quality gets worse and worse as you go—and you can’t stop it. MP3 is an end-product format. Make an MP3 for your portable music player and Full Stop. Not make an MP3 so you can edit it into something else.

WAV is common, perfect quality, uncompressed sound format and perfect for production.


No, the sound on the mp3 video file is not good at all. I understand what you’re saying about mp3 and will try capturing the vhs tape in a different file format. Thanks for the advice.