YouTube to MP3 converters allow the user to separate audio files from videos on YouTube, and convert them into MP3 formats. Most artists upload their videos on YouTube for free, but at times you might want to listen to only the music and not watch the video. While there are several options to stream music across devices these days, including YouTube Premium, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Prime Music, their subscriptions can cost a fair amount.
This is especially true if you’re a student and just want to listen to music while you work or study. YouTube to MP3 converters are a welcome solution to this situation. However, do note that there are some legal technicalities when it comes to doing so, which we will explain in our post. We’ve also compiled the top YouTube to MP3 converters, with detailed steps on how to use them.
Best features to look for in a YouTube to MP3 converter
Considering the fact that YouTube to MP3 converters have been around for a long time, there are hundreds of apps and websites that claim to be functional. However, some of these websites and applications tend to be malicious in nature. Just by accepting cookies, the website can claim all the information of the user, or infect the computer with viruses and other malware. This is why it’s of paramount importance to choose a converter that has the following features, at the very least.
Minimal or ad-free interface
Since a lot of the YouTube to MP3 converter websites and applications claim to be free, you’ll find that a majority of them have ads running on their interface. Sometimes, ad pop-ups are important as they bring in revenue to the website owner(s). This works fine if the ads don’t look too suspicious in nature. Nonetheless, some of the websites end up changing the homepage of your browser without your knowledge. Additionally, the browser then starts to behave erratically – showing unrelated ads at inopportune moments.
If this happens, then it is likely that the website you visited for ripping the music from the YouTube video has infected your browser with adware. Adware is a form of malware that infects the browser and injects ads into it. The worst-case scenario would mean that you’ll be unable to remove the ads, or they will pop up incessantly. Find and use a website that shows the least amount of ads, and does not redirect you to an ad page at every alternate click.
Option to download MP3 with higher bit rates
MP3 files come in a range of bit-rates, which indicate their quality. A higher bit rate will indicate better quality audio. The caveat with a higher bit rate is that the file size will be larger. CD-quality audio is usually at 256 Kbps, which is the standard quality for most audio files. Bit rates tend to range from 96 Kbps to 320 Kbps. The type of bit rate available also depends on the quality of the video from which you want to rip the audio.
Some websites offer a range of bit rates to download the MP3 file, from the lowest quality available to the bit rate offered by the video’s audio. If the bit rate is low, then the audio quality will be poor. For example, if you play an MP3 file with a 128 Kbps bit rate on a Bluetooth speaker at a loud volume, you will start to notice the audio tearing up and being unclear in the background. Ultimately, it also depends on your preferences and usage. If you plan to play the audio over your own video, or on a speaker, MP3 files with a higher bit rate are preferred. It is important for the YouTube to MP3 converter website or application to provide you with the option of downloading MP3 files with different bit rates.
Suppose you like a particular part of a song and want to keep it as your phone’s alarm or ringtone. It could also be possible that you want to upload a post on social media with a particular part of a song as the music in the background. In such cases, it doesn’t make sense to download the entire song, and then go through another process of cropping the desired part of the audio. It involves extra steps and can consume a lot of time. The best option in this scenario would be to choose a YouTube to MP3 converter that has the in-built option of cutting the desired part of the audio. It will save you a lot of time and effort, without compromising on the quality.
Converting YouTube to MP3: is it legal?
YouTube is and has been the preferred platform for a majority of artists to use. Music streaming platforms like Spotify and Prime Music don’t allow the user to download songs unless they have a paid subscription, and even in that case, you can only listen to it locally on the app.
In the case of YouTube, artists can upload their music videos and songs without any hassle, knowing that their music videos cannot be downloaded and used elsewhere, as it would be illegal. Despite the downloading of copyrighted music videos being illegal, converting the video to an MP3 file and downloading the audio is not. However, it is against YouTube’s Terms of Service. YouTube does not condone ‘stream-ripping’, and you could be fined if the music you are downloading is protected under copyright law.
Best websites and apps to convert YouTube video to MP3 audio
After knowing all about the basics and the legal technicalities regarding the conversion of YouTube videos to MP3 files, it is time to look at the five best websites and apps that allow you to rip the music from YouTube videos and convert them to MP3 files.
- 4K Video Downloader
- Wondershare UniConverter
- SnapDownloader YouTube to MP3
- YTD Video Downloader
- TubeMate App
4K Video Downloader: the all-rounder
4K Video Downloader offers a host of features and is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android. It can download videos, audio, and subtitles from different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube, and TikTok. It also allows you to download entire playlists of music videos and audio, as well as channels. If you want to download private content from YouTube, 4K Video Downloader enables you to do that too. You can edit the videos you have downloaded through this, and create slideshows if needed. It has a “Smart Mode” that stops background processes and allows faster downloads.
How to Use:
- Open the application and click on ‘Add video’. Conversion happens automatically once you add the video to be converted.
- Once the conversion is done, you have to click ‘Show in folder’. This will open the folder containing all the converted audio tracks.
4K Video Downloader: best features
- Several tutorials on how to use the services
- Built-in VPN that allows you to download videos or audio that are restricted in your country
- Supports multiple file formats like MP3, MP4, 3GB, MKV, and M4A files
- Lets you rip subtitles from videos, with over 50 languages supported
- Supports downloading of VR videos
4K Video Downloader: missing features
- The free version has a limitation on the number of playlists and channels that can be downloaded
- The paid version can be quite expensive, ranging from $15 to $45 based on the version provided.
Download link: https://www.4kdownload.com/products/videodownloader/3
Wondershare UniConverter: The one for Blu-Ray quality audio and video
Wondershare UniCoverter works on Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. If there’s one thing that UniConverter by Wondershare does well, it’s downloading videos and audio of impeccable quality. The app itself claims that the download speeds are unparalleled – up to 30 times more download speeds than its competitors. It also provides a range of features for people who love editing the videos and audio that they download. If you want to edit your video and audio into Blu-Ray quality, this is the tool that will help you. Apart from its audio ripping capabilities, it also has advanced services for converting videos into different file formats.
How to Use:
- Launch the app and click the ‘Converter’ option on the left side panel. In the Conversion tab, find the ‘Add Files’ button and click on it. Import all the video files you want to convert to audio.
- Click on the ‘Output Format’ tab at the bottom of the screen. A popup window will open, in which there will be the Audio section. Click on it, and find the MP3 option on the left side. You’ll find a range of options with different bit rates. Choose your desired option.
- Hit the ‘Start All’ button to begin the conversion. Once it’s done, you can find the converted files by clicking on the folder icon next to the ‘File Location’ section at the bottom of the dialog box.
Wondershare UniConverter: best features
- Supports most of the popular video and audio platforms
- The user interface is very easy to comprehend
- Supports PlayStation, Chromecast, and AppleTV apart from Windows and Mac
Wondershare UniConverter: missing features
- Many of its functions are only available for the premium version
- Optimisation could be better
Download link: https://videoconverter.wondershare.net/lp/uniconverter-best-video-converter-brand.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwpf2IBhDkARIsAGVo0D03NJLMz8-KjNk2ekD16qNtSsZnTrY7mMevm0-EQQEK6L4zMrFCo5waAnemEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
SnapDownloader: huge support profile
SnapDownloader runs on Windows and Mac OS. It is another hugely popular tool for video to audio conversion. The conversion process might be slightly slower than other tools of this nature, but the quality is worth the wait. It is also a YouTube video downloader. This means that you do not need any other service to download high-quality videos. The tool can be tried with a 24-hour free trial period. After 24 hours, however, you have to pay for the features. Unfortunately, there isn’t mobile platform availability for SnapDownloader yet.
How to Use:
- Copy the video’s URL from the address bar in your browser and open the SnapDownloader app.
- Paste the link in the SnapDownloader app’s given space and click on ‘Search’. All the possible conversion options will be shown.
- Select MP3 as your desired Output Format. ‘Best Quality’ is usually selected by the app itself, but you can choose your preferred option. Once this is done, click on ‘Download Now’.
SnapDownloader YouTube to MP3: best features
- It supports over 900 platforms for media, apart from the basics of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Vimeo.
- It has a built-in search bar for YouTube videos, so you don’t need to check the actual YouTube site.
- When you download a video, it also downloads the audio for you automatically.
- Supports a lot of file formats, from MP3, MP4, and M4A to AIFF and WAV.
- Can download videos and audio in batches.
SnapDownloader YouTube to MP3: missing features
- All the main features are blocked after the 24-hour trial period.
Download link: https://snapdownloader.com/
Freemake: trusted for over 10 years
Freemake is a converter tool that works only on Windows PC, and has been used by its faithful customers for a long time. Its biggest draw for users is that it can extract specific parts of videos and audio, based on the need of the user. Freemake is currently being used by over 90 million people, in multiple countries. In terms of video editing, it can do more than its competitors. If you want to download and edit videos from different platforms, you can cut, rotate, modify, and join videos to create the effect you desire. At this point in time, Freemake does not run on any other platform, including mobile platforms.
How to Use:
- Copy and paste the URL of your desired video into the Freemake tool using the ‘Paste URL’ option. You can select just one video or you can convert in batches.
- Choose the ‘To MP3’ button at the bottom right of the screen. A dialog box will appear with the available MP3 bit rates and qualities. Choose your preference.
- You can also add your own preset using their ‘MP3 Preset editor’ tool. Once you are done with your settings, click on ‘Convert’.
- The conversion process will begin and you will be notified once it’s done.
Freemake: best features
- Available in 4 languages
- Very fast in converting videos and audio to different file formats
- Can work on 500 videos and audio simultaneously
- Offers access to blocked videos on multiple video platforms
Freemake: missing features
- Free version provides an unremovable watermark on videos
- Customer service could be better
- Optimisation issues – conversions don’t always happen at high speeds
Download link: https://www.freemake.com/free_video_downloader2/
YTD Video Downloader: always updates and simplest to use
YTD Video Downloader is a classic YouTube video to MP3 converter and works on Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS platforms. Its user interface has almost zero clutter and this makes it one of the simplest tools to use. The free version of the tool has enough features for most beginner-level users. It is also updated quite frequently by the developers, who try to keep it as optimised as possible. This allows users with slow internet speeds to download videos and audio files without too many worries. Since the service is not resource-intensive, you can use it to download HD-quality audio as well.
How to Use:
- Copy the video URL and paste it into the ‘Download’ section of the tool. Once the video is downloaded, go to the next step.
- Browse and select your video file in the ‘Convert’ tab.
- In the ‘Convert video to’ option, select MP3 from the list.
- Select the Convert option, and check the box with the ‘Same folder as downloads’ option, if needed.
YTD Video Downloader: best features
- Built-in music player
- Downloads can be paused and resumed at will. The app keeps track of download progress
- No ads in the user interface
YTD Video Downloader: missing features
- Only the paid version allows downloads and conversions in batches
- Many of its competitor apps provide newer features
Download link: https://www.ytddownloader.com/
Tubemate: reliable and works very well
Tubemate is one of the oldest and popular app to download videos from YouTube in various resolution and formats. Apart from that, users can also use the app to download only MP3 from the video in various bitrates. However, Google pulled this app from Play Store since it didn’t appreciate downloading of YouTube videos. Users can still head to the official website of the app and grab the apk to download MP3 from YouTube. Unfortunately, it’s currently available only for Android users. Here is how to use the app.
How to use:
- Download the APK file from the official Tubemate website
- Open the APK file and allow Install unknown apps permission
- Once installed, open the app and give required permissions
- The app will now run a short tutorial on how to use it
- Once done, you can search for the desired video within the app itself
- After you find the video you want, click on the download button in the bottom right corner
- Select MP3 option from the screen that pops-up
- The MP3 file will now be stored locally on your device
Tubemate: best features
- Built-in player
- Support for various resolutions and formats
- Downloads can be paused and resumed
Tubemate: missing features
- Requires an additional app to convert higher quality videos and MP3
Download link: http://tubemate.net/
Best YouTube to MP3 converters: at a glance
|4K Video Downloader||Tutorials available to help beginners||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android|
|Wondershare UniConverter||Blu-Ray audio and video support||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|SnapDownloader||Over 900 platforms supported||Windows, macOS|
|Freemake||Huge batch conversion||Windows|
|YTD Video Downloader||Very simple user interface||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|