YouTube is home to a massive collection of videos, including a ton of music content. If you want to download YouTube videos as MP3 files for offline listening, this guide will show you how.
I have over 10 years of experience writing technology tutorials. In this comprehensive article, I’ll explain multiple methods for converting YouTube videos to MP3, along with the pros and cons of each approach.
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Is It Legal?
Before we get into the how-to, it’s important to understand the legal considerations. In general, downloading and converting copyrighted YouTube videos for personal use falls into a legal gray area in many countries.
Technically, it violates YouTube’s Terms of Service. It may also infringe copyright law in some cases, depending on who owns the rights to the video. However, the risk of actual legal consequences is generally low for individual users.
To be on the safe side, only use these techniques for videos you have the rights to use, such as:
- Official music videos uploaded by the artist/label
- Cover songs and remixes (check license!)
- Public domain content
- Videos with Creative Commons licenses that allow derivatives
In short—if in doubt, don’t do it. But for personal use with non-copyrighted content, most authorities turn a blind eye.
The easiest way to convert YouTube videos to MP3 is using a free online converter website. Here’s how it works:
- Go to a site like YTMP3, OnlineVideoConverter or ClipConverter.
- Paste the URL of the YouTube video you want to download and convert.
- Select MP3 as the output format.
- Click the convert/download button and save the MP3 file.
That’s all there is to it! The process takes just a few seconds, with no software to install.
- Super fast and easy
- Works on any device with a web browser
- No storage space required
- Quality limited to 128 or 192 kbps
- Need to download each video individually
- Potential ads/popups
For quickly grabbing MP3s here and there, online converters do the job. But for higher quality and batch downloading, desktop software is better.
If you want full control over output quality and options to queue up multiple downloads, use desktop software instead. Here are some top choices:
4K YouTube to MP3
This specialized program focuses solely on downloading YouTube videos as MP3s or other audio formats like M4A and OGG.
- Copy and paste video URLs or search YouTube directly in the app.
- Select output format and quality up to 320 kbps.
- Click the download button and save files anywhere on your PC.
4K YouTube to MP3 also allows channel subscriptions and batch downloading entire playlists with one click.
- Save high quality 320 kbps MP3s
- Download full playlists
- Simple and straightforward interface
- Windows and Mac only (no Linux or mobile version)
- Must process videos individually
Freemake Video Converter
As an all-in-one video software suite, Freemake can download and convert from 1000+ sites beyond just YouTube.
- Paste video links or add files from your computer.
- Choose MP3 as output and pick quality up to 320 kbps.
- Click Convert and save MP3 files to your music library.
Freemake also includes advanced editing tools to trim, crop, rotate, and merge files.
- Huge format compatibility beyond YouTube
- Robust editing features
- Retains ID3 tags in output MP3s
- Bloatware installer tries to bundle extra software
- Watermark on output files unless you upgrade
With the ability to handle playlists and batch convert, Freemake is one of the most versatile YouTube to MP3 options.
And there you have it—multiple methods for downloading and converting YouTube videos to MP3! To recap:
- Online converters are quick and convenient for one-off downloads
- Desktop software like 4K YouTube to MP3 and Freemake provide higher quality and batch processing
- Be mindful of copyrights and only download videos you have the rights to use
Converting YouTube videos can be a great way to enjoy music and other audio content offline. Thanks for reading this guide on how to properly download YouTube as MP3 files. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!