Best YouTube to MP3 Converter (2022)
In a way, mp3s and YouTube go together like peas and carrots. They’re both designed for sharing.
Why would you want a YouTube to mp3 converter? Most obvious explanation, for converting videos into sound files to view offline.
The mp3 format has been around since 1993. When it came out, it had a huge impact on music consumption.
People used to trade CDs and records. But now it was suddenly possible to swap individual songs online.
Then came the iPod in 2001. For most of the 2000s, mp3 players were the way people consumed media on the go. For example, via podcasts.
Meanwhile, YouTube was founded in 2005. Since then, YouTube videos have become a regular part of our media consumption. We share videos like we share music.
And then it gets meta. We even use YouTube to listen to our favorite songs, just like in the mp3 era. Indeed, it’s become an audio streaming platform in its own right.
But let’s get a bit more specific. You may want audio files for doing research. For school, or for prepping for an interview.
With a conversion app or website, there’s no need to download video files.
All you need is an internet connection. Safari running on macOS will do, or Google Chrome on Windows. Or Firefox on Linux—whatever browser and OS you use daily.
Just find your YouTube link. Copy and paste it into the URL field. Then you can download videos as mp3 files.
With that said, not all conversion apps were created equal. Some are definitely better than others. And there are some sketchy, adware-infused ones out there, best avoided.
What features to look for in a YouTube to MP3 converter
First off, you obviously want a SaaS app that works on your desktop.
You want an app that does YouTube to MP3 downloads for PC. It should work on Windows and Mac OS/X. Whichever of the two operating systems you use.
You may also want the ability to convert YouTube playlists to mp3. The ability to batch convert will save time copy and pasting links.
And you may want to be able to convert on mobile. In that case, you can seek out a vendor who has a YouTube to mp3 iPhone app. Or an Android app, if that’s your brand of smartphone.
Besides YouTube to mp3, .WAV and other audio file types could be desirable. You might want an .AAC audio format option as well. Particularly if you’re a DJ or audio engineer looking for quality sound.
You might also want a toggle for quality output level. You might desire 320kbps high-quality mp3 files. Or you may be fine with lower bitrates like 96kbps in the interests of saving storage space.
And you might want the ability to save files directly to your Dropbox. That way you won’t have to download the file to your desktop, then upload it to Dropbox.
Last but not least, you want a platform that’s reliable and trustworthy. You don’t want your computer or mobile device’s security compromised.
There are a huge number of conversion tools out there, and many of them are adware supported. Some of them even contain malware.
So you really want to make sure you do your research before you download anything. Trustpilot.com is one place to verify a platform with user reviews. But a Google search with “shopping around” on various review sites is recommended.
Meanwhile, web browser-based conversion tools tend to be a bit more secure. In most cases, the worst that can happen is pop-up and pop-under ads. Or your activity being tracked.
Installing a good ad blocker like AdBlock is highly recommended.
You may also consider getting Ghostery to protect your privacy while browsing.
How to convert YouTube to MP3
To convert a YouTube video to mp3, follow these 6 steps. They’re pretty much universal for every vendor.
1. Go to YouTube’s search box. Type in the title of the video you’re looking for. Or enough background information to find it via trial-and-error.
2. Find the video URL. It’s in the search bar on your browser. You can also obtain it by clicking on “Share” below the video.
3. Copy the URL. Paste your YouTube URL in your conversion app or into the web tool’s page in your browser.
4. Select the quality of conversion, if applicable. You may have the option of 320kbps bitrate, for high-quality output. Or alternative formats to .mp3, like .mp4, .WAV, or .AAC.
5. Click the convert button. This will convert the video into mp3 format. (Or whatever alternative format you have selected.)
6. When your video has converted successfully, click the download button. The mp3 file will begin downloading to your computer.
The process works much the same for apps on mobile devices.
However, some vendors have userscripts and browser extensions. These can be used to convert files directly from your streaming site, without copy and pasting links.
Best YouTube to MP3 converter (online and download)
Here’s our list of the top 14 YouTube to mp3 converters. All of them are available free of charge.
Web browser version is simple and efficient. The UI is straight to the point.
Ability to convert to mp3 or mp4 formats.
Good copyright detection system. This helps block downloads of videos that might fall afoul of copyright laws.
The website is very much ad supported. It has pop-ups, which can be invasive. A pop-up blocker is strongly recommended.
Convert videos to mp3 with ease. No registration or software download required.
Converted files can be uploaded to Dropbox and Google Drive
Apart from YouTube, supports video conversions from 1,000+ websites. The list includes Vimeo, Dailymotion, and many more.
Doesn’t work on iOS.
Converts videos in high quality 320kbps format.
There’s a Firefox userscript for one-click downloads directly fromYouTube page.
You can expedite downloads by typing 320 in front of your YouTube.com video link. This is a very nifty shortcut. You won’t have to cut and paste links.
It’s simple and straightforward. There aren’t many customization options to speak of.
Converts streaming video to audio from 23 different websites. YouTube and TikTok are included.
Offers fast and straightforward app conversion.
Converts to .MP4 and .AVI formats.
The web browser version is just fine. But the app is adware supported, so you probably won’t want to download it.
Lots of conversion options for audio format and quality level.
Allows you to download entire YouTube playlists.
Apart from YouTube, it converts media from many other platforms. Including Vimeo and Soundcloud.
Supports direct upload to Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.
Might not work with your third-party website.
Supports a wide range of audio formats. Includes conversion to mp3, .M4A, .WAV, .FLAC, and .OGG.
Offers conversion to 320kbps high quality mp3 files.
Lets you convert and download entire YouTube playlists at once.
It isn’t available as a web app. You have to download the app for Windows or Mac to use it.
Definitely has a dated user interface.
Simple form and quick conversion.
Lets you convert video into mp3, .MP4, and AVI formats.
Offers conversions from other video streaming websites. Like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.
Site design is not so aesthetically pleasing.
Lack of options for conversion quality.
Allows for fast, simple, and fool-proof conversions.
Works with 1,000+ websites. This includes Vimeo, Soundcloud, Instagram, etc.
Converts up to 1.5 hours of audio.
Has a fairly generous export file size limit of 200MB.
Lack of audio quality options. Lack of options for export format.
Easy Mp3 Converter
5 audio quality export options. Default quality is high-quality 320kbps.
It’s super simple and straightforward.
No user registration is required.
Lack of audio format options. You can only export as mp3.
Only converts YouTube links.
Youtube to MP3.org
Simple and straightforward copy and paste video to mp3 conversion. Supports all video formats found on YouTube.com.
Converts to mp3 and .MP4.
No registration required.
Website design is not so eye-pleasing.
There’s a lack of export audio format options.
Supports a wide range of audio export formats. This includes a wide range of mp3 bitrates (from 64kbps to 320kbps). Also .AAC, .MP4, .M4V, .WMV, .FLV, and many more.
Works on a wide range of platforms. Windows, Mac, Linux are supported on desktop. Android and iPhone are supported for mobile users.
Supports uploading files directly to Dropbox and Google Drive.
Some users report issues with adware.
Any Video Converter Free
Very versatile tool with many export options. Accepts a huge range of video format inputs. Audio formats include .mp3, .AC3, .OGG, .AAC, .WMA, .M4A, .WAV, .AIFF, and more.
Wide range of supported output devices. Including iPad, Apple TV, XBox One, etc.
Available in Windows and Mac versions.
Make sure you don’t install the optional adware during installation. You can opt out, and you really really should.
Lacks a one-click conversion option. This isn’t a huge deal, but it does slow down the process a bit.
4kDownload (4K YouTube to MP3)
Lets you download entire YouTube playlists and channels.
Export in original encoded audio quality. In other words, obtain audio files that are exactly the same quality as source videos.
Has a built-in audio player.
Can only download playlists with 24 items or fewer. This is not a big deal for most users, but it’s something to consider.
Can download from a range of streaming websites. That includes YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion.
Offers a range of output audio formats. MPEG4, mp3, .OGG, and .WMV. You can also download the original .FLV and .MPEG4 files from the video source.
Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux free of charge. The vendor funds operations by donation.
Has integrated search function to find videos. This means you don’t have to know the exact video URL.
The integrated search option is nice. But it’s a bit limited, as it gives you only 12 results at a time.
There are a lot of YouTube downloaders out there. It can be hard to know which platforms are trustworthy.
We hope this list of top vendors helps.
After all, most of us will need to use a YouTube to mp3 converter at some point. Either for work or personal reasons.
Because information and cultural content needs to travel. We saw this with mp3s in the 90s on Napster and other websites. Eventually, the sketchy sharing gave way to Spotify and other mainstream services.
We see the same thing happening again with videos for YouTube. There is a ton of bite-sized content sharing going on. And a ton of user-generated content being created and circulated.
Some music artists are even sharing their entire musical catalogues for streaming on the site. Radiohead, for example. This is creating new chin-scratching contemplation on the nature of content and cultural production.
All this to say, it’s hard to avoid converting sometimes. Armed with a good YouTube to mp3 converter, you can move files between platforms at will. And unlock more possibilities for YouTube in our era of social sharing.
Just be sure to respect copyright. And to protect yourself by using platforms that are well-reviewed by peers.