The 7 Best Ways to Convert YouTube to MP3 in 2021

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of free best youtube to mp3 converter online out there that you can pick from, but not all are created equal. Some YouTube converters are really slow at converting and downloading and others are full of ads or confusing to use.

The list we’ve compiled below includes only the best youtube to mp3 converter online, each with its own set of unique features, plus a few other ways to get audio out of a YouTube video that you might not have seen before. Are you finding the best video to MP3 converter 2021?

Dedicated Youtube to mp3 Reddit converters does not include the audio from advertisement content. Ads are entirely separate from videos and so are not included when you convert a video to MP3 or any other audio/video format.

Is It Legal to Convert Videos YouTube to MP3?

Downloading videos from YouTube or extracting audio from YouTube videos is 100% safe and legal only if it’s your original content that you’re downloading (you’re the original creator and uploader of the video) or you have written permission from the person or group that owns the right to the video.

Another way you can get free content from YouTube is if the uploader includes an official download link or if the content is in the public domain.

What this means, of course, is that you cannot legally use YouTube as your own personal music collection source, freely downloading songs without permission from videos uploaded by others, even if they’re for your own personal use and you don’t plan on sharing them with friends.

GenYouTube

Screenshot of the GenYouTube free YouTube to MP3 converter website

GenYouTube is easily the best way to convert YouTube videos to MP3 if you want to get it done quickly. It doesn’t ask you any questions, downloads are fast, and you can even get started from the YouTube video.

There are three ways to use this website: either a) visit the GenYouTube site and paste the ​URL to the video, b) open GenYouTube and search for the video there or c) visit the page on YouTube and edit the URL, adding the word gen right before the word youtube (e.g. https://www.genyoutube.com/watch?…).

Once you’re on the download page for that video, just click or tap MP3 from the list of options to immediately start downloading an MP3 version of the YouTube video.

Depending on the video, GenYouTube supports a few other audio and video formats, too, including 3GP, WEBM, MP4, and M4A.

For most of you, this is simply the easiest way to extract audio from a YouTube video.

Screenshot of the MediaHuman YouTube to MP3 converter downloading two videos as MP3s

If you want a full-fledged desktop program to extract and convert YouTube videos to MP3, MediaHuman Youtube to mp3 Reddit Converter is the very best option for Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu.

There are several exceptional features that no other program or service in this list has, and lots of really specific options you can fiddle with to personalize the program and make it work exactly how you like.

Batch downloads and multi-link importing are supported so that you can queue up and download more than one MP3 file at once. Pair that with the “Start download automatically” option and you’ll be downloading tons of YouTube MP3s in no time.

MediaHuman’s YouTube MP3 downloader also supports playlist downloads so that you can instantly grab all the videos from a playlist and convert each video to a separate MP3. It can even track a playlist for new videos and then automatically download the MP3s.

This YouTube to MP3 converter also lets you set up iTunes importing so that MP3s will automatically load in iTunes, which is perfect if you plan on keeping your downloaded MP3s in sync with your iPhone or iPad.

Here are some other notable features: bandwidth control, custom bitrate settings, M4A and OGG output, auto shutdown option once files are finished downloading, YouTube login for accessing private videos, renaming the title and other info before downloading, and support for downloading MP3s from other websites like SoundCloud, Facebook, and Vimeo.

Three iOS screens showing Documents for iPhone converting a YouTube video to MP3 via GenYouTube site

Downloading music and other audio files directly to an iPhone isn’t quite as easy as it is on Android because iPhones aren’t built in a way to allow this kind of thing.

Instead, you have to do two things: use a specific app that supports downloading files and then download the MP3 to your phone with an online YouTube to MP3 converter.

  1. Install Readdle’s free Documents app on your phone.​
  2. Open Documents and tap the small built-in browser window on the bottom right-hand corner.
  3. Open GenYouTube and find the video you want to download as an MP3. You can also paste the link to the video if you already copied a direct link from an email, a text message, the YouTube app, your web browser, etc.
  4. From the video’s download page, scroll down a bit and select the MP3 option.
  5. When asked, enter a name for the MP3 and then choose a folder to save it in, or use the default one.​
    1. Tip: If you’re not asked for a file name when you tap to download the MP3, hold the button down instead, and choose the Download link.
  6. Tap Save to download the MP3 to your iPhone.
  7. You can play the MP3 file from whatever folder you chose in Step 5. Use the button on the bottom left-hand corner of the Documents app to return to your folders and open the MP3.

Audacity

Screenshot of Audacity recording YouTube audio

Although it’s not quite as easy to use as MediaHuman’s tool mentioned above, Audacity is another popular option for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Audacity is a free audio recording and editing program, so the way it works for YouTube conversions is pretty simple: record whatever sounds the computer is making and then save it to an MP3 file!

To do this, you have to change a few settings in Audacity and make sure no other sounds are playing on your computer since it will record anything sent to the speakers.

Below are detailed steps, first for Windows, then macOS:

Windows:

  1. Download and install Audacity.
  2. Go to Edit > Preferences… to open the settings.
  3. Go to the Devices tab on the left.
  4. From the Interface section at the top, change the “Host:” option to Windows WASAPI.
  5. From the same window, in the Recording section at the bottom, change the “Device:” option to be the output device, like your speakers or headphones.
  6. Click or tap OK to save and exit.
  7. From a web browser (doesn’t matter which one), open the video you want to “convert” to MP3, and then be ready to hit the record button in Audacity as quickly as you can.
    1. That, or you can start recording in Audacity first and then start the video, but then you may have to do some editing in Audacity to remove any silence at the beginning.
  8. Hit the stop button in Audacity to stop recording.
  9. To save the recording to MP3, go to File > Export > Export as MP3, and save the MP3 somewhere you can find it later.

macOS:

  1. Download and install Audacity as well as Soundflower, which will let us route the audio from YouTube to Audacity.​
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences… and then Sound.
  3. In the Output tab of the Sound screen, select Soundflower (2ch) as the output device.
  4. In Audacity’s Preferences screen, via Audacity Preferences…, open the Devices tab on the left.
  5. Under the Recording section, choose Soundflower (2ch) as the “Device:” option.
  6. Open the Recording tab on the left and enable Software Playthrough of input so that you can hear the video as it’s playing.
  7. Choose OK to save the changes.
  8. Open a web browser to the YouTube video that you want to ultimately save to MP3. Be ready to press play on that video but also be prepared to hit the record button in Audacity.
  9. Use the stop button in Audacity to quit recording.
  10. Go to File > Export > Export as MP3 to save the recording to an MP3 file.
  11. To make sure your computer will play sounds normally again, just repeat Steps 2 and 3 but choose Internal Speakers this time.

If the MP3 has some other noises like an ad that played at the beginning of the video, some silence, or some talking at the end, it’s easy to clip those out with Audacity.

Other noises like email alerts or error sounds that are mixed in with the audio are a bit harder to fix. If that happens, close down whatever made the noise and try the recording again for a cleaner MP3.

Chrome or Firefox Web Browser

Screenshot of Chrome with an MP4 download link copied from a Firefox iPhone user agent window

Yet another way to download YouTube videos is with your web browser. To do that, follow the steps below very carefully to get the MP4 version of the YouTube video, which you’ll then convert to MP3.

Using a web browser as a YouTube MP3/audio downloader is definitely a more advanced and drawn-out process compared to using one of the dedicated converters listed above, but we’ve added it here as an option in case you’d rather go this route.

  1. Open the video you want to download as an MP3. You can pause it for now.
  2. With the video page opens, launch the developer tools menu.​
    1. Windows (Chrome): At the top-right corner of Chrome, open the three-dotted menu button and find More tools > Developer tools. The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl Shift I (uppercase “i”).
    2. Windows (Firefox): Open the Firefox menu at the top-right corner and choose Web Developer > InspectorCtrl + Shift C works, too.
    3. Mac (Chrome): Use the three-dotted menu at the top-right corner to find More Tools > Developer Tools, or hit the Command + Option + I (uppercase “i”) hotkey.
    4. Mac (Firefox): From the menu button in the upper-right corner of the screen, navigate to Web Developer > Inspector, or open it with your keyboard via Command + Option + C.
  3. Change the user agent of your web browser so that you can trick YouTube into thinking that you’re accessing the video from a mobile browser. This is the only way to make sure the video is actually downloadable.​
    1. Chrome: From the very top-right corner of developer tools, right next to the ‘x’ button, is another dotted menu button. Use that to open More tools > Network conditions. Uncheck the Select automatically option next to “User-agent,” and choose Firefox – iPhone.
    2. Firefox: From a new tab, in the address bar, enter about: config and confirm with the I accept the risk! button (if you see it). In the search box that appears, search for general.useragent. If it’s missing (it probably is), right-click (or tap-and-hold) in the empty white space and select New > String. Name it general.useragent.override, choose OK, and then give it this value:
      Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) FxiOS/1.0 Mobile/12F69 Safari/600.1.4
  4. Return to the YouTube page if you’re not already there, and refresh it, but keep the developer tools menu open. The page should change a bit and the video will fill nearly the whole screen.​
  5. Start the video, again, keeping the developer tools window open. Pause it after it’s been playing for a few seconds.
  6. From the developer tools window, locate the small mouse pointer icon—it lets you choose which element to inspect on the page. It should be at the very top-left corner of the window.
  7. With that tool selected, click or tap directly on the video.
  8. Back in the developer tools window, look for a section that includes a really long URL like you see in the screenshot above. It begins with the text “src=”https://” and is probably blue, and may even be highlighted already. After some random characters should be what reads “.googlevideo.com/videoplayback.”

 

 

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