How to download music from YouTube

Need to rip audio from a video? Here's how to download music from YouTube

There are dozens of YouTube music-ripping sites out there, but not all of them are trustworthy. The methods below work well. However, we must warn you before moving forward: Ripping audio from YouTube is a breach of YouTube’s terms of use, which could potentially get you in trouble. There are ways to access music from YouTube without breaking the rules, such as Google’s new YouTube Music service that will likely replace Google Play Music at some point—so we recommend you consider legitimate options first.

Further reading

It’s also important to note that some of the many YouTube ripping sites out there use unconventional moneymaking practices like cryptomining. While we do our best to recommend services that don’t use such tactics, if you find your system running hotter or harder than usual, make sure you don’t hang around on those sites for too long.

Step 1: Copy video URL

This method (our favorite) can all be done in the browser without having to download any special applications or jump through any hoops. This also means it’ll work on Windows, Mac, or even a Chromebook.

The first step is to head over to the YouTube video you want to rip the audio from. Highlight the URL from your browser’s address bar, and copy it to your clipboard.

Youtube mp3 download screenshot

Step 2: Go to SaveMP3

youtube download mp3 screenshot 2

Open a new tab and go to the SaveMP3 homepage. There are a number of online tools for ripping the audio from YouTube videos, but SaveMP3 is our current favorite. It has a simple, easy-to-use interface and converts videos to MP3 fairly quickly.

Step 3: Paste Your URL Into the Search Box

youtube download mp3 screenshot 3

Once you’ve loaded up the site, just paste your YouTube URL into the blue and white search box. Note: Sometimes pasting the URL can trigger a pop-up, but browsers like Firefox should be able to block them just fine.

Once you paste your URL into the box, the site should automatically recognize your video and populate the name of your video, the duration of your video, and most importantly, two download options: Download MP3 or Download Other Formats. If you click the Download Other Formats, you’ll be taken to a list of other differently-formatted versions of your video with Download buttons next to them. Once you see a format you like, click the Download button next to it, to begin converting your video.

Step 4: Download your audio

Once you click the download button of your chosen format, the conversion should occur and take no more than a few minutes to complete. Once the conversion has been completed, a dialog box should pop up asking you if you want to open or save your file. Most likely, if you choose to save your new file, it will automatically save to your computer’s Downloads folder, unless you choose a different folder for it.

Desktop alternative

Online services are great at downloading and converting YouTube videos, but because of YouTube violations, they tend to get taken down from time to time, leaving you trying to find other alternatives. Desktop applications don’t have that problem, and our favorite of them all is 4K Video Downloader. Although its name might suggest otherwise, this tool isn’t just for downloading high-quality videos—it can also be used for ripping audio from them as well.

The instructions are fairly similar to the steps above, except that you’ll be doing it within a traditional desktop program, rather than a browser window. 4K Video Downloader is available for use on Windows, MacOS, and Ubuntu.

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