With over 30,000 hours of new content being uploaded to YouTube every hour, the Google-owned video-sharing platform is a great repository for audio content, and has a nearly endless library of music, podcasts, and sounds to listen to. With YouTube Premium, the site allows you to download videos for watching offline. But, did you know there are many free ways to download and keep music and sounds from YouTube?
With these converters, you can rip the audio from any YouTube video, and these tools convert them into a handy MP3 file so you can listen to your song or podcast offline or even transfer it to your smartphone or MP3 player to listen to on the go!
Also read: Best free YouTube to MP4 converters
With so many converters on the web, it can be challenging to choose which to trust. While many are efficient and easy-to-use, some converters may be riddled with ads or could even install viruses or malware on your computer. In this round-up, we’ll have a look at the best trusted YouTube to MP3 converters out there so you can immediately get downloading your favorite music and podcasts quickly and securely.
Remember: Downloading and converting videos without the permission of the content creator is against YouTube’s terms of service. Whether it’s a song or podcast, it is advised to check whether the copyright holder allows downloads from YouTube.
These tools require you to download and install them onto your computer to use. They’re generally faster as the conversion is handled by your computer’s processor instead of a remote server like their browser-based counterparts, and so are useful if you have a lot of videos to convert to MP3. If you’re only looking to convert one or a few videos, you may find online converters more useful. Scroll down to see our recommendation for those.
- Light and easy to use application
- Bulk download support
- Supports Mp3, M4a, Ogg formats
- Save to any directory
- Set audio quality
- Takes time in downloading and then converting video to mp3
- Only 30 downloads in free version
4K YouTube to MP3 is the best free downloader that you can use to convert videos on YouTube into .mp3 format. You can download and convert seamlessly using this tool. Just download and install 4K YouTube to MP3 on your computer and insert the link of the YouTube video that you want to convert. The application will start downloading and will take time depending on the internet connection.
After finishing the download, the desktop application will convert the video to .mp3 format within a minute. With the free version, you can only download and convert 30 videos per day. You can also change the quality from settings, and select your desired format for audio.
- Light and sleek application
- Speedy downloads
- Many format options can also download video
- 192Kbps Audio locked behind ‘Pro Version’ paywall
- Installer bundled with extra junkware
- No support for batch playlist downloads in free version
First up is Free YouTube Downloader, a delightfully helpful name for a very easy-to-use application. This Windows program downloads YouTube videos seamlessly with zero hiccups and is a lot faster than many online converters. Aside from converting from YouTube to MP3, this tool can also download MP4 videos up to 1080p and with 60fps.
With the size of the program totaling 33MB, Free YouTube Downloader is an extremely light application. With its no-frills minimalist design, this tool is incredibly easy to get to grasp with and is perfect for a long-term YouTube to MP3 converting companion.
Though, if you’re looking for hi-res audio, you’ll have to shell out $1.49 for the pro version to download at 192kbps as the free package is limited to 128Kbps MP3 files with zero Support for any higher bitrates like 320kbps. Audiophiles may need to look elsewhere for their YouTube audio downloads.
With a dedicated Windows application like this, it would’ve been nice to see Support for downloading entire playlists in the free version of Free YouTube Downloader. It can become quite tedious to paste individual URLs, and those not willing to fork out for the ‘Pro’ package will be disappointed to see there is no solution for batch downloads.
Also, if you do choose to download this software, watch out for the unwanted extra software in the downloader. Please ensure that you select “decline” for any third-party junkware the installer throws at you. While this is generally common practice for free software, to avoid clogging up your PC with bloatware, pay close attention when running the installer.
Bottom Line: While downloading this tool doesn’t make too much sense if you’re only looking to convert one video to an MP3 file if what you need is a Windows program to convert many videos, it’s hard to match the speed and ease of use of Free YouTube Downloader.
- Completely free
- Easy to use
- No ads or bundled software
- Allows batch downloading
- Unlimited number of downloads
- Downloads entire YouTube playlists and channels
- Basic set of options
Among the many competitive solutions, Free YouTube to MP3 Converter by NotMP3 has a wide range of great advantages:
- Free YouTube to MP3 Converter is completely free. All functions are available to the user immediately after installation. No premium version, no regular version, no trial period.
- This software is extremely fast. The optimized source code allows you to work as fast as your internet connection allows.
- The program is supported, it’s a long-term project. Therefore, there will definitely be updates, and any changes in YouTube will not cause the functions to stop.
- The distribution kit is downloaded only from the official site. Inside, there are definitely no viruses, malicious software, hidden processes that load RAM with unnecessary functions. This is the official product from the developer.
- The process is very well visualized. You can watch the conversion process in real-time. The progress bar shows everything graphically, and the numbers show the percentages remaining before the download. Each song is provided with a thumbnail from the clip, which is the primary source of the audio track.
- Wide range of quality options. Research shows that people only use WAV and MP3, so only these two formats are available here. You can choose the most convenient bit rate, including 96, 128, or 160 kilobits per second. But this directly depends on the original quality of the file uploaded to YouTube by its creator.
- The interface is easy and straightforward, and the minimum settings allow full use. This is the best solution for entry-level users.
- You can flexibly manage tracks, play them, pause, delete if necessary. This will keep track of your library of downloaded files.
- After ordering, any of the tracks is available offline. The software can play the role of a high-quality turntable with simple controls.
- The program is available for users of all operating systems of the Windows family, starting from version 7. Installation is carried out literally in 1 click, there are no complicated steps, you just need to wait until the end of the process.
- The interface is intuitive. It is not overloaded with graphics, pop-up ads, and other elements. Only download your favorite tracks and full control.
Bottom Line: This converter has combined all the best wishes of users who have previously complained about various disadvantages of competitive products. Despite the small number of functions, Free YouTube to MP3 Converter is a very flexible program. The user can save a description of a recipe or a sequence of actions from a training video. To do this, use the lowest bitrate in order to save space on the device’s memory. You can also save audiobooks, various educational texts for children, and other useful information.
- Very fast and feature-rich
- Support for up to 320Kbps
- Can also convert to M4A and OGG Files
- Includes built-in player
- Playlist downloads are locked behind ‘Pro’ paywall
- Unstable, prone to crashing
Next up, we have another dedicated application: 4K YouTube to MP3 Converter. Unlike the last entry, this tool supports 320Kbps and therefore allows you to rip the audio from videos at near original quality, perfect for audiophiles!
There exists a small but notable learning curve when you start using this application, with the preferences being littered with complicated features that inexperienced users may find daunting. But after some practice, users will appreciate the speedy downloads. For users with slow internet, this tool includes a download speed limiter to prevent your bandwidth from being used up by this downloader.
This tool comes with a built-in player so you can play your downloaded tracks straight from the program. Though, it would be nice to see a shuffle feature if I was to use this instead of my media player of choice.
With the extra features comes a larger download size. If you have slow internet, installing this program may be a pain with its 77MB setup file. If you don’t have much free space on your device, perhaps this tool isn’t the best choice for you. Though, 4K YouTube to MP3 has a very clean installer that doesn’t attempt to install any bloatware or extra unwanted programs onto your computer.
Like the previous entry on this list, playlist downloads are locked behind a Premium version upgrade. Though, this tool is significantly cheaper at $15 for a lifetime license. Also, in my testing, the program crashed on me multiple times. Therefore, users may find this program to be unstable.
Bottom line: Much like Free YouTube Downloader, it doesn’t make too much sense to download this tool just to convert one YouTube video and with its larger download size, even less so with this tool. But, with 320Kbps support, equally fast downloads, and an in-built player, 4K YouTube to MP3 is a better-dedicated download tool than its competitor.
- Very easy to use
- Downloads with the free version are slow
- Very limited format options with the free version
- Locked to 128Kbps and no playlist support in free version
With its clean and easy to use interface, Free YouTube to MP3 Converter is initially a very promising tool for YouTube to MP3 Downloads. Unfortunately, a lot of features we expect from a converter are locked behind a paywall.
As with all previous entries, playlist downloads are also limited to the Premium version. But the download speed is also limited by this tool. This results in very slow downloads that take an absolute age to finish. With the free version, you’re locked to 128Kbps MP3 files, and unlike Free YouTube Downloader, this tool doesn’t allow you to convert to OGG or AAC.
The setup for this converter, though, is very clean and does not attempt to install any unwanted programs or bloatware.
Bottom Line: If you’re not willing to shell out for the premium version, this tool lacks the features to compete with other converters on the web. The download speed cap is a deal-breaker, and despite its user-friendly design, the other entries on this list are better solutions for MP3 conversions.
Instead of requiring you to install them on your computer, these tools are operated entirely within your web browser. They generally suffer from slower download and conversion speeds but make up for it in convenience in one-off conversions, and as they are web-based, they can be used to download YouTube audio straight to your Android phone!
- Simple and user-friendly interface
- Powerful ID3 Tag Editor and Trimmer
- Add album art from the thumbnail
- No quality options or other audio formats
- A lot of ads and obnoxious pop-ups.
For the first of these online recommendations, Converto.io is a very powerful service for ripping audio from YouTube videos to MP3. Its clean and intuitive interface provides a welcoming user experience, and its large buttons make it very easy to use on a phone touchscreen.
When downloading from this website, hitting the settings icon reveals Converto.io’s killer features: a tag editor and an in-built trimmer. If you only want a certain section of a song or a soundbite of a podcast to share with friends, using this trimmer can quickly cut the video to your liking. The ability to edit ID3 tags like the artist, track name and album title is really appreciated to make sure the tracks are imported into your music player of choice correctly. Also, this tool can also set the video thumbnail as the album art.
If you attempt to brave this site without an ad blocker, you’ll be met with a metric ton of ads. From ‘promoted content’ to force-opening new tabs with advertisements, the number of ads is likely to scare off inexperienced users, and many of these ads can be inappropriate and sometimes NSFW. If you’re looking to use this tool at school or in a workplace, these advertisements may be an issue.
Bottom line: If you’re looking to download straight to your Android phone for use in your music player of choice, this option is great for ensuring all the metadata like track name and the artist are correct. This tool is convenient for mobile use and offers features missing in other online converters, given you’re not looking for hi-res audio or other formats.
- Many format options and Support for high-quality audio
- Built-in Trimmer and ID3 Tag Editor
- Many obnoxious pop-ups
- Cluttered and dated interface
- It does not support music!
ClipConverter.cc has been around for many years and used to be my online YouTube to MP3 converter of choice. Though, they have since added a filter that blocks any music downloads, regardless of whether you have permission from the copyright owner. In my testing, I tried to download a track from NCS and was met with an error – so if you’re looking to download music content, this isn’t the tool for you.
Like Converto.io, this tool has an in-built trimmer, though implemented less elegantly. ClipConverter.cc also features an ID3 tag editor, great for ensuring the track information is displayed correctly in your media player. This website also suffers from pop-up ads that force a new tab to be opened whenever you click a button. An ad blocking extension is highly recommended when using this online converter.
Bottom line: If you’re looking to download non-music content like podcasts and sound effects, ClipConverter.cc is a great choice. Although its interface is dated, their browser addon might be handy if you download and convert a lot of YouTube videos. Though, for its music support alone, Coverto.io is easier to recommend.
The recommendations on this list have their own individual strengths, and which to choose depends on your unique needs. An important consideration to make is how many videos you are looking to convert. If you only want to make a few downloads, an online YouTube to MP3 Converter like Converto.io may be more suitable. Converting many YouTube videos at a time is a lot easier with a dedicated desktop application.
For a dedicated desktop application, 4K YouTube to MP3 Converter offers the best blend of features and convenience, and the ability to download high-quality audio files at 320kbps is highly appreciated. For mobile downloads and quick one-off conversions, Converto.io is a powerful tool with a great user interface. However, an ad-block is highly recommended if you choose to use it.
As YouTube to MP3 Converters are very popular, some options on the web are malicious and may attempt to install viruses or malware on your computer. We’ve thoroughly tested our recommendations, and we are confident in their legitimacy and security.