Converting YouTube to MP3 allows you to listen to music from a video offline, whenever you like, or turn your favorite YouTube’s channel into a podcast that you can enjoy when you’re working. The right YouTube to MP3 converter will make saving audio from YouTube videos simplicity itself. With a few clicks or taps, you can download the sound from your chosen clip, and save it in MP3 format ready to play back on any device.
There are lots of tools around that claim to do the job, but finding the best one can be a minefield. Some come bundled with additional software that you don’t want to install, some are packed with obtrusive advertising, some impose annoying time restrictions, and some are just plain slow. That’s why we’ve put all the options through their paces, and picked out the ones that really deliver the goods without any nasty surprises.
Bear in mind that you should only download content when you have the copyright owner’s permission. YouTube’s terms of service explicitly prohibit unauthorized downloading.
If converting YouTube to MP3 still sounds like a hassle, it’s worth considering a music streaming service like Spotify, Apple Music or Google Play Music, which will avoid the need to convert any files at all. If you want to do more than just extract music, the best video editor for iPhone might come in handy too, and we’ve rounded up the best free video editors for Windows, macOS and Linux as well.
1. Any Video Converter Free
The best YouTube to MP3 converter – just copy, paste and go
If you’re looking for a fast, flexible YouTube to MP3 converter, this is the tool for you. You would be forgiven for judging Any Video Converter Free by its name and believing it to be a tool for converting from one video format to another. While this is part of what it can do, it can also be used to download videos from YouTube and save them as MP3s – exactly what we’re looking for!
YouTube to MP3 conversion is not the sole purpose of the program, so it’s rather larger than you might expect, but this should not put you off (but take care not to install the optional adware during setup).
2. 4K YouTube to MP3
Quick, easy to use and surprisingly flexible
4K YouTube to MP3 is very similar to 4K Video Downloader (further down this page), but dedicated specifically to stripping the audio from videos.
Despite its name, 4K YouTube to MP3 also allows you to save the soundtracks from videos in OGG and M4A formats, and you can take your pick from various bitrates so you can choose a suitable balance of speed and quality (though in our experience, even downloading at the highest bitrate is quick and painless).
3. 4K Video Downloader
Save audio from YouTube videos in MP3, M4A or OGG format
It might not be the most stylish software around, but like 4K YouTube to MP3 above, 4K Video Downloader is brilliant.
It works in a similar way, too, but because this app is chiefly for downloading whole videos, there are a couple of extra steps involved. Copy the URL of a video from your web browser (it supports YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Flickr and DailyMotion) and click ‘Paste URL’. Select ‘Extract audio’ and pick MP3, OGG or M4A, then click ‘Extract’ and the audio will be converted and saved to the destination of your choice. Done.
4. Free YouTube to MP3 Converter
Download and convert music, complete with album artwork
Free YouTube to MP3 Converter does exactly what you’d expect (converting videos from YouTube to MP3 format) and it’s perfectly safe to judge it by its name. Unfortunately, like Any Video Converter Free, there is bundled adware from ByteFence to avoid, so be watchful during the installation and uncheck any additional bits and pieces you don’t want.
Once installed, however, you’re in for a treat. There’s no need to fiddle about with options, you can just get on with downloading the music you’re interested in immediately. Use a simple drop-down menu to choose the quality and format you would like to save your audio file, paste the URL, and click Download. Files are saved and converted in one fell swoop.
Just copy a YouTube video URL and ClipGrab will handle the rest
An utter delight of a program, ClipGrab makes converting from YouTube to MP3 nice and simple – aside from the bundling of the Opera browser, which is easy to skip if you’d rather avoid it.
The wonderfully simple interface gives you a pleasing hint of just how easy things are going to be, right from the word go. Copy a YouTube URL to the clipboard and ClipGrab will spring into action, offering to download the related video for you.
When you’re looking for a YouTube to MP3 converter, one of the first things to consider is how many videos you want to convert. If you’re only going to be doing it once or twice, it might be worth considering an online tool, but for anything more it’s worth downloading a dedicated desktop application.
Desktop software will also be faster, because the data isn’t processed on a remote server, and some applications are also capable of converting multiple YouTube videos to MP3 format at once.