Just several years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine a one-stop solution for all our media needs; and yet today, YouTube practically fulfils every part of it – from searching for our favourite music videos, to catching up with the latest media gossip.
But what if there was a certain song you wanted to listen to on your portable music player, or a business podcast you wanted to carry around in audio format – instead of watching it as a video online? Fret not, for here are a few magical ways to transform that YouTube video into an audio mp3 file for your convenience:
1. How To Convert Youtube Videos Online And Download Them Instantly
By far the easiest way to obtain an MP3 file from a Youtube video is to have all the work done for you beforehand, so that you can use it instantly with no extra hassle. This is probably the preferred method for most laymen, since it’s as simple as click-and-go in most cases.
Video2MP3 is personally my favourite site for online video conversion. All you have to do is copy and paste the Youtube URL of the video you want to convert into the text bar, select whether you want the MP3 file in standard or high quality (higher quality usually takes longer to download), and press the convert button. You’ll have to wait awhile for it to convert and download, but it’s mostly an automated process in which you don’t have to lift a finger otherwise.
If you like this kind of instant conversion, other sites to consider include VidtoMP3, FromVideo (which also supports Vimeo!) and YoutubetoMP3.
2. How To Convert Videos Locally On Your Computer Straight From YouTube
The first method converts the YouTube videos into MP3 files on a third party’s computer, then allows you to download them; but what if you wanted to skip the download and head straight to the conversion step? One reason you may want to do this is perhaps for security reasons, so here’s a way to bypass the third party and keep the process strictly between your computer and YouTube.
DVDVideoSoft provides a large warehouse of free conversion software, but by far their most useful offering is their free Youtube To MP3 Converter. As the name implies, the software extracts and converts Youtube videos directly on your computer, so you’re assured of a safe MP3 file if you’re cautious about viruses. The interface may not be as pretty as more recent software, but the entire process is easy to understand and user-friendly, with a straightforward guide to help you out in case you need some hand-holding.
3. How To Download Videos First, And Then Convert Them At Your Convenience
If you’re like me, then you probably won’t want to just convert the videos into songs, but would like to store a collection of the videos themselves as well. To do this, you’ll have to take two steps: firstly, to download the videos to your computer, then convert them into MP3s yourself.
To download the videos to your computer, you can either choose to download them via online downloaders, or use local software to do the job. Some of the online video downloaders include KeepVid and SaveVid, while the free Youtube Video Downloader is installable onto your computer. If you use Mozilla Firefox, you’ll be happy to know that Download Youtube Videos + offers a secure solution for downloading Youtube videos right from within your browser.
Next, you’ll want to convert the videos you’ve downloaded into MP3 files. If you’re using Windows, the free Freez Flv to Mp3 Converter works well to convert the downloaded Youtube videos (.flv) into MP3 files.
And there you have it, your untouched downloaded Youtube videos and converted MP3 audio files, all in one setup!
4. How To Download Videos & Convert Them Into MP3s On a Mac
If you’re on a Mac, then you’ll have to use slightly different software to perform the above steps, but the process is mostly the same. The reason behind this is because Macs are unable to run the FLV codec natively, so you have to download them as H.264 videos instead and use the appropriate software to convert them into MP3s.
Videobox offers a nifty solution for downloading Youtube videos to your Mac. In tech speak, it downloads Flash videos and converts them into H.264 format so that you can play them on Quicktime – but for the layman, it downloads them so that it just works on your Mac.
After you’ve downloaded the video, the next step is to convert it into an MP3 file. FfmpegX is an amazing conversion software which works exceedingly well and has independently amassed glowing reviews, and is by far the best conversion software I would recommend. In fact, codec fans will be happy to note that FfmpegX handles a wide variety of formats, so its conversion capabilities are not confined to merely converting videos into MP3 files.