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How to Convert YouTube Videos to MP3 on Windows and Mac:  detailed guide to help you

With YouTube housing a vast library of videos spanning all topics and genres, the ability to extract high-quality audio enables wholly new experiences.

This guide outlines simple methods for converting Youtube to MP3  with full fidelity across Windows and Mac operating systems.

The benefit of converting YouTube to MP3

File size and storage efficiency

Removing the video component significantly reduces the file size. For example, a 10 minute video may shrink from hundreds of MB as MP4 to just 10-20 MB as MP3. This conserves storage space.

Saving bandwidth

Downloading MP3 versions instead of higher quality MP4 videos means consuming less mobile data or WiFi bandwidth when streaming over cellular networks.

Organizing in music libraries

You can easily add the MP3 versions of YouTube songs to your general music library alongside tracks from other sources like CDs for unified management and playback.

Personalized playlists

Creating playlists of only your favorite parts of YouTube songs or entire videos allows enjoying them without irrelevant sections in between.

How to Convert YouTube to MP3 on Windows or Mac

Using a dedicated YouTube to MP3 converter software

  • Download and install a YouTube to MP3 converter.
  • Open the software and paste the YouTube video URL which you want in the provided field.
  • Select the MP3 format and audio quality.
  • Click the “download” button to save the MP3 file.

Using a free online YouTube to MP3 website

  • Access a website that offers YouTube to MP3 conversion from your browser.
  • Paste the YouTube video link on the website’s conversion tab.
  • Choose MP3 format and click convert.
  • Click the “download” button to save the MP3 file on your device.

Through VLC Media Player

  • Open VLC player installed on your PC and go to Media > Convert/Save.
  • Paste the YouTube URL in the provided field and select MP3 as output format.
  • Configure additional settings as needed and click Start to save the MP3 file.

Some YouTube to MP3 Converters

1 SSyoutube

Best for: Individual/playlist conversion with no limitations
Price: Free
SSyoutube is a handy online YouTube to MP3 converter. It allows converting unlimited YouTube videos to high quality MP3 without restrictions. With an intuitive interface, you can simply copy-paste YouTube links or playlists for batch conversion.


  1. Offers 320kbps MP3 output quality
  2. Lets you download individual songs or entire playlists
  3. Provides streaming playback option
  4. Auto updates converted links for easy access
  5. No installation required


  1. Ads can interfere with user experience
  2. No customization of output settings
  3. Limited format support

Verdict: A decent free YouTube to MP3 conversion tool for casual everyday use. While it could offer more control, its streaming function and playlist support make the ads tolerable.

2 SurFast Video Downloader

Best for: Multi-format downloads with custom settings
Price: Freemium (Premium removes ads/limits)
SurFast is a feature-rich desktop app supporting bulk conversion through its browser extension. It provides maximum flexibility and control over outputs.


  1. Supports YouTube and many video sites
  2. Allows customizing formats, quality, tagging etc
  3. Offers MP4, MP3, M4A, FLV and other formats
  4. Ability to download multiple videos simultaneously
  5. Streamlines workflow through shortcuts


  1. Not a pure online solution
  2. Paid version required for advanced options
  3. Learning curve for advanced configurations

Verdict: A capable program best for power users looking to fully customize YouTube to MP3 workflows. Its learning effort pays off for versatility.

3 VLC Media Player

Best for: Basic conversion alongside media playback
Price: Free and open-source
VLC is a cross-platform multimedia player that also converts YouTube to MP3 without difficulty.


  1. Supports all major audio/video formats
  2. Customizable player skins and controls
  3. Plays YouTube videos directly in the app
  4. Integrates conversion into media workflows
  5. Lightweight installation


  1. Complex interface for new users
  2. No batch or advanced conversion options
  3. Limited format/quality choices on YouTube

Verdict: A good basic YouTube to MP3 tool bundled with powerful media playback. Ideal for casual single conversions without a learning curve.


Best for: Simple online conversion and downloading
Price: Free
As a web-based YouTube to MP3 converter, X2Mate allows converting videos effortlessly from any device.


  1. User-friendly drag-n-drop interface
  2. Supports MP3, MP4 and other formats
  3. Handles playlists and playlists in one go
  4. Decent audio quality at 320Kbps MP3
  5. Works directly in browser without plugins


  1. Ads can be intrusive at times
  2. No options to customize settings
  3. Limited support for other sites

Verdict: An excellent recommendation for beginners looking to do basic YouTube to MP3 conversion online without any learning curve. Gets the job done with minimum fuss.


Best for: Fast bulk conversion of videos and playlists
Price: Free

Y2mate stands out for its lightning fast speed. It can batch convert large playlists of YouTube videos seamlessly.


  1. Ultra-fast processing within seconds
  2. Supports MP3, MP4, M4A and other formats
  3. Easy one-step conversion workflow
  4. Handles YouTube playlists like a breeze
  5. Intuitive dashboard stats conversion progress


  1. Barebones UI with limited options
  2. Over-reliance on ads can disrupt workflow
  3. No customization of settings

Verdict: A great choice when you need to rapidly convert multiple YouTube videos without any hassles. The breakneck speed makes up for the lack of customizations.


Best for: Simple and easy one-click conversion
Price: Free

As a clean online YouTube to MP3 converter, Ytconverter stands out through its seamless one-click operation.


  1. Absolutely zero learning curve
  2. Hassle-free one-step conversion
  3. Quick processing speeds
  4. High quality 320Kbps MP3 output
  5. User-friendly simple layout


  1. Lacks advanced customizations
  2. Smaller format support than others
  3. Basic information on site

Verdict: Highly recommended for anyone looking for the easiest YouTube to MP3 conversion with minimum effort involved. Ideal for plain use-cases.

7 OnlineVideoConverter

Best for: Full-fledged online conversion hub
Price: Free

An all-in-one online media conversion platform supporting YouTube and over 80 sites.


  1. Converts all major audio/video formats
  2. Batch conversion for playlists
  3. finely granular settings customization
  4. Supports online and uploaded files
  5. Intuitive multi-tab dashboard


  1. Slow for large playlists/files at times
  2. Complex interface compared to converters
  3. Video outputs limited for free users

Verdict: An excellent choice for multimedia experts or those who need a versatile file format converter beyond just YouTube to MP3.

Comparison of 7 YouTube to MP3 Converters

Downloader Platform Websites Supported Formats Supported Ratings
SSyoutube Web-Based YouTube MP3 ★★★★
SurFast Video Downloader Windows, Mac, Linux YouTube, Facebook, DailyMotion MP3, MP4, M4A ★★★★★
VLC Media Player Windows, Mac, Linux, Android YouTube MP3, MP4 ★★★★ Web-Based YouTube MP3, MP4 ★★★★ Web-Based YouTube MP3, MP4, M4A ★★★★★ Web-Based YouTube MP3 ★★★★
OnlineVideoConverter Web-Based YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo etc All major formats ★★★★★

Legal Issues Surrounding YouTube to MP3 Converters

  • YouTube’s Terms of Service do not explicitly allow downloading and converting videos. This is seen as a violation by some.
  • However, most YouTube to MP3 converters operate in a gray area by converting public videos for non-commercial personal use only.
  • It is illegal to download or distribute copyrighted material without the creator’s permission as per standard copyright laws.
  • Converting videos for your own use is generally considered fair use. But distributing the MP3s commercially would require licenses.
  • Some countries like the USA have specific guidelines around media format shifting that permit converting purchased content for personal non-public consumption.
  • If using a video for educational, review, commentary or criticism purposes under fair use provisions, proper attribution should be given.
  • Always avoid downloaded copyrighted full songs, movies or TV show episodes in their entirety as MP3 versions.
  • Checking a converter service’s terms and complying with laws in your local jurisdiction is advised for any legal concerns.

FAQs for How to Convert YouTube Videos on Windows and Mac

Can you convert YouTube to MP3 with a YouTube Premium account?

  • YouTube Premium allows downloading videos for offline viewing.
  • The downloaded videos can then be converted to MP3 format on devices.
  • However, the quality might be lower than high-bitrate MP3 from other converters.
  • YouTube’s playback is restricted to their mobile/desktop apps unlike universal MP3 files.

How can you convert YouTube videos to MP3 in high quality?

  • Choosing converters that offer high bitrate MP3 like 320 Kbps ensures maximum audio fidelity.
  • Avoid lower settings like 128 Kbps which sacrifice quality for smaller file sizes.
  • Check converter reviews to identify ones with consistent high-quality MP3 encoding.
  • Consider purchasing premium accounts for services with advanced codec support.

Can you convert YouTube videos to MP3 for free?

  • Most online YouTube to MP3 converters allow free usage within certain limits.
  • Ads may be present but they don’t impact functionality for personal use.
  • Free desktop converters also exist though premium versions unlock advanced tools.
  • Paid subscriptions remove usage caps on popular commercial converter software.

Can I download YouTube videos as MP4 files?

  • Along with MP3, all recommended converters support saving videos as MP4 format.
  • MP4 maintains the video quality while reducing file size compared to the original format.
  • This allows repurposing YouTube videos for different devices beyond just audio.

Final Words

I hope this complete guide has helped you learn how to easily convert YouTube videos to MP3 on Windows and Mac devices. Do refer the legal aspects before using any YouTube to MP3 tool for your audio needs.