Technology has moved fast over the last few decades. The way we listen to and consume music has also changed quickly. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all listening to music on vinyl and then CDs.
The invention of the world wide web was the catalyst for many of these changes, first through MP3 downloads and then via streaming. These days streaming is becoming increasingly popular. However, there’s still a place for MP3 downloads and, within this, a place for converting videos to MP3s.
Happily, there are great choices for video to MP3 converters.
That’s all good, but frankly, there’s so much that choosing the right app or tool can be confusing. So, what are the current options? And, what is the best free YouTube to MP3 converter for your needs? Before answering that, let’s take a moment to explain what a YouTube converter is.
- YouTube Converter and MP3 Overview
- BEST FREE YouTube To MP3 Converter – What To Look For
- Building a Library of Your Favorite Music and Videos?
- BEST FREE YouTube To MP3 Converter – Final Thoughts
YouTube Converter and MP3 Overview
Some converters work by a simple copy-and-paste method. This involves copying the URL of the YouTube video you want to convert into an MP3 file. Once you’ve done this, you paste the URL into the highlighted box on your chosen website and hit the convert button.
These days, converters increasingly have a built-in YouTube browser and search functions. This makes a much smoother and seamless process as the need to switch between apps, and web pages is reduced.
Let’s move on and talk about MP3 technology…
One of the great things about MP3 files is that they are still a common musical format. They are universally compatible and can be played with pretty much any device capable of playing digital music.
This is because MP3 was the first format to market and was quickly adopted as the de-facto digital decoder. It means that whatever smartphone or computer you’re using, they’ll be no problem listening to MP3s.
Another advantage of MP3s is that they require very little data to store the file. That is great if you have a smartphone with limited storage capacity. It’s a huge plus for MP3s.
So, all good then?
Not quite. One of the major drawbacks of converting YouTube videos to MP3s is that you’re likely to lose sound quality.
MP3 files are a “lossy” format without going into overly technical details. They have a low bitrate, which is great for compressing file size, but not so great at retaining finer musical detail.
When listening to music…
At home, with good quality speakers, this can be an issue. However, listening to music on the go, via a dedicated MP3 player, or through your smartphone is likely to be fine. This is because, in many instances, it’s much harder to detect the fine nuances of music with most earbuds.
If you’re still happy to use MP3 files, keep on reading. Now all you need to do is select the best YouTube MP3 converter for the job.
BEST FREE YouTube To MP3 Converter – What To Look For
Primarily, find a platform that has a good menu that can be easily navigated. It’s great to have a ton of exciting features, but if the software is not up to date, the experience will quickly become old.
Another thing to check for is the ability to edit and convert files to other formats. If this can’t be done on the same app, it can be somewhat cumbersome should the need arise.
The final thing to check is that as little information as possible is lost during conversion. Remember, you’re already dealing with a lossy format. The last thing you want to do is unnecessarily add to it.
You’re still here?
That’s great. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at 17 of the best free YouTube to MP3 converters currently available.
This is a desktop downloader and has most of the basics you’re likely to need. It covers most video sites and can download and convert to a wide range of different formats. Most importantly, you can convert your files to MP3s, which is essential if you want to store music and keep down the file sizes.
Happily, it can convert videos right up to and including in 4K. I’m happy with 4K, as I think anything over this is currently not in common use. However, what I’m not happy with is the ambiguous wording on their promotional material that gives the impression the program is 8K compatible.
Let me be clear on the last point…
It’s not compatible with converting 8K videos. The software also doesn’t allow you to use an integrated browser as part of the search capacity. Consequently, it’s back to the copy and paste method whilst switching between program and site.
Thankfully, it does allow you to watch or listen to the content you’ve downloaded on the app. One feature I particularly like is that in the event your connection is interrupted, the program automatically resumes the download.
Having to do this manually when you have a batch of files simultaneously downloading can be annoying.
If you choose the free version…
You can only download a single video at a time. And, you are limited to how many in any one month. Additionally, the speeds are not fast. The Pro version will give you speeds up to six times faster.
I started with this YouTube MP3 downloader because it’s the first one I used and the one I have the most experience with. I’ve been happy using it, although I would concede that some of the newer converters may be a little easier to use.
What I like is it’s great for downloading videos as well as converting to MP3s. Although I primarily use it for converting to MP3, the easy ability for video downloads is a big positive.
Not surprisingly, as the name suggests, you can download in 4K. You can also opt for lower quality if you prefer. There’s also the option to go all the way to 8K. Although, this isn’t something I’ve tried, so I can’t tell you how smoothly that would go. However, if 4K is anything to go by, it should be fine.
Like many modern-day apps…
You’re not restricted to just downloading from YouTube. It is also possible to use it with the majority of video-sharing sites. Always a great feature, I’m sure you’ll agree.
There are a couple of features I’ve not got around to using. These include being able to download VR and 3D videos. Additionally, there are handy tools for any developers among you, like the in-app proxy. I’ve used a 4K Video downloader on Mac, though I have also used it on Windows with no issues.
It’s offered in a variety of different plans, which includes a free option. This does come with restrictions in terms of the number of downloads per month. However, you can still download as many as 40 videos a day which is still pretty generous.
Another thing I like…
You still get the ability to download playlists, videos with subtitles, and private videos without having to pay.
If you do go for the paid-for versions, it’s worth noting that both plans are a one-off subscription. And you also get a 14-day back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied. Not bad, eh?
This is nice and simple to use, even for the most technologically challenged individual. It has a user-friendly interface that is easy to understand. A big plus as far as I’m concerned.
You can use it to download videos from pretty much any site that contains videos. This, of course, includes YouTube and also includes popular sites like Facebook and Vimeo.
More positives are that you can also choose to download your videos in a different format. These include HD, MP4, and ACC. This is particularly good news if you need some of your files to be more lossless.
Some interesting features…
These include the ability to download entire playlists and even a channel’s complete catalog. You can also track the progress of all of your downloads individually.
If you opt for the paid version…
You get the additional benefits of an ad-free experience. Additionally, you can download subtitles if you don’t need to convert the video to MP3. Plus, you can even make your own ringtones.
Finally, it doesn’t matter what browser you use as it’s compatible with them all. Regardless of which version you choose, it’s fast and intuitive to use.
The cost of the paid-for option is on a yearly subscription basis, and it’s possibly worth the money for heavier users. Not only because of the added features but also because the free version limits the number of downloads you can make in a month.
This is so much more than just a basic YouTube video to MP3 converter.
So, how is that, and what is the good stuff?
It contains basic editing tools that allow you to perform functions like cropping, cutting, transitioning, and color correcting. This is great for anyone just getting into editing. Happily, this works with most cameras, including action cameras like the GoPro 11 or Insta360.
Although it’s fine for the simple stuff, that’s honestly as far as it goes. If you are looking for a more comprehensive solution, you need to look at something like DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Premier Pro. Of these two, I’d pick the former as not only is it free, but from personal experience, I believe it’s better.
Don’t need all the bells and whistles?
If you just want VideoProc for the video to MP3 conversions, it’s great for that too. It’s got an intuitive menu and one of the slicker programs. You can do conversions to MP3, but it also has the capacity for the lossless extraction of audio files.
This last point is very useful if you intend to do some listening with higher-end headphones. In this instance, MP3s might get a little annoying. Best save this for when you’re listening on your phone.
Like most platforms, there’s a free and subscription alternative. In this instance, I wouldn’t bother even considering a free converter.
Because you can only use the functions on videos that are less than five minutes long, frankly, I think that’s generally pretty useless. If you want to just convert to MP3s, there are much better free alternatives.
This comes into its own for the would-be editors, and here, I’d recommend the subscription plan. Firstly, you can use it for unlimited uploads for time and numbers. Plus, the monthly subscription charge is ridiculously cheap.
Leawo Music Downloader
This powerful software can perform a series of different tasks. It can convert video from YouTube or other video sites into audio. Also, it can convert files and burn them onto DVDs or CDs. All of this in more than 180 formats. And you can even transfer the data with no loss of quality.
Although DVDs and CDs are not as popular as they were, there’s no doubt that they still have an important place in the music world. It’s a shame that these formats are often ignored, so it’s good to see a company set up to do that. Well played, Leawo.
As well as having the capacity to convert video, it can convert audio to audio files from streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, and Deezer. Another useful feature I’m sure you’ll agree.
So far, so good, but is there more?
Yes, there is. The library is well-organized and possibly the best on the list. I also like the auto-naming for the downloaded files, although I like the manual naming option too. There’s not much I don’t like about it, but the one issue I’ve saved till last.
Technically, there is a free converter, but this is only on a trial basis. That means for occasional users; it’s not going to be for you. On the other hand, if you’re likely to use it regularly, it’s well worth consideration.
You get the option of either a yearly or a lifetime subscription. Of the two, I’d go all in and get the lifetime plan as it’s only around twice the price of the yearly alternative.
The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that this is compatible with Android and Windows. But, it’s also compatible with all Apple products. I think you’ll agree that the name is a little confusing and might lead you to believe it’s an Apple-only product.
So, what can it do?
It will download and convert your video to audio from over 1,000 sites. This includes all the normal places like YouTube, Facebook, and Tik Tok. That’s the first mention for those crazy Tik Tok guys and girls.
It’s one of the quickest free YouTube to MP3 converters on the market. It claims in its promo material to be ten times faster. It doesn’t qualify the statement by giving a comparison to what, though I presume it’s between the paid and free options.
Regardless, downloads are undoubtedly very fast and possibly the fastest on the market. Another nice feature is that you can make a simple edit to the video timeline. The editing function is extremely limited, even more so than VideoProc, but it’s still a handy feature.
Finally, I like the ease with which you can download bulk videos.
And the price?
There’s some good news here, too, because there is a free option. It does come with a few restrictions, but it’s a great way to test it out before you decide if it is worth paying for.
If you try a subscription model, you get the chance to try it with a 30-day no-quibble money-back guarantee. What’s more, there are also a few different options for payment. iTubeGo offers the best and most comprehensive payment plans.
This has a great browser interface that makes the whole process of finding content and downloading easy. It’s also easy to continue listening to music whilst browsing. Plus, organizing your content is similarly straightforward.
It’s easy to see why Freemake is one of the popular apps for converting YouTube videos to MP3s. It can be downloaded to your desktop and is compatible with Windows and Apple operating systems. It can also be downloaded on your Android or Apple Phone.
You can convert YouTube or other videos to different formats. Additionally, you can also burn the downloaded content to CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs. The only omission is the lack of 8K capability, although I’m sure for most people, it’s unlikely to be a deal-breaker.
A couple of other useful features…
These include the auto-detection for high-quality videos. There’s also the option to use their song discovery system. Plus, you get some very basic editing tools.
It’s fair to say that there’s plenty to like about Freemake. However, the best thing is that it’s completely free. Unlike most of the other converters, it doesn’t even have a paid-for option. So, if you just want to give YouTube video conversion a shot, it’s a great place to start.
A final point is that even though there’s no cost involved, it’s an ad-free downloader. Getting both of these things together, in my book, undoubtedly makes it one of the best free YouTube to MP3 converters you can buy, or rather not buy. It’s well worth a try.
This is an Android-only application. If you use an Apple Phone or you need something for a desktop application, you can skip this. A bit of a shame, quite frankly; I get why it’s not available for laptops and PCs, but why not Apple? It doesn’t make sense.
So, if you have Android, is it worth downloading?
I think so. It extracts the audio from videos quickly and in whatever quality you choose. It’s a lot less complicated than some of the other apps we’ve looked at.
On the positive side, the lack of features makes the layout appear less cluttered. This makes it a breeze to navigate. Storage and finding files are easy too.
I also like the fact that the display can be customized using different colors. Another plus is the ability to program some basic EQ effects, which include crossfading.
On the other hand…
If you need the ability to edit clips or convert them to a variety of different formats, this isn’t likely to be a good choice. There are much better options, such as VideoProc.
YMusic is a good little app that doesn’t suck up data and does the job quickly and efficiently. It’s a great no-fuss option. Especially since it’s completely free, which I’m sure you’ll agree is something we all like.
The only thing I would like to see is the company give a better description of the app and its functions. The information is very scant and, frankly, could be much better. It’s something they need to work on.
This has plenty going for it. It has a host of functions that will probably satisfy the majority of users. Most importantly, it can download and convert multiple files simultaneously and quickly. Additionally, the interface is well-thought-out and intuitive for even first-time users.
So, what else does it have to offer?
It can download and convert from most sites that contain video. This also includes video in 8K. Another nice feature is that you can download and convert from one source by simply downloading something from a different source in a different format.
Another useful function is the ability to perform a private download. Additionally, you can integrate everything into the cloud. Plus, it’s one of the few video to audio downloaders that assign an ID3 tag to the tracks to enable easy song identification.
This all sounds good, but there is one feature that I’m not so keen on.
Unlike a lot of other apps…
It doesn’t have an integrated browser and search capacity. This means you have to go to whatever website the video you want to convert is stored. You then have to copy and paste its URL before returning to the app to paste it into the program for conversion.
These days, it’s a little cumbersome, which is a shame since the rest of the software is first-class. Hopefully, this is something they’ll update soon. I understand it might be a deal-breaker for some of you.
Finally, we come to the price…
There is a free version, but it’s limited to just three conversions a day which I think is a bit stingy. There are plenty of other alternatives that provide much more than this. Some even give you unlimited downloads.
If you do decide this is the one, you can choose from a monthly or lifetime plan. However, given that the lifetime option is only five times more expensive, I know which I’d choose.
A desktop-only application and is available for both Windows and Mac users. There is a phone app named “Video Hunter,” but that has nothing to do with this downloader and converter. Note that the mobile app has a space between the words “Video” and “Hunter.”
Let’s get back to VideoHunter. There’s a lot to like about VideoHunter. It’s been around for a long time and seems to have ironed out any glitches and refined the software. There are plenty of smooth-running systems, but I’d go as far as to say that this is the pick of the bunch.
Because along with the usual features we’ve come to expect, such as batch downloading at high speeds, downloading in different resolutions, converting to different formats, and being used across multiple video platforms, there’s more.
Before you download and convert your files, it gives you all the available options and lists the amount of storage space required for each. If you intend to transfer files over to your phone, this could be important.
Something I particularly like is the built-in proxy. This allows you to download from sites that might otherwise be blocked due to regional restrictions.
How cool is that?
Finally, and no less importantly, it doesn’t use a ton of RAM, so your CPU usage is minimal. So much so that you can even use this program on relatively old and less powerful computers.
Finishing on the price, there’s a free option, but you will be limited to just three downloads a day and at just 480p, which kind of sucks.
If you want the paid-for version, you can opt for a monthly or yearly subscription. The yearly subscription provides much better value, but they both allow for unlimited downloads.
If you don’t mind a service that contains ads and you want a free service, this is great. Unlike a lot of other free programs, this one doesn’t restrict your downloads in any way.
That means you are free to download and convert as many videos as you like. What’s more, there’s no restricted speed in the process.
But there’s a catch…
YTMP3 is upfront about the fact that it contains ads. They are providing a service for free, and as they point out, they have to make their money somewhere. Plus, since there are no subscription options available, this is the only way for them to make revenue and keep the lights on.
The ads aren’t too frequent or overly intrusive, so I wouldn’t worry too much. Furthermore, the program and app are available across all platforms, and the ads are contained on all of them.
For a free piece of software…
I’d say this is pretty good. It deserves its spot on my best free YouTube to MP3 converter list. As long as you don’t require batch downloads, 8K compatibility, fully integrated browser features, and basic editing, YTMP3 has you covered.
This has to be one of my favorite YouTube to MP3 converters. That’s because it is a high-quality converter with lots of great features and software that you still get access to, even in the free version.
And the catch?
Frankly, there isn’t one. This is because AVC focuses on converting videos to DVDs. It also focuses on providing DVDs with customized templates. These are all paid-for options, as it’s what their core business is all about.
The good news is that this means YouTube downloads to MP3s are less important to the company. So, they’re happy to let you use that part of the program for free. No doubt this is all part of a marketing strategy, but who cares?
The result is no speed throttling, no daily limits for downloading, and no restriction on multiple simultaneous downloads. Essentially, you get to use all the good stuff that is only available by subscription on the other programs and apps.
So, what else do you get?
You can download videos from any site and convert them to every format you can think of. You also have some basic editing tools available, which is a huge bonus. What’s more, you can also customize your video codecs to get the conversion that meets your requirements.
Other than the inability to convert videos to DVDs, there are genuinely no restrictions. Since it’s available for use on desktops and mobile phones across all systems, it’s easy to recommend this as a first go-to choice.
If you like to keep things simple, this is another good option. It’s a desktop-only YouTube Mp3 converter application that’s Windows and Mac-compatible. It also can be used with all browsers. However, it should be noted that the only way to use it is by visiting the website.
That may seem a little old-fashioned, but it means that there’s no need to download a program or software. Whilst this isn’t an issue for some of us, there are lots of people who are suspicious of downloading anything onto their computers.
Although these days, with the right anti-virus and firewall protection, there’s no reason to worry about malware and spyware. I still think it’s overkill, but each to their own.
There’s no need to sign up or register to use it. Again, there are still people reluctant to sign-up for services unless they have to. So, good again.
The converter is basic, but you can download and convert as much content as you like. Additionally, it works on most video sites and supports most conversion formats. Importantly, this includes MP3s.
Finally, it’s also available in over 20 languages. You get a lot for nothing, although not quite since the site does contain adverts. That’s fair enough. I’m sure you’ll agree.
This is the most comprehensive MP3 converter on the list. If you want to do more than just straightforward video to MP3 conversions, it’s worth taking a closer look. But, if you just want basic functions is not going to be a good fit. So, skip to the next on the list.
What kind of features do you get?
You get fast conversions in multiple formats, the ability to download multiple videos and full playlists, a smooth interface, DVD burning software, and an integrated browser function. That’s all great, but there’s so much more.
You can also edit the audio and video. However, rather than basic editing functions like some of the other converters we’ve looked at, this is much more in-depth. You can do things like remove unwanted noise, change vocals and remove them altogether.
If you’re using it for video downloads and conversions, then there’s also a subtitle and watermark editor. Additionally, you can remove watermarks, change the video background, and auto-crop.
But there’s more still…
You even can make your own intros and outros. Plus, they have an integrated GIF maker and a VR and image converter. It’s fair to say that the functionality is at a different level from most of its competitors.
Happily, the website (there isn’t a mobile app) is well organized and comprehensive. Once you’ve downloaded the software, the website is beautifully organized and a great resource to get the most out of the converter.
Premium features and functions…
This is one of the more expensive paid-for MP3 converters. However, it does give you a free version to try first, although it’s highly restrictive in functionality.
Therefore, I think that it’s far from the best free YouTube to Mp3 converter as your only choice. Unless you intend to do much more with your content and files, I’d look to some of the others options.
This is a piece of downloadable software. It’s only available on desktop and is only compatible with Windows. Why it’s not also compatible with Mac is very strange, but there you go. More positively, you only need to have Windows XP or higher for it to work.
If you have a lower spec of computer than this, I presume you must be loaning it from the museum. But seriously, because it can work with such old software, it requires very little CPU and RAM to function.
For a free converter, it’s pretty good…
As well as YouTube, you can use it on a host of other video sites, including Facebook, Yahoo, and Dailymotion. It will convert to plenty of other formats other than MP3, and it can handle anything up to 4K.
Unexpectedly, you can also burn and convert videos to DVDs if that’s your thing. For those of you who only need an MP3 conversion, transferring the files to your mobile phone is easy. You can transfer them, in bulk, to an Android Device, any Apple Phone, or a music player.
The software might not be the smoothest, but it’s not terrible. And, it doesn’t take too long to find your way around. All in all, there’s not much to complain about, given that it’s a free YouTube to MP3 converter.
WinX Video Converter
This comes in the form of a free and paid-for piece of downloadable software. I don’t generally have an issue with a company providing this kind of combination. It’s usually a good marketing tool.
It gives the consumer something in the expectation, or hope, they’ll switch at some point to the subscription service. It’s a tried and tested marketing ploy, and frankly, it’s pretty much a win/win for both parties.
So, what is the issue here?
The problem is that the free version lacks so much functionality it makes it almost useless. Frankly, that’s a pity because the paid-for version is very good. It’s just that the marketing department has got overly greedy and got this very wrong.
The free version only allows you to download videos under five minutes. Additionally, you can only download three videos per month. Yes, you got that right, three videos a month. That’s plain crazy.
What’s also crazy is that the free version is 50 times slower. What’s more, it also takes several minutes to analyze the video pre-upload rather than instantaneously. Absolutely useless. I could go on, but you get the idea.
The subscription version is excellent and has all the good stuff you’re ever likely to need. Fast downloads over a thousand sites and downloadable in multiple formats. It even has basic editing functionality, and you can burn DVDs too.
What WinX Video Converter should do is offer this piece of software free for a month. I think that would be more likely to get people to move over to their subscription service. The free version in its current state is more likely to get people frustrated and drive them away rather than wanting to pay.
This converter falls under the Soundcloud family and is their free version of a YouTube to MP3 converter. Unlike a lot of the companies, there’s no paid-for version, although they have other subscription software on offer.
It appears that this is just a way of attracting your attention to the Soundcloud community. This is a music streaming service with a few add-ons. So, what we have here is a clever piece of marketing with the potential for all parties to win. Are you listening, WinX Video?
As far as the YouTube to MP3 converter goes…
It’s pretty much all good. Once downloaded, it is easy to use, and there are no annoying restrictions. So, you can download and convert as many files as you like, at decent speeds, and for the full length of the videos. It also works on most sites and can be used on videos up to 8K quality.
The software is easy to use and intuitive, which is no doubt because it’s all part of the Soundcloud architecture. It’s all a big plus and unusual to get to this level of quality for free. No doubt all are part of Soundcloud’s plan to lure you to their streaming service. But who cares, eh?
All in all, I like this product a lot, and it’s a great way to round up my list.
Building a Library of Your Favorite Music and Videos?
Of course, you will want to listen to all that content. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Wireless Headphones for TV, the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad, and the Best Sound Quality Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
And, don’t miss our thoughts on the Best Wireless TV Speakers, the Best Smart Speakers, the Best Wireless Computer Speakers, the Best Computer Speakers Under $100, and the Best Bookshelf Speakers currently on the market.
BEST FREE YouTube To MP3 Converter – Final Thoughts
So, there you have it. I hope you found the best free YouTube to MP3 download converter for your needs somewhere on my list.
It’s great that these days there’s such a good choice and that technology allows us to convert our favorite pieces of music to MP3s. I believe that MP3s have a lot of life in them still, and it’s good to see software, apps, and programs still catering to our needs.
Until next time, happy listening.