[3 Ways] How to Extract Audio from YouTube as MP3, M4A or So

There are many tools you can use to extract audio from YouTube. And this guide comes for imparting all of you the three main approaches to do so…

Every common YouTube viewer, more or less, want to keep some favorite content locally for personal usage. Also, not only YouTube video and subtitle, but also the audio file only, can be the target thing to save. If you just want to extract audio from YouTube video to enjoy it more flexibly, learn the 3 possible ways, either of which is achieved by a different kind of program. In this way, you can rip and save any elegant background music, hot new song and funny or informational voice-over from your favorite YouTuber to your own space for further unlimited playback at will.

Before doing that, you should be informed that you should only keep YouTube audio for personal and fair usage. What’s more important, you’d better gain the permission of the video copyright owner, and don’t download/transfer/copy the content, video or audio, for profit or other illegal usage.

Usually, there are 3 ways to extract audio from YouTube video

YouTube, as the largest video hosting site around the world, only enables common users to do video uploading and viewing. While for YouTube video downloading, not until recent years the “watch video offline” service is provided in certain areas via YouTube mobile app can users with YouTube Premium subscription enjoy the “video download” feature on Android/iPhone/iPad. Absolutely, this video download is only available for certain locations and mobile devices. Also, not all videos are allowed to download for offline watching.

Anyway, even with YouTube Premium membership, it’s impossible to extract audio from YouTube. Therefore, for anyone who wants to keep save YouTube into MP3, WAV, M4A or other audio formats, the only way out is to seek help from third-party tool to rip YouTube audio without hassle.

Depending on the software category, I can tell you that there are mainly three types of programs which you can leverage to move online YouTube (live) video’s audio onto your own storage. And they are YouTube (audio) downloader (also called ripper or extractor), YouTube video to audio converter and YouTube audio recorder.

 YouTube (Audio) Downloader: This is the most commonly seen and used program. By searching “YouTube downloader” or “YouTube audio downloader”, you will get piles of search results on free or paid online services, browser-based plug-ins, and desktop apps. In most cases, they are actually file porters that can access and move original audio file from YouTube’s server to local hard disk.

 YouTube (to Audio) Converter: Among various YouTube video to audio converters, YouTube to MP3, YouTube to WAV, YouTube to FLAC, and YouTube to M4A converters are the top tools in demand. They are capable of converting general YouTube video to the audio track at a desired format, even with preferred kbps e.g. 320Kbps. The conversion may cause quality sacrifice if the final audio format or parameter is not the same with the original one.

 – YouTube (Audio) Recorder: Although it’s a not so frequently used way, if the former two tools both fail to rip audio from YouTube, YouTube screen recorder is the final choice, which on one side makes up for the feature-vacancy of YouTube downloader/converter, such as unable to analyse some YouTube videos, one the other side delivers a safer and more flexible way to grab audio/music from YouTube, such as cutting specific segments off, merging multiple audio clips into a single one.

You can extract sound from YouTube video on Windows/Mac PC, Chromebook, or even mobile devices running Android/iOS, but you are advised to do it on computer for higher flexibility of third-party tool, more powerful device performance and larger free space to store the target file. Below are 3 easy tutorials on how to extract sound/audio/music from YouTube online on Windows 10 computer. The tools on other platforms share the similar workflow.

1. How to Rip Audio from YouTube with YouTube Audio Downloader

Downloader tool used in the guide: (online) YouTube downloader from yt1s.com

All YouTube downloaders work in the same ways:

  1. User search and paste the full link from target YouTube video into the link address bar
  • Enable the downloader to analyse and list the available options for YouTube download. Here YT1s YouTube downloader only gives one MP3 audio option with the file size. Some other downloaders may deliver more format & kbps options, such as MP3 128/256kbps, WAV and M4R format etc. It depends.
  • Select the audio option and get the link for a fast YouTube audio extraction to your local hard drive.

See also: 2022 YT1S YouTube Downloader Review

Other tool: SaveFrom.net Online Video Downloader

2. How to Extract Audio from YouTube for FLAC, OGG etc. Formats?

A YouTube video usually has one or several original resources located on the YouTube video library. And according to  video and audio formatting specifications of YouTube, the possible downloadable audio format may lie in mp3/wav/aac/flac at 64 kbps or higher. If the YouTube downloader doesn’t offer either of the mentioned format you prefer or the target format you want to download is not accepted by YouTube upload at all, you will have to turn to YouTube to audio converter to realize the desired file.

Since most of the top YouTube to audio converters simply put focus on mainstream MP3 format, here I will introduce you guys another powerful free tool to convert YouTube video to more audio types.

Tool I used to convert YouTube video to audio: VLC media player

This is a decent and also so popular media player that’s enjoyed by numerous people. Although it’s a player, many advanced features are built in to help user do more media related things easier, streaming video to audio conversion included.

VLC Media Player Main UI
  1. Open VLC up.
  2. From the top menu bar, find and click the “Open Network Stream” or type “Ctrl + N” hotkeys to pop up another Open Media window
  3. Enter the YouTube video’s link into the address bar. Then move to the right bottom to unfold more options under Play button and click “Convert
  4. Time to set the favorite profile format in the dropdown list. The preloaded audio formats include Vorbis (OGG), FLAC, MP3 and CD. Still, you are enabled to do change the audio codec, bit rate in the related settings panel.
  5. Press “Start” to initiate the file download and conversion at one go.

3. For YouTube Video That’s Unable to Download/Convert into Audio, Try Screen Recorder

Screen recorder and format converter I used: Wondershare DemoCreator

It’s theoretically friendly to all non-protected YouTube videos. So when you fail to use the former software to analyze YouTube video successfully, please try on this method instead. Because it doesn’t need to analyze and access to YouTube library, but only technically capture what’s going on on the screen with audio and then output into an audio file only.

1. Download and launch DemoCreator

2. Play the YouTube video that you’d want to extract audio from in the background, then set and have DemoCreator to do a new recording with any screen section with System Mic On. Microphone sound is suggested to muted in case there’s any noise captured at the same time.

democreator main window
democreator main window

3. Start and end the recording the related obvious button. After that, the video will be loaded into an internal editor by default.

4. Export the file into MP3 to realize the way to extract audio from YouTube that’s unable to download. If there’s any unwanted part, you can cut them out in the editor.

export video format
export video format


This article shows how to take advantage of any kind of tools to extract audio from YouTube. My advice is that:

– If you want to get 100% original and lossless audio file without quality sacrifice, you can check the video’s available streams in advance with youtube-dl (a command line tool that I will publish a review and guide in the near future) and use the similar YouTube extractor or say downloader to obtain the high-quality file.

– If you are willing to get an audio format that doesn’t exist in the available streams, please utilize YouTube converter or recorder to work it out.

– Different YouTube downloaders, converters and recorders have varied support format, therefore you’d better try more names to find out what’s perfect for you.

Please make sure the YouTube file you get with either method should be used fairly. If not, you will probably get legal troubles.



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