YouTube built a kingdom of digital entertainment. It hosts over billions of videos, which may contain audio like albums, movie soundtracks, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. you want.
If you are a YouTube Premium user, you can save these kinds of audio tracks for offline enjoying and import them into GarageBand, iTunes, or iMovie for editing. But you need to spend $13.99 a month on the subscription service. Any better or cheaper method?
This article will briefly explore how to download audio from YouTube on Mac with high quality.
Cisdem Video Converter is a robust yet simple to safely extract audio from YouTube, SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Myspace, Bandcamp, Tumblr, and other numerous sites. It will download audio from YouTube without reducing the audio quality.
It can download YouTube music in bulk, and perform audio conversion to be compatible with your devices. This YouTube audio downloader for Mac supports a large range of formats to suit any device imaginable.
1. Add multiple URLs for batch download.
Click “File” > “Input URLs” on the top menu bar. Paste several URLs copied from your clipboard into the opening window. Click "OK". Upon analysis, all URLs will be added to the download list.
2. Convert YouTube audio to any other audio format like MP3, FLAC, etc.
Hit the blue “checkmark” icon to open a window where stored the YouTube you downloaded. Drag it to the “convert” interface, and choose the output audio format you desire. Finally, click the “convert” icon.
VLC is a free multimedia tool that's famous for its excellent playback function. In fact, it can also help you download YouTube video and transcode it to MP3, OGG, FLAC, etc.
Since 2019, however, YouTube has continued to destroy VLC downloads in their ways. VLC has to frequently change the code in youtube.luac.
To be honest, VLC is not a great YouTube audio downloader for Mac. Its steps are too cumbersome and can't download YouTube songs at a time.
YT-DLP is an advanced download manager that absorbs all YouTube-DL’s code and features. It’s able to download video, audio, and playlist from YouTube, Bilibili, and a few more sites.
If you have no grasp of coding technology, it is advisable to bypass this method as it requires a substantial investment of time for learning.
1. Extract YouTube playlist to audio on Mac.
Use the command yt-dlp [YouTube Playlist ID] -f[Audio Track ID]. The YouTube playlist ID is the character following "list=".
2. Specify the output as other audio formats, like MP3.
You need to use YT-DLP plus FFmpeg. Type brew install ffmpeg to install the utility. Then input the command line yt-dlp [YouTube ID] -f[Audio Track ID] -x --audio-format mp3.
3. Download the complete YouTube, not audio or video only.
In my tests, if I don’t specify a track ID, but rather use yt-dlp [YouTube ID] to download, I will also get YouTube video with sound. The program randomly grabs it in MP4 or WebM format. On my macOS, QuickTime Player can't open the downloaded video.
To download videos properly, you still need FFmpeg. The command I use is yt-dlp [YouTube ID] -f[Video Track ID]+[Audio Track ID].
Y2Mate is a widely used resource to extract audio and video from YouTube online for free. There are two output formats - MP3 and MP4. You don't need to install the extra apps or plugins.
But the audio quality is up to 192 kbps (even the original is 320kbps) and the video resolution is up to 1080p (even a 4k video). If your input YouTube video is large or long, the URL detection speed will be very slow.
YTmp3.cc is another online service that designs to download YouTube videos into MP3 or MP4 format. Although it supports limited format, it is simple for everyone to use through a browser, and it does a good job in downloading audio from YouTube for free.
It's actually the same as the online tool. The principle is to apply an URL trick to jump straight to the online YouTube audio downloader for Mac.
Many tricks you can use to fetch YouTube video, e.g. changing “youtube” to “ssyoutube” or “youpak”, adding "pwn" before "youtube", etc. But not all of them are able to download audio from YouTube on Mac. To extract audio file, try the following:
If you just want to extract audio from YouTube on Mac, the pre-installed audio recorder - QuickTime Player can do you a favor. It works, however, through the computer microphone, capturing many ambient sounds.
No, you can’t! Despite a large number of YouTube downloaders in the Chrome Web Store, none enables you to fetch YouTube audio. Since 2014, almost all add-ons remove the functionality of YouTube download to avoid offending YouTube's Terms and Conditions.
No. YouTube allows you to copy the video URL at the current time, which will trigger YouTube to start playing the video at that time when you click the URL. But the feature only helps you position the YouTube video without manually dragging the progress bar. If you use this URL to download YouTube sound on Mac, you'll still get the entire file. One way to resolve it is to download the whole YouTube audio and clip it to a specific time period.
No. As a free audio editing software, Audacity can edit & enhance audio, record audio, reduce noise, convert audio files to another format, create audio mixes, etc., but can't download audio. To rip audio from YouTube on Mac with Audacity, you can use its recording feature, which works similarly to QuickTime's.
It depends on the type of video you download. It's illegal to distribute, sell, and make copies of copyrighted content. But you can download YouTube audio files:
As it's a gray area, we suggest that you do not use copyrighted YouTube music or audio tracks for commercial purposes.
We have explained the ways to download audio from YouTube on Mac. To download audio without software, the online tools - Y2Mate and YTmp3.cc are good solutions. But to rip lots of YouTube audio files at the same time and without quality loss, the dedicated application - Cisdem Video Converter is perfect. And don’t waste your time on Chrome or Firefox extensions.
Peter has always had great enthusiasm for writing, programming and web development. He likes writing about software and technology, his works are featured on some tech blogs or forums like Tom's Hardware, CNET, etc.