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Mar 29, 2018 - 12:12:52 PM
176 posts since 4/1/2016

I surf YouTube looking for Bluegrass and Old Time music and I have often downloaded the audio to my Mac using one of the different YouTube to MP3 converters. A couple worked fine, for a while, and then wouldn't convert or download for me or would come up with virus messages, unable to convert in your region (?) etc. The ones that I have used were: (used to work great), and videoder; all now have problems. There are any number of them available. Can anyone recommend a converter/downloader that is reliable and does not invite viruses? The ones I've used were free; I have no problem paying but I just want one that works. Thanks.

Mar 29, 2018 - 12:37:48 PM



791 posts since 12/27/2010

I use Audacity. Don't know if there is an Apple version.

Mar 29, 2018 - 1:02:02 PM

176 posts since 4/1/2016

With Audacity, do you copy the URL from YouTube and paste it into Audacity?

Mar 29, 2018 - 1:17:07 PM



791 posts since 12/27/2010

No, you have to play the youtube and record it as it plays. Slow and tedious.

Mar 29, 2018 - 1:37:34 PM

Neil Allen


921 posts since 6/15/2014

I have used this one a few times. I just tested it again and it worked fine. As for all of these free services, you have to make sure you don't click on some of the "download" buttons that are marked to install other software, but I didn't have any issues and it didn't try to install any malware.

Mar 29, 2018 - 2:24:47 PM


New Zealand

11275 posts since 6/29/2003

Some Youtube clips, while only playing audio, also come with videos (whether static ones [one picture] or active ones). I am not sure what is available just to record audio from them, but probably the best was is to record the audio from you PC, (audacity is good) then either save is as an MP3 file or convert it to MP3 (I use " Format Factory". Hope it helps

Mar 29, 2018 - 2:34:33 PM

176 posts since 4/1/2016

Neil Allen - I tried the one you suggested. Worked for three videos but not for several others. I think it may be a recent YouTube feature of some sort that no longer allows you to convert/download from a bonafide record label recording. The ones I could download from were actual videos taken at performances. I can no longer convert/download from audio clips that show an album cover in the window. I used to be able to do that.

Mar 29, 2018 - 5:32:36 PM


New Zealand

11275 posts since 6/29/2003

Bob, as i said, you should be able to record the audio from the clip as it plays rather than downloading it to yr PC.

Mar 29, 2018 - 5:37:07 PM
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2785 posts since 4/16/2003

On the Mac, I'll give you two methods that I use.

- Use Firefox
- Install the "YouTube Downloader Lite" extension
- Now, when you play the video, a small downward-pointing arrow appears beneath the video. Click and hold it, and you'll see the various options for downloading. I get the best results by downloading in mp4 format, the largest file available.
- I download the file (or files) I want.

Then, I do this:
- Use the free "All2MP3" utility (see note below).
- Have a window with your downloaded mp4 files open (or they can be on the desktop)
- Open All2MP3
- Drag one mp4 (or multiple mp4's) and "drop them" into All2MP3's window.
- Now, options will appear for conversion. I always set the quality to the highest possible, and select the option to trash the original mp4 file after the conversion is created.
- Then, let All2MP3 "do its thing". It will convert the mp4's into high-quality mp3's, and when that's done, it will move the (now unneeded) mp4 originals to the trash.

This may sound "like a lot to do", but once you get in the routine, it's easy.

A caution about All2MP3:
For some reason, this is downloaded with an installer that will try to install some adware or something along with the actual app. You have to be careful as you select your options using the installer. If you are, there will be no problems. I suggest you download and run the FREE "MalwareBytes" afterwards, just to be sure.

All2MP3 is such a nice piece of software, I can't understand why the developer allowed it to be packaged this way.

- Use any browser you like to visit YouTube.
- Use the free "ClipGrap" app:
- Navigate to the video you want, and copy its URL to the clipboard
- Now open ClipGrab. It may "pull in" the URL right from the clipboard. If it doesn't, just paste it in.
- ClipGrab will check YouTube and present you with various formats in which the clip can be downloaded.
- Again, choose the highest quality mp4 available.
- Download it this way to get the mp4 to the Mac.
- When you've got all you need, repeat the process using All2MP3 as outlined above.

Always try to get the highest-quality mp4's from what's offered. Doing so will give you the best results "going out".

Either one of the above workflows does fine for me.

Mar 29, 2018 - 10:28:21 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)


25408 posts since 6/25/2005

My nephew.

Mar 30, 2018 - 7:54:55 AM

2874 posts since 2/10/2013

I am currently using "YTD Video Downloader". Works fine. Not free, but relatively inexpensive. My previous software stopped working all of a sudden. I use lots of NCH software products. Cheap, easy, and reliable. No advertising of nuisance software attached to the NCH products.

Too often "free" software contains adware or unwanted software.

Apr 16, 2018 - 11:32:07 AM
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1271 posts since 8/7/2017

Bob, Audacity is available for Mac or Windows. It will convert youtube and other music to .mp3. The conversion, once the song is in Audacity, is quite fast on my Windows machine. I bet it'd be just as fast on Apple.

As Wayne says, you have to capture the sound with Audacity, either from a playing youtube or from a downloaded youtube file. As far a tedious goes, it depends on your frame of mind :-) Sometimes I just think of the capture process a another chance to hear the song (I like to learn music by ear). Other times I am in a rush for some reason, and then.... The capture does not take longer than the song play time - most youtube songs I capture are in the 2-3 minute range. I guess it says something about me that 3 minutes seems like a long time, hoho.

In this thread, I and others give some tips on using Audacity.

Hope this helps.

Apr 17, 2018 - 8:20:18 AM

2874 posts since 2/10/2013

I use "YTD Video Downloader" on my Windows 10 operating system. I have quite a few applications from NCH software. Inexpensive, easy, and fast. No bothersome ads for software either. I don't know if it is available on a Mac.

Youtube often makes changes which disable download software. I have two Youtube download apps stop functionng because of changes to Youtube.

Apr 28, 2018 - 6:01:53 AM



1413 posts since 2/3/2012

I use "Simple Youtube Converter" on my Windows 10 machine with Firefox.  It's in the tool bar.  I can't remember if I added it as an add-on or if it came with a Firefox update but it's worked well so far. 

Apr 28, 2018 - 4:04:55 PM
Players Union Member



4143 posts since 3/11/2004

Thanks for suggesting these tools. I use RealPlayer (the demo version). I download the video and then use the Convert to MP4 function in RealPlayer. I may give these other tools a try, though RealPlayer works pretty well for me.


Apr 29, 2018 - 9:26:34 AM

648 posts since 11/7/2003

I'm late to reply but this one works great for me, it's simple to use, just cut and paste or drag the URL and it has worked flawlessly. I've used it on both Windows and Mac.

Oct 30, 2019 - 6:46:34 AM

6301 posts since 10/13/2007

For those still interested I started a new thread on how I found to go youtube to audacity as youtube plays on your computer.


Oct 30, 2019 - 8:10:05 AM



1142 posts since 4/12/2004

I use a program called "Free YouTube Downloader" on Windows.  I don't use it often, but it has always worked well for me.

Free YouTube Downloader


Jun 12, 2020 - 6:32:32 AM

2874 posts since 2/10/2013

I have used different things, and some suddenly stop working. Here is what I am currently using -

1. I use 4K Video Downloader to download the video. It is free and easy to use. BHO had a post which recommended this product. Not fancy but does all I need. Can't complain about the price.

2. For quite some time I have used NCH's "Switch Sound File Converter". I use it to extract the audio portion of video downloads into a designated directory. I use this program for more than what I just mentioned. Here is one example. I get CDs and the files are not in a format recognizable by "Band in Box" (i.e. ".cda"). I use it much more often than expected. I think NCH offers a free trial version which eventually expires. I doesn't cost much and has solved a lot of my problems, so I just bought a copy. I like NCH products. Inexpensive, reliable, and simple.

Jun 12, 2020 - 2:48:32 PM

2785 posts since 4/16/2003

ClipGrab (to grab the video into mp4 format) and All2MP3 (to convert from mp4 to mp3) are still working fine for me on the Mac...

Jun 14, 2020 - 2:52:13 AM

1465 posts since 8/12/2003

Audacity. I just spent all day yesterday converting my YouTube music videos to MP3 files on my PC. Easy, quick, no problem.

Jun 14, 2020 - 12:03:29 PM
Players Union Member



21305 posts since 6/30/2015

When I was teaching I always used the free version of Real Player, then used their convert tool. I haven't had the need to download videos since I retired.

Feb 2, 2021 - 4:05:47 PM

1 posts since 2/2/2021

I also like to use this converter

Feb 25, 2021 - 2:33:02 PM

1 posts since 2/25/2021

Oh, it is very essential to check your computer with antivirus, because you could download dangerous files. I like to create my own playlists, but on Mac, as you know it is very hard to do it for free. That's why also prefer to use converters. I have been looking for the best one for 2 years. Not all of the converters have own app, which give you opportunity to us only one program on all your devices. It is the reason why I use , it is the most comfortable which I have seen. I am sure that it is totally clear and free from even potentially dangerous files.

Edited by - EmilyGill on 02/25/2021 14:33:42

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:59:17 PM

17 posts since 2/21/2021

I use,it works great and you can download whole playlists with it.Never had any trouble with it.

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