I would like to hear Linus' talk about Git from youtube on my way to work, which means I'm looking for an elegant way to extract .wav or .mp3 from a YouTube video.


14 Answers 14


install Youtube-dl and FFmpeg then use the following commandline

Download the video

youtube-dl --extract-audio --audio-format mp3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOURVIDEO 

optionally use the -k flag to keep the video by default it deletes the video

  • love this way.... I was looking for something like this Oct 31, 2014 at 7:09

I have had success with video2mp3.net – it is free and online!

  • 3
    can we trust this java applet?
    – endolith
    Jul 14, 2012 at 23:18

Add the YouTube to MP3 firefox add-on.

alt text


I used the Online FLV convertor for this . Just give the url and select way of output you want .

alt text

  • My comment got deleted :S I was going to say that I tried this site earlier and gave link, however mp3 mode returned a 0 byte file and in AVI mode it had only pictures and no sound so I changed my link to the other one... Hopefully it will be fixed soon. Aug 7, 2009 at 12:57
  • I had a similar problem as Wil with this and other sites too. The one that eventually worked for me was the one mentioned in the accepted answer. Nov 2, 2009 at 14:16
  • 1
    This is not an online service anymore? It's downloadable software Vixy Freecorder?
    – endolith
    Jul 14, 2012 at 23:20
mplayer x.flv -vo null -ao pcm
lame -V2 audiodump.wav talk.mp3

This will extract the audio in wav format and encode it to a VBR mp3 with lame.


Youtube Downloader

It includes a video>audio converter.


video2mp3 comes in first, closely followed by abcyoutube. Both cache popular videos, so there's 0 conversion time.


In Safari 6 for OS X you can open the video from the web inspector and download it by pressing ⌥↩ on the location bar.

  1. Enable the develop menu from the advanced preferences
  2. Press ⌥⌘I and open or reload the page for the video
  3. Double-click the videoplayback resource under the other folder
  4. Focus the location bar and press ⌥↩ (option-return)

You can extract the audio without re-encoding with ffmpeg. It can be installed with Homebrew.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -acodec copy sound.aac


The reviewers didn't find anything against it.


I don't trust the software like vixy.net, I think they track all my youtube activity.

convert2mp3.net is my favorite now, they converted a rare video (so the video wasn't cached) to mp3 in less than one minute.

listentoyoutube.com needed ca. 5-6 minutes for the same video.

video2mp3.net needed more than two hours to extract the sound from the same video and they want to accept a java applet.


This answer was originally intended to another question (that got merged into this question), where the user was the owner of the videos. This will not work if you don't own the videos yourself.

  1. Go to http://www.youtube.com/my_videos,
  2. Click on the down arrow besides the video title
  3. choose "download as MP4" (or other file format if applies)
  4. use software installed on your computer to extract the audio from the file

(I don't own a mac, so I can't recommend a mac software for this final step).


You can download directly only the (m4a) audio stream.

  • SMTube that comes with SMPlayer can search, list and play (and also download) Youtube videos, and has an option to select and edit players. Instead of a player a downloader (like uGet or IDM) can be set.

enter image description here

Take notice of the Parameters section for download, namely you may remove the quiet option and or set a different location for download.

Then, right-click a title in the list and select the downloader from the 'audio' option

enter image description here

  • Flashgot in Firefox

After starting the youtube video in Firefox, right-click the Flashgot icon in toolbar and select only the audio stream by going to 'Available formats/DASH (separate audio and video tracks)'

enter image description here

and select the specific audio track.

enter image description here



I use this for collecting music, it may work for you. At the top of the page click the "Youtube to Mp3" link & enter the URL of the video you want just the sound from. Not 100% sure this will do what you want, would like to know if it does. Good luck.


I wrote an open source package and command line tool for this in Go. By default, it downloads video and audio, but you can download just audio like this:

youtube -v 0 youtube.com/watch?v=4XpnKHJAok8


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.