How to rip YouTube audio

Some of the best lectures, debates and music in the world are free on YouTube. But we don’t always have the time to watch a video and streaming audio over mobile data would fail us.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just copy audio from a YouTube video? Then we could listen to it whenever we wanted.

We address the issue of whether or not it is legal to extract audio from YouTube. It depends. Suppose everything is copyrighted. The content owner can mark the video as Creative Commons, public domain, or simply tell their description that anyone can use it.

But to be completely sure, contact the content owner and ask permission. Review YouTube Copyright FAQ.

For instructions on how to rip YouTube audio, we’ll use a interview with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Yes, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

We will use VideoLan’s VLC media player to do this. It is a free media player available for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android and Linux. So if you don’t have it, go for it download and install VLC Media Player now.

The method we will use is very similar to using VLC to copy YouTube videos.

  • Go to YouTube and go to the video we want to work with. Copy the entire address or URL from the browser’s location bar.
  • Open VLC. In Windows, go to Multimedia> Open a network stream. On the Mac go to File> Open Network.
  • Enter the URL of the YouTube video in the Network URL field. In Windows, click Play. On a Mac, click Open. The video will start playing. Quit.
  • While the video is still playing, in Windows go to Tools> Code Information. On a Mac, click Window> Multimedia information.
  • At the bottom of the window that opens, there is a long address in the file Location rural area. Copy it and close the window.
  • Stop the video. In Windows, go to Multimedia> Open a network stream. On the Mac go to File> Open Network.
  • Paste the long address into the URL field of the network. Click the down arrow next to the Play button and click Convert.
  • In the window that opens, click the Profile drop-down menu and select Audio – MP3. We could choose Audio – FLAC or Audio – CD if that’s what we wanted.
  • Click the button Browse next to the button Destination file: field and choose where you want to save the MP3 when it is converted. Click on To start. VLC will start ripping audio from YouTube video and saving it as MP3.

The audio extraction process will progress much faster than if you were playing the video. This video took more than 10 minutes to watch, but it only took about 2 minutes to rip the YouTube audio.

This is!

You don’t have to go to any junk site full of creepy ads to copy YouTube audio. Just use VLC. If you haven’t used VLC before, learn more. Not only is it a great video and music player, but you can do things like that stream to Chromecast, fix videos upside downand capture still images from movies and programs.

Do you know any fantastic public domain or creative commons YouTube channels we should follow? Or even just good music with no copyright or free audiobook sites? Let us know in the comments.

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