How can I record sound from YouTube videos?

Note: The steps below are only for saving the audio, not how to save a YouTube video.

Use an online Service

YouTubeOne of the easiest methods of saving the audio from a YouTube video to an MP3 file is using an online service that does all the conversion for you. Below is a listing of some of our favorite online YouTube to MP3 conversion services.

How to use these services

1. Go to the YouTube video page and copy the URL of the video you want to save. For example, below is a URL to a video on YouTube. You would copy the whole URL for the video.

2. Once the URL is copied, paste that URL into one of the below sites and click the download button.

Youtube to MP3 services

Use a software program

Audacity logoIf you want to do the recording yourself or just record a segment of a video, we suggest using the free Audacity program to record and save the audio. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Download the free Audacity program.
  2. Once downloaded, run the install program and install Audacity onto the computer.
  3. Open the Audacity program. In the menu bar at the top, click Edit and then Preferences.
  4. Within the Preferences window, in the Devices section, change the Recording Device to "Stereo Mix". Do not use "Microsoft Sound Mapper - Input" or any microphone (this includes a microphone that may be on your webcam).

    Note: If "Stereo Mix" is not available in the Recording Device list, it is likely disabled. To enable it:

    1. Open the Control Panel on your computer and click on the Sound icon in the Control Panel window (may also be located under Hardware and Sound).
    2. In the Sound window, click on the Recording tab and in an empty space in that tab, right-click with your mouse and select Show Disabled Devices.
    3. The "Stereo Mix" device should now be visible. Right-click on that device and select Enable, then click OK to save the Sound settings change.
    4. If Audacity was open when you enabled Stereo Mix, close and re-open the program. "Stereo Mix" should now be an option in the Recording Device list.
  5. While still in Preferences, change the Recording Channels to 2 (Stereo) in the Channels drop-down list, if available. Using these settings, you will get the same quality of sound you hear over the speakers.

    Tip: You can select the settings in Step 4 and 5 within the main Audacity program window as well. There are four drop-down lists located just above the middle of the program window. The third drop-down list from the left is for the Recording Device (has a microphone icon to the left of it). Select "Stereo Mix" in this drop-down list.

    Audacity Recording Device setting
  6. Click Ok once these settings are selected.
  7. Open the YouTube video you want to record. Unless you have a fast connection, we suggest getting the video fully loaded before recording.
  8. Once loaded and ready to be recorded in Audacity, click the record button (red circle), switch back to the YouTube video and click play. As the video is playing, you should see action in the sound wave section in Audacity. When done recording, click the stop button (light brown square) in Audacity.

    Tip: Doing it this way causes a section at the beginning of the sound file to be blank. To remove this section of blank audio, highlight it by clicking and dragging your mouse, and then press the delete key on your keyboard to delete it.
  9. Finally, once you have completed the above steps, click File and choose "Export". Select "MP3 Files" in the Save as type drop-down list. Enter a File name for the MP3 file and click Save.

Note: If this is the first time you have used Audacity, you need to install LAME MP3 file support in order to save the recorded audio as an MP3 file. See the below section for additional information.

Getting MP3 support

  1. In order to save the file in MP3 format, you need to get LAME for Audacity from the LAME download site. LAME is available for Windows and Mac OS X.
  2. Download and install LAME on the computer.
  3. In the Audacity program, save the recorded audio file by clicking File and then "Export". In the Export File window, select "MP3 Files" in the Save as type list.
  4. After selecting the MP3 Files type, you may be prompted for the location of the LAME file. Point to the lame_enc.dll file, which is found at C:\Program Files\Lame for Audacity if you used the default install location. If you extracted from a compressed file, it is in the extracted folder.

Additional information