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A few days ago a reader asked me how she could get a song from a YouTube video on iTunes. Of course, the route has to go through an audio file, because you want to hear the music and not always have to watch the video. Since she does not have an Apple Music subscription, the usual suspects for converting playlists (see SongShift) out of the question. But of course I have found various ways how to get the thing done on the Mac - even free of charge. More on this below.
Hello Jens, on YouTube there is a music video in which James Blunt and Ed Sheeran sing in a duet "Sacrifice". It is wonderful. I couldn't find it for sale on the internet. Now to my question, is there any way I can get the music in iTunes so I can put it in a playlist to listen to on the go? Kind regards, Petra
I thought it would be a good idea if I could recommend an online service to Petra that converts the audio track of a YouTube video for free and offers it for download directly as an MP3 file.
After a short research and trying out some of these "services" it quickly became clear: When you search Google for "free online youtube to mp3 converter", there are tons of weird birds in the result lists. There were three categories of websites here, but all of them were up to something bad:
As you can see: If you are hoping for something “free” here, you will be pretty disappointed in most cases, because if the Mac is tried with malware, you have a lot of work to do first. The newly won MP3 song doesn't really help.
The only site I could find that actually works ad-free and without any deceitful techniques is U2Convert. You can support the service with donations, but otherwise there is neither an account nor a payment requirement.
If you are looking for a way to save a song from a YouTube video and then import it into iTunes, here are a few free ways, some of which have limitations:
As mentioned here and there, I'm a great friend of the Setapp software subscriptions. At just under 10 euros a month it sounds expensive at first, but I have programs like that CleanMyMac, Mockuuups Studio, Espresso, FotoMagico Pro and similar installed, which loosely justify this amount.
And the best thing about Setapp is that - whenever I need a new program - I can quickly search there and usually find it. The corresponding software is installed with one click and can be tried out. And you don't have to deal with malware, advertising or spam.
In terms of downloading YouTube videos and converting them to MP3 format, Setapp did not disappoint of course. I was able to find three apps that have integrated this function. In detail these are:
All three apps are basically well equipped to get the job done, with Pulltube and Downie specializing a little more in YouTube-to-MP3 downloads. Pulltube might be interesting for frequent users, as there are browser plugins for Chrome, Firefox and Safari with which you can start the conversion and the download quickly while surfing. Queues with jobs can also be created, which can then be processed later when the Mac is no longer actively used.
I hope you have a good “all-round” with this post for converting YouTube music videos into various audio formats such as MP3 or AAC, which can be imported into iTunes - sorry, into the “Music” app.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.