Free Youtube to MP3 Converter - loads of spam and malware on the go

Convert YouTube to MP3

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.

My reader's question

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

This video is about: Ed Sheeran and James Blunt sing Sacrifice.

This video is about: Ed Sheeran and James Blunt sing Sacrifice in a duet - you can see it on YouTube (linked in the text above).

Find free online YouTube to MP3 converters

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:

  1. Category: The email spammers. You get the song converted, but you have to reveal your email address in order to find out the download link. After that, you will be provided with all kinds of promotional emails for life, which of course you cannot unsubscribe from.
  2. Category: The promotional slingshot. With these websites, one popup opens in the background and two in the foreground immediately after visiting the start page, then a box opens asking whether you would like to receive browser push notifications in the future. If you still haven't had enough, you will find a website completely overloaded with advertising, where you cannot tell whether the button for converting belongs to the service or is also an ad.
  3. Category: The spyware and malware distributors. On these websites you have to accept a browser plug-in to download the converted MP3 file, which immediately converts the standard search into an advertising service. Sometimes you have to install things that even require the admin password - no thank you!

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.

On the U2Convert website, YouTube videos can be converted into MP3 files without annoying advertising and without specifying an email address.

On the U2Convert website, YouTube videos can be converted into MP3 files without annoying advertising and without specifying an email address.

U2Convert: Recommended online service for YouTube to MP3 conversions

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.

Good apps for the Mac - ad-free and free

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:

  • iTubeDownloader from Alpha Software: The app only runs for one day free of charge and then requires purchase. However, it is absolutely sufficient for a one-time conversion.
  • 5KPlayer: The app is completely free, but it may be confusing to use.
  • Youtube to MP3 converter from MediaHuman: I didn't notice anything negative here.
  • AllMyTube from Wondershare: In the free version you first have to download the video and then convert it to the desired audio format.
  • VideoDuke by Eltima Software: In the demo version you can load two videos.
With PullTube, videos can be downloaded completely or you can just save the audio track as MP3 (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

With PullTube, videos can be downloaded completely or you can just save the audio track as MP3 (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

Premium apps (at Setapp)

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.

On Setapp you will find three practical apps for the Mac that you can use to get the job done.

On Setapp you will find three practical apps for the Mac that you can use to get the job done.

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.

With PullTube I had the song from YouTube very quickly as an MP3 file in my Downloads folder.

With PullTube I had the song from YouTube very quickly as an MP3 file in my Downloads folder. Mission accomplished!

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.

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5 comments

  1. Nicolas says:

    Question on the subject ...
    Unfortunately, the SoundCloud downloader no longer works (neither the plugin nor the app)
    And also there only the bad websites that convert to mp3 ...

    Coincidentally, is there an alternative app?

    PS: everything that can be bought on iTunes is also bought there, but many remixes only exist on SoundCloud ...

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Which downloader do you mean? SCD 2? Or something else? And why does the app no ​​longer work for you? Because of 64bit and Catalina?

  2. Nicolas says:

    Exactly the SCD 2, no longer works with Mojave ...

    I think SoundCloud has changed something in the background ???????? ‍♂️

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Yes, they probably "closed" the system somehow so that people would have to use their website or their Android or iOS apps.

  3. Mike says:

    I have been using 4K Video Downloader for a long time. It's free, and you can choose whether you want to download the video (all resolutions to choose from up to 4K) or just its audio track. Can be found here: https://www.4kdownload.com/de/products/product-videodownloader

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