So, you’re looking to convert your videos to mp3 format for free using an MP3 video converter? Downloading music or other video files in audio format to your phone or PC is something that can be very useful to you. For the most part, there are some major questions that people have about this type of download. One of these is the legality of the process. For many people, it feels like it is slightly illegal to basically “rip” an audio file out of a video on YouTube or another site that has been uploaded by someone else. Another problem is the safety of some of the converters and downloaders out there. You could very well be installing other adware and spyware onto your computer or phone unwittingly. Caution needs to be exercised when downloading software of any form! With these and many other questions needed to be answered, the big underlying issue is this: how do you convert online videos to mp3 files safely?
Will I Get Sued for Using an MP3 Video Converter?
This is the big scary question. Just recently, YouTube took a site that allowed free ripping of videos to court for copyright infringement. Before you start backing away from all audio conversion programs though, you must understand that the issue of downloading audio is a complex one indeed. You do need to understand certain things about the legality of both YouTube and other sites as well as video downloads.
- YouTube and other sites are legal to use
Taking YouTube as a prime example here, but keeping in mind many other websites that have the same video sharing capabilities, you can rest assured that watching a free video online on these sites is 100% legal. You simply cannot violate a copyright by watching a video online on these websites, no matter how many times you stream the same one.
- Downloading a video as an mp3 violates terms of service
This is a very important thing to understand. Per the terms of service of most online video streaming sites, ripping audio from a stream is a violation of the agreement. While this does sound like a serious offence, the truth is that no one is going to get sued over it. A great example is a very recent case in which one of the biggest online video converters to mp3, youtube-to-mp3.org, was threatened to be sued by both YouTube and Google for violations of the service terms. When the site refused to comply with the demands, both companies dropped the case without any further prosecution. From what happened, the main consensus for you is this – they just don’t care whether you rip audio from video online or not.
- Turning copyrighted music videos into mp3? Be careful!
While watching a copyrighted music video on a site like YouTube is fine, and while copyright law does allow for this, you aren’t allowed to create an mp3 file of a copyrighted video. This law may not be the same in other countries outside the US, but for the most part, this is the rule of thumb you need to follow. Even if you are only taking it off YouTube or other sites for personal use, the process is still a violation. Before you download any video as an mp3, make sure you check to make sure that the upload is free and not protected under copyright law.
- You can do what you want with non-copyright material
If the video you want to download is in the public domain, or if it has been deemed “copyright free” or royalty free, you can do what you want with it. You can use a free YouTube to mp4 converter to change it into a normal video file, or you could rip the audio from the video and download it as a mp3 with no repercussions.
The basic takeaway from the legality of the issue of video downloads and converters is this – no one in the industry can be bothered suing one individual for doing something they are mostly ignorant about. No one is going to arrest you or accuse you because you used a downloader or even a converter. However, for the sake of the poor souls creating copyrighted music and spending money on protecting it, try not to be a meanie and download their content for free.
Why Convert Videos to MP3?
There are many reasons why you would (legally) convert YouTube videos to MP3 format for free, among others. One reason is that you simply don’t want to go to the trouble of going online, looking for the video and waiting for it to load again just so you can watch it. Another reason is that you’ll want to access the video even when you aren’t connected to the internet. You may also want to do this to watch the video on a different device, or listen to the audio on an mp3 player like an iPod. Of course, downloading YouTube video as mp3 is just the tip of the iceberg. Other reasons might include converting something you created to a different format on your computer or phone, or even attaching video to your audio so that you can create your own upload! These are all valid reasons to want the best MP3 video converter for your device.
Common Issues with Downloaders and Software
There are several issues you face when you try to get a free video converter for Windows 10, Mac or any other operating system. One of these is the safety of downloading software that doesn’t seem to be trustworthy. So many converters exist that it is hard to figure out which are going to help you, and not turn your computer into a den of viruses and adware. In addition to this, you need to think about the possibility of the software not meeting your requirements. If you want to convert video online to mp3 free, you may require a certain audio quality, such as the bitrate of the final audio file. For video downloads, the quality of the video and the encoding type may also be an issue. Different converters have different capabilities. Thankfully, there are other options out there as well, so that you don’t always have to relegate your search to purely downloadable software.
The Best MP3 Video Converter for You
Before we starting listing off software, know that there are different methods you can use to download your videos or rip them, or even just convert their formats. These programs and sites below are mainly used for YouTube, along with other sites like DailyMotion, Vimeo and others. However, we will also show you some of the best format converters out there for videos from other sources!
Tired of downloading ad-filled, laggy and terrible looking software to convert your videos to MP3 or other audio formats? Well, free online converters exist (like we talked about in the recent YouTube court case). These are perfect if you’re downloading a video as a one-time thing, or if you simply don’t want software from untrustworthy sites on your desktop.
- Free Video to MP3 – ApowerSoft
This online tool can rip audio from most video sites on the internet for free. These include YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, and even Myspace (although no one really uses that site any more). You can also set the format of the audio file, so that it can be in mp3, wav, acc and more. It is easy to use as well – all you need to do is copy the link of the video from the address bar of your browser and past it into the search bar of the website. Click on “Convert” and select the format and quality you want from the menu that appears. Click “Download” to download it to your computer.
This is the site that was subject to the famed court case with Google and YouTube. It is one of the easiest to use and operates in the same way as other conversion websites, with the option for different audio qualities but not formats. It works on Android, Windows Phone and iPhone browsers as well. However, the site is blocked on any Chrome based browser simply because Google has warned it and blacklisted it. The site is completely safe though, just don’t click on any ads!
Keepvid is another famed online downloader. With this site, all you need to do is enter the URL of the video and click “Download”. A small box appears under the download bar offering the video in mp4, 3gp, wav and other formats so you can choose whichever you want the most. HD video downloads are supported as well!
One of the main problems with downloading videos using an online site is that you must navigate to the page every single time to download the video you want to. This can be quite annoying if you keep coming across videos that you want to save for later listening or watching. Browser extensions are the easy way around this. If you use a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Opera or even Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge, extensions probably already play a part in your life. Here are our favourite extensions for each of the more popular browsers out there. The best part? Unlike software that you must download and use, browser extensions aren’t locked to a particular operating system.
YouTube to MP3
Available on Google Chrome only, YouTube to MP3! Is a free extension that can be downloaded from the official Web Store. Simply go on to the store and search for the app by typing “Youtube to mp3!” into the search bar at the top. Click on the “Install” button to start the download. Clicking on the extension after it has been installed leads to a YouTube page opening. The extension will change to a little Play button when the video is available to download. Click on it to start the download in MP3. One problem is that it is only available in one low-bitrate quality option.
Fullrip is an extension for either Firefox or Chrome that can download videos from YouTube and other sites, or can rip the audio from these videos. After installing the extension on either of the browsers, simply navigate to YouTube and click on the video you want to download. When the video page opens, you will see two new buttons under the video – “Get Video” and “Get MP3”. Clicking on either one downloads the appropriate format. When you click “Get MP3”, you are presented with a settings panel to change what you need before clicking on “Start Ripping”. The MP3 file should download to the folder you have specified.
ClipConverter is available as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera (Mac users are finally getting some love here). Go to the official App Store for each browser and search for “clipconverter”. Follow the instructions to install the extension. When the installation is complete, navigate to the YouTube site and click on any video. A small “ClipConverter” toolbar should appear under the video with the options to download in MP4, WAV and other formats. Clicking it will open a tab with a space for you to type the address of the video. After entering it, you can pick between different quality options and formats, and then click on “Start”.
Downloadable Downloaders and MP3 Video Converters
We finally come to the classic example of mp3 video converters – downloadable software. By far the most popular method for ripping or downloading videos off the internet, or even for ripping audio from videos on your PC, Mac or mobile phone, these are the standfast for any computer user. There are thousands of them out there, and a lot of them are more adware than useful programs. Always make sure that you have a good antivirus program, just to be sure that you aren’t getting yourself into trouble with viruses.
Format Factory (Windows)
Format Factory isn’t a video downloader, but it is one of the best and most versatile converters out there right now. It is a free mp3 video converter that can handle nearly every known media file format known to man. The interface is simple but has so many conversion options, quality settings and queuing options that it is a shame it isn’t supported on Mac and Linux systems. The tool can conduct repairs on any broken audio and video, while converting any video to mp3 format for free. Ripping is supported for DVDs, along with preset ripping options that can be enabled with a single click. Video to GIF conversion is the icing on the cake.
Handbrake (Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu)
Handbrake is an application that is all about video conversion, including ripping DVDs, converting between video formats and changing video to audio as well. It is available on many different platforms, and has a ton of features that are all available for the great price of nothing – it is free and awesome! With the option for preset setting as well as a great, minimalistic interface, Handbrake can hold its own against some of the more popular converters out there.
Freemake is a video converter that is free and very powerful indeed. The application has a good design as well as support for conversion among 200 different file formats and quality options. From converting online videos on YouTube, DailyMotion and Vimeo to mp3, all the way to ripping CDs and DVDs, this converter does it all. It can also convert to iOS and Android compatible formats with a single click thanks to the default presets on the software. This converter can handle just about anything that you put its processing power towards doing, and all of it is done for free.
Total Video Downloader (Mac OS X)
Total Video Downloader is a software for Mac that can download videos from just about every online video sharing site out there. It can’t, however, convert the videos it downloads to other formats. We mention it because it is one of the most versatile that we have seen till date, with shortcuts to downloads from some of the more popular sites including Vimeo. If you do want to purely use it for downloading video files, it will serve you well, but for ripping audio and for other purposes, you may want to look at some of the other options out there.
Android YouTube Downloader (Android)
This is an app available on the Google Play Store that can easily convert videos to mp3 android, and can also download videos directly from YouTube. It provides you with an easy to use interface that can be used to browse through the video site and take whatever videos are needed with one tap.
Zeem is a very simple application for android systems that is used to download YouTube videos and convert them to mp3. Rather like most browser based downloaders, the Zeem app requires you to paste the link to the video in the search bar of the app. You can then tap the “Get MP3” button to download the video file as a ripped mp3 file directly to your phone.
MyMP3 is one of the few iOS compatible video downloader apps out there. It can download any YouTube video as an mp3 file, after which the downloaded file can be shared via email, social media and other apps. Simply go to the App Store and download it to enjoy the benefits!
Convert All You Want, But Be Careful!
Now that you know how to download and convert videos from your favorite sites to your phone, you are in possession of great power. With that comes great responsibility. If you abuse the power that these apps give you, you are going to be nothing more than a pirate. While it isn’t recommended that you download any video that is protected by copyright, these apps, extensions and other software are perfect for budding video editors and uploaders looking to make a living on videos. Even better, if you want to download some royalty free content as an mp3 and listen to it (a good example of this is a podcast), apps like these will serve you well.
If you have some other recommendations for good apps to use to download or convert video to mp3 format, make sure you let us know in the comments below! There are so many free applications for download out there that you are bound to stumble across some great ones. If you have had any issues with the apps recommended above, let us know about that as well. Until next time, happy listening!