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How to Download Audio Data from YouTube, One and Many Videos | Audio Toolbox Series

  • Guoguo Chen
  • Monday, Jan 15, 2024

Today, let’s dive into a topic that resonates with many: how to download audio data from YouTube, for FREE.

Legal Disclaimer: Before we proceed, it’s imperative to acknowledge that downloading audio data from YouTube may involve legal complexities. Users must ensure compliance with YouTube’s terms of service and copyright laws, obtaining proper authorization for the intended use of downloaded content.

Understanding YouTube’s Audio Landscape

YouTube stands as a treasure trove of diverse audio content, offering an array of music, podcasts, lectures, sound effects, and more. Familiarizing oneself with the types of audio content available on YouTube and the associated legal considerations is crucial for responsible usage of this platform.

Sample Audio Content on YouTube:


Explore official music videos, covers, remixes, and mashups spanning various genres.


Engage with a plethora of podcasts covering myriad topics, often accompanied by visual elements for enhanced comprehension.

Educational Resources

Access lectures and educational content shared by universities and experts, serving as invaluable learning aids.

Sound Effects and Loops

YouTube provides a wide range of sound effects and music loops for creative projects.

Convert Individual YouTube Videos to MP3 (Individual Files)

If it’s just a few individual files, I prefer using free online converters. There are many options available. Here are a couple to consider:


  1. It’s free and doesn’t require registration.
  2. Paste your YouTube video link into the search bar and click on the “START” button.
  3. You’ll have the option to download the audio as MP3 with various bitrate options.
Convert YouTube to mp3 using

Convert YouTube to mp3 using


  1. It’s free and doesn’t require registration.
  2. Paste your YouTube video link into the search bar and click on the “START” button.
  3. You’ll have the option to download the audio as MP3 with various bitrate options.
Convert YouTube to mp3 using

Convert YouTube to mp3 using

Convert Many YouTube Videos to MP3 (A List of Files)

Now, if you have to download a large list of audio files and are open to getting your hands dirty, we should use the command-line tool called youtube-dl. To be precise, we will actually use its forked version called yt-dlp. You can find the GitHub repository here:

How to Download YouTube Videos as MP3 using yt-dlp

yt-dlp is a free tool that you run from your computer’s command prompt. It’s mostly made using Python and works on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.

Step 1: Installation

Installing yt-dlp is straightforward. You can download the right files for your computer’s system, like Windows or Mac, and then set it up to work. After that, it’s ready to go.

Another way to install it is by using a program called pip. This method lets you get yt-dlp and any updates easily. Here’s a simple command you can use:

python3 -m pip install --no-deps -U yt-dlp

You might also want to update your certificate and yt-dlp by running the following:

python3 -m pip install --upgrade certifi
yt-dlp -U

Step 2: Test Installation

After installing, make sure to put the program’s location into your computer’s PATH so it’s easy to find when you use the command prompt.

To test your installation, type:

yt-dlp --help

This command prints out general options when using the command-line tool yt-dlp.

Step 3: Download a YouTube Video as MP3

Now, suppose we are going to download a YouTube file, we can run the following command:

yt-dlp -x --audio-format mp3

In the above command, the option -x indicates that we will extract audio only (ignore video), the option --audio-format mp3 specifies the audio format as MP3, and is the YouTube file to be downloaded.

If you want to save the downloaded audio to a specific file name instead of using a name generated by the tool, you can run:

yt-dlp -x --audio-format mp3 -o Jeremy_Blake_Stardrive_Rock.mp3

Here, -o Jeremy_Blake_Stardrive_Rock.mp3 indicates that the downloaded file should be saved as Jeremy_Blake_Stardrive_Rock.mp3.

Step 4: (Advanced) Download a List of YouTube Videos as MP3

Now we are ready to download a large list of YouTube files. The idea is to write a script to wrap the command-line tool yt-dlp and then download the files one by one automatically. Let’s use Python.

Copy and paste the following code into a file, maybe we can call it Also, create a file called urls.txt in the same folder, and add the URLs of the YouTube videos you want to download, with each URL on a separate line.

import subprocess

def download_youtube_audios(urls_file):
    with open(urls_file, 'r') as file:
        urls = file.readlines()
        for url in urls:
            url = url.strip()
  ['yt-dlp', '-x', '--audio-format', 'mp3', url])

if __name__ == "__main__":
    urls_file = 'urls.txt'  # Name of the file containing YouTube video URLs

Run python3 and then you get all the MP3 files from the list of YouTube videos. Voila!

YouTube has one of the best audio collections, but it’s important to understand the legal terms and make sure that the data you are downloading can be legally used for personal and commercial purposes. Things that you’ll have to pay attention to include:

  • Copyright: Most content is protected by copyright, requiring permission for use.
  • Creative Commons: Some content has Creative Commons licenses, allowing specific uses without permission.
  • Fair Use: Fair use permits certain uses of copyrighted material, but understanding its application can be complex.
  • YouTube’s Terms of Service: Abiding by YouTube’s rules is essential to avoid penalties such as account suspension.

Overall, while YouTube offers valuable audio resources, it’s vital to use them responsibly and in accordance with legal guidelines. Always ensure you have the appropriate permissions before downloading or using audio content from YouTube.

You can do much more with audio data on SeaMeet will support transcribing YouTube audio directly, either live or offline. Using SeaMeet, you not only can have a library of audios (from YouTube or not), but also generates conversation transcripts, topics, action items, and summaries.

Email us for more details at or book a demo.

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