How to download music from YouTube

YouTube is one of the biggest sources for online music, offering full albums, live performances and rare tracks covering every genre imaginable. Here’s how to download music from Youtube to enjoy on your smartphone or computer, whenever you’re offline.

Whenever you think of YouTube, the first things that pop into your head are possibly cat memes and Pewdiepie. All the same, there’s actually plenty of good stuff on the online video platform if you dig deep enough, including a huge collection of classical and contemporary music.

If you’re using a laptop or computer, you can play songs on YouTube in the background using your web browser. Handy if you want to enjoy an album while you’re ‘hard at work’. However, you may wish to download some of your favourite tracks and albums to listen to while you’re offline, especially on your Android phone or iPhone.

Related: How to download YouTube videos to watch offline

Is downloading a YouTube video actually legal?

If you’re not using the official YouTube apps, you’ll need to get the permission of whoever owns the content copyright (almost always the creator) before downloading YouTube videos. Downloading videos without permission is strictly prohibited by the YouTube T&Cs.

How to download music from YouTube: Using the official apps

The YouTube Music app boasts a massive number of tracks to rival the likes of Spotify, including loads of live performances that you won’t find anywhere else. Anyone can use the app for free, although if you want to unlock features such as offline downloads, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium account. A subscription costs a tenner a month, while family discounts are available.

If you have a premium account, downloading tracks to your smartphone is simple. Just find an album or playlist that you’d like to grab and then tap the menu icon up top, which looks like three dots. One of the options that appears is ‘Download’. Give that a poke and your tunes will be saved to storage, to enjoy any time. Note that you can also download music videos to watch while offline.

You can change your download preferences within the app’s main settings menu, to configure the quality of your downloads and play around with other options.

Related: YouTube Music now quietly downloads tracks you like

How to download music from YouTube using third-party services

A huge number of online services are available for downloading music from YouTube. These can take the audio from any video and convert it to MP3 (or your preferred format), before allowing you to save the results to your computer or smartphone.

We’ve published a complete guide on how to convert Youtube videos to MP3 to help you out, including a round-up of our favourite converters.

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