YouTube is an excellent resource for free music. However, having our favorite songs as Mp3 files is way more convenient, since we can listen to them offline, anytime and on any Mp3 player. With ClipConverter.cc not allowing to download YouTube to Mp3 from music videos, let's see the very best ClipConverter alternatives, with spectrographic analysis which ensures actual 320Kbps quality.
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Why should you download YouTube to Mp3 with 320Kbps quality
If you have been using Mp3 files for a while, you probably know that different file versions of the same song can have vastly different quality. This quality can vary from indistinguishable from CD to just plain awful.
The primary factor that affects the sound quality is the compression rate chosen during the Mp3 file's creation. We won't go into specifics on how the Mp3 algorithm works, as it's somewhat complicated and deserves a guide of its own.
It's enough to know that the Mp3 quality is directly connected to the file's Bitrate, measured in Kilobits per second (Kbps). The more Kbps, the better the sound quality, but also the larger the Mp3 file.
We can find the reported bitrate on most Mp3 files by right-clicking the file, selecting Properties and then opening the Details Tab.
The usual Mp3 qualities
The following is a rough scale of the Mp3 qualities we will usually come up against:
- 48Kbps: Have you ever listened to a cheap radio tuned to an AM station during a thunderstorm? This is what a 48Kbps Mp3 roughly sounds like. We will find such Mp3s mainly of speech recordings, where the small file size is more important than the sound quality. For music, they are beyond useless.
- 96Kbps: Another quality unsuitable for music. We will find this compression mainly on 3G cellphone connections, to transfer voice with low data usage.
- 128Kbps: This is the most common type of Mp3. The sound quality isn't great, but it's passable, especially if we have low-quality loudspeakers, low-quality headphones, or low expectations.
- 192Kbps: For most users, this quality is good enough to listen to their music through a smartphone, mp3 player, or on computer speakers. It might not satisfy audiophiles with expensive Hi-Fi equipment. Then again, many hardcore audiophiles are not even satisfied with the CD quality, preferring vinyl instead.
- 320Kbps: Practically indistinguishable from the CD sound quality for the vast majority of users. A user needs to have a high-end HiFi system and also great hearing to hear any difference. But 320Kbps files have the larger file size, with the average song weighing at more than 8-10MBs.
There are also some other quality options, including variable bitrate (VBR) compression. In any case, 320Kbps Mp3 files have the best sound quality of the entire format.
The real Mp3 Quality and the 320Kbps lies
Every YouTube to Mp3 service knows that users looking for quality will only download 320Kbps files. So, the vast majority promises 320Kbps YouTube to Mp3.
However, in many cases, this promise is a lie. The YouTube to Mp3 service may very well "upsample" the file. Which means they artificially turn a 128Kbps file to 320Kbps.
What's bad with this tactic is that Mp3 is a lossy algorithm, which cuts off and discards specific sound frequencies during the initial creation.
These frequencies are lost forever. Turning a 128Kbps file to 320Kbps through upsampling won't bring them back. We will have the same 128Kbps sound quality, with a uselessly larger file size.
This is why, to ensure the highest quality, we have checked the Mp3 downloads with the Spek Acoustic Spectrum Analyzer. This free an open-source app can uncover any sneaky upsampling in seconds.
Make sure you select the right video
Even with the most sincere YouTube to Mp3 services, if we choose a video with crappy sound quality, we will get a crappy Mp3, no way around it.
So, don't expect to convert a 144p video or even a 480p video, and get a real 320Kbps Mp3 file.
The truth is, even 1080p videos might have an average sound quality. The picture is definitely of high resolution, which is what the 1080p refers to. The audio track, however, can have a high sound compression and average or low quality even from the source.
YouTube does not provide any way to tell the actual sound quality of a video. After all, it is a video site, not an audio site, regardless of how we are using it. So, if we want the highest quality, we should be careful about how to choose our videos.
Our best bet is to select music videos from official music channels, such as Vevo or a band's channel, and available at 1080p HD or more.
The best websites to download YouTube to Mp3 with 320Kbps
The great advantage of online services is that we don't need to install any software on our PC. They are also compatible with more or less any device and operating system with a browser.
On most of those services, we just copy and paste the YouTube video URL into a text field and click on a button. In a few seconds, we can have a brand new mp3 file.
However, for the reasons we described just earlier, most YouTube to Mp3 websites that claim to offer 320Kbps are outright lying. Here are the services that have passed our rigorous testing.
Vubey used to be on our "Do not use" list on the May 2017 version of this guide. On our tests back then, it would only offer useless upsampling when we asked for the 320Kbps quality.
However, since then the service has got its stuff together and now offers true 320Kbps quality on videos that can provide it. It also supports the conversion from more than 400 video and audio websites, including SoundCloud.
The use of Vubey is as simple as any YouTube to Mp3 converter. We just paste the video URL, choose the quality, and click on "Convert to Mp3"
We then wait for the YouTube to Mp3 conversion to finish. In long videos, it can take a while., but on 3-4 minute songs, it will just take a few seconds.
Finally, we click on the link displayed to download our mp3 file.
The Vubey spectral analysis
We had a couple of weird problems with the Vubey spectral analysis.
Even though it claims five different qualities, on short length videos we would consistently get a quality that points to true 320Kbps, even if we selected a lower quality. All the different quality spectrograms were virtually identical.
Admittedly, this doesn't sound much of a problem. However, on hour-long remixes, the spectral analysis shows a visible drop, which shows that there is some upsampling.
You can see the results below:
Vubey: long remix with 320Kbps
- Supports a large number of websites beyond Youtube, including Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion, SoundCloud, and more.
- There are no limits on the number of videos we can convert.
- We can convert hour-long videos or more to Mp3
- No deceiving ad pages.
- Long videos offer upsampled quality.
What to avoid: MP3Fiber and other well-known services
We have tried more than twelve services and apps that claim to download videos from YouTube to Mp3 with supposedly 320Kbps. Each and every one has proven to be a lie.
To demonstrate this, let's take a look at MP3Fiber, one of the best-known YouTube to Mp3 services.
This is the spectral analysis of Mp3 with the supposed 320Kbps option.
Practically all frequencies above 16kHz are lost. This is in no way a true 320Kbps file.
The 256Kbps option on MP3Fiber is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the 320Kbps option.
The 128Kbps option is just a bit worse than 320Kbps and 256Kbps.
In conclusion, if we chose any quality higher than 128Kbps on MP3Fiber, we only wasted hard drive space, with no increase in quality whatsoever.
We had similar results with all the services and apps below:
- Dvdvideosoft's Free YouTube to MP3 Converter
- flvto.biz YouTube Downloader for Win10
So, if you are interested in 320Kbps quality, avoid these websites and apps.
What happened to ClipConverter.cc
ClipConverter.cc was probably one of the most popular websites to download YouTube videos.
However, sometime in the past couple of years, ClipConverter.cc has ceased the Mp3 conversion function on music videos of any kind. Trying it will only give out the message "ClipConverter is not available for videos containing music."
Our best guess is that either YouTube, its parent company Google/Alphabet, or an organism such as RIAA has threatened legal action against ClipConverter.cc. This is why they don't support downloading YouTube to Mp3 for music videos.
In any case, it's a good thing that there are still several ClipConverter alternatives, with the same or an even greater level of functionality.
What happened to Dirpy
If you caught our previous iteration of this guide, our go-to ClipConverter alternative was Dirpy, a YouTube to Mp3 service which was probably the best such website at the time.
Dirpy offered true 320Kbps Mp3 files, without bogus upsampling. It also featured an advanced DVR to record streaming YouTube Live videos.
However, all good things usually come to an end. For a while, visiting Dirpy with pretty much any browser - apart from Microsoft Edge, for some reason - would produce a worrisome warning message.
To be fair, at the time of this writing, the message is gone on the main dirpy. We will still find it on some subpages, though.
In any case, dirpy seems to have severe speed issues and tends to timeout while converting YouTube to Mp3, with the result being a chopped down audio file. We can't suggest it anymore, in good conscience.
Is it legal to download songs from YouTube to Mp3?
Depending on your country, downloading songs from YouTube to Mp3 might be illegal.
The songs that are legal to download anywhere are songs belonging to the Public Domain, are Royalty/Copyright Free, or have a Creative Commons license. Those kinds of songs aren't protected by copyright laws.
So, if you live in a country with strict anti-piracy laws, such as Germany or Japan, be careful. Downloading a copyright-protected song might get you in legal trouble, and you might have to pay hefty fines.
Do you want to download YouTube to Mp3 on your Android device?
For those of us who spend more time online through our smartphone than through a PC, these are the most convenient apps to download YouTube to Mp3, or entire videos:
Which YouTube to Mp3 service do you prefer?
Have you tried YT2MP3 or Vubey? Do you have another YouTube to Mp3 website to suggest with actual 320Kbps quality? Let us know in the comments below.
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