How to Download Audio from YouTube on Mac: A General Guide


Every now and then, you come across a video on YouTube which has an amazing audio track that you wish you could download and listen to on repeat. But how do you go about doing that on a Mac? With numerous options available online, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to download audio from YouTube on Mac.

Steps to Download Audio from YouTube on Mac

Step 1: Install VLC Media Player

The first thing you need to do is install VLC Media Player on your Mac. This is a free, open-source media player that can not only play various file formats but can also download videos and audio from various websites, including YouTube. You can download VLC Media Player from their official website.

Step 2: Open VLC Media Player

Once you have installed VLC Media Player on your Mac, you need to open it.

Step 3: Copy the YouTube Video URL

Now, find the YouTube video whose audio you want to download. Copy the video’s URL by right-clicking and selecting ‘Copy Video URL.’

Step 4: Click on ‘Open Network Stream’

Inside VLC Media Player, go to ‘File’ and then click on ‘Open Network Stream.’

Step 5: Paste the URL

In the ‘Open Media’ window, paste the URL that you copied earlier into the field that says ‘Please enter a network URL.’

Step 6: Select ‘Convert/Save’

Click on the ‘Convert/Save’ button at the bottom of the window.

Step 7: Choose Audio Format

Under the ‘Profile’ dropdown, select ‘Audio – MP3’ or any other format that you want to convert the video to.

Step 8: Click on ‘Browse’

Select the destination folder where you want to save the audio file by clicking on the ‘Browse’ button.

Step 9: Give a Name to the File

In the ‘Save as’ field, give a name to the audio file and add the file extension. For example, ‘My Audio.mp3.’

Step 10: Click on ‘Start’

Click on the ‘Start’ button to begin the audio conversion process.

Step 11: Wait for the Conversion to Finish

Wait for the conversion process to finish. This may take some time depending on the length of the video and your computer’s processing power.

Step 12: Access the Audio File

Once the conversion is complete, you can go to the destination folder that you selected in Step 8. You should see your audio file there.


Converting YouTube videos to audio files is simple and easy once you know how to do it. The process described above uses VLC Media Player, a free and open-source media player that is available on most platforms, including Mac. By following the 12 steps outlined, you can convert any YouTube video to an audio file in just a few minutes.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use Other Online Converters

If you don’t want to install any software on your Mac, you can use various online converters like Convert2MP3, OnlineVideoConverter, or YtMp3. These websites allow you to download the audio file directly from YouTube without installing any software.

Tip 2: Check for Copyright Issues

Before downloading any audio from YouTube, especially if you plan on using it for commercial purposes, make sure to check for any copyright issues. Some videos may have specific licensing restrictions that you need to be aware of.

Tip 3: Download the Best Quality Audio

If you want to get the best quality audio from a YouTube video, make sure to select the highest quality setting before starting the conversion process.

Tip 4: Use Keyboard Shortcuts

To make the whole process smoother, use keyboard shortcuts like Command + C to copy the URL, Command + O to open Network Stream, and Command + S to save the converted file.

Tip 5: Edit the Audio File

After downloading the audio file, you can use various audio editing software like Audacity, Adobe Audition, or GarageBand to edit the file and remove any unwanted parts.

Tip 6: Save Time with Batch Downloads

If you need to download multiple audio files from YouTube, you can use software like 4K Video Downloader, which allows you to batch download videos and audio from YouTube and other websites.

Tip 7: Protect Your Computer

Make sure to use trusted sources for downloading software and be careful not to download any malware or virus on your computer.

Tip 8: Use YouTube’s Audio Library

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading audio from YouTube, you can check out YouTube’s Audio Library, which has a vast collection of free-to-use music and sound effects.

Tip 9: Check for Updates

Make sure to keep your media player and any other software you use to download audio from YouTube up-to-date to avoid any issues.

Tip 10: Enjoy Your Music

Finally, once you have downloaded your favorite audio tracks from YouTube, sit back, relax, and enjoy your music!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Downloading Audio from YouTube on Mac


1. Access to a wide range of music: YouTube has an extensive library of practically any song you can think of, including rare and hard-to-find tracks.

2. Cost-effective: Downloading audio files directly from YouTube is completely free, which can save you money compared to purchasing individual tracks through other online media outlets.

3. Offline playback: Downloaded audio files can be played offline, which is convenient for those without internet access or for those traveling to locations with poor connectivity.

4. High audio quality: YouTube offers high-quality audio streams, and users can choose the desired resolution before downloading.

5. Unrestricted access: You can download any audio from YouTube without any restrictions, including region-blocked tracks.

6. Easy to use: A variety of software programs are available that allow for quick and easy audio downloads from YouTube on a Mac computer.

7. File format options: Depending on the software used, users may have the option to download the audio file in a variety of formats, such as MP3, AAC, or WAV.

8. Support for multiple platforms: Downloaded audio files from YouTube can be played on a variety of devices and platforms, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.

9. Ideal for creating playlists: Users can build their own music collections and playlists by downloading and organizing audio tracks from YouTube.

10. Eliminates ads: By downloading audio files from YouTube, users can avoid ads and interruptions that may appear when trying to stream music online.


1. Copyright concerns: Downloading audio from YouTube may be illegal in some countries and may result in copyright infringement lawsuits or fines.

2. Risk of malware: Some websites that offer YouTube audio download services may contain malware that can harm your computer or compromise your online privacy.

3. Quality concerns: Depending on the software used and the original quality of the YouTube video, downloaded audio files may not be of the highest quality.

4. File size restrictions: Large audio files can take up significant storage space on your Mac, which may become an issue for those with limited space or older computers.

5. Limitations on playlist creation: Many software programs only allow for the downloading of individual tracks, which may become time-consuming for those looking to create large playlists.

6. Time-consuming: Depending on the length of the audio file and the speed of your Mac computer, the downloading process may take several minutes or longer.

7. Lack of updates: Downloaded audio files may not be updated with new content, remixes, or live performances like popular media streaming services.

8. Dependent on software: Users must rely on third-party software to download audio tracks from YouTube, which may require frequent updates and may not always be reliable.

9. Limited compatibility: Some downloaded audio files may not be supported by all devices or media players, which can be frustrating for those with vast music collections.

10. Less convenient for streaming: Those who prefer streaming music instead of downloading may not find downloading audio from YouTube to be the most convenient method of accessing music content.


What is the best way to download audio from YouTube on a Mac?

One of the most popular ways to download audio from YouTube on a Mac is by using a third-party software. These software programs come with a built-in YouTube downloader. Some examples include 4K Video Downloader, Free YouTube to MP3 Converter, and Any Video Converter.

Are there any free YouTube downloaders for Mac?

Yes, there are various free YouTube downloaders for Mac available online. Some popular options include VLC media player, ClipGrab, and Airy YouTube downloader.

Can I download audio from a YouTube video without downloading the entire video?

Yes, there are several tools available that allow you to download audio from a YouTube video without downloading the entire video. Some examples include Free YouTube to MP3 Converter and 4K Video Downloader.

What is the difference between downloading audio and video from YouTube?

The primary difference between downloading audio and video from YouTube is the file format. Audio files are typically downloaded in MP3 format, while video files are downloaded in MP4 format. Additionally, downloading video files may take up more storage space on your Mac.

Is it legal to download audio from YouTube?

It is illegal to download copyrighted material from YouTube without the consent of the copyright owner. While some videos may be available for free download, it is important to ensure that you have the legal right to download the content before doing so.

How do I convert a YouTube video to an audio file?

You can convert a YouTube video to an audio file by using a third-party video to audio converter program. Some popular examples include VLC media player and 4K Video Downloader.

Can I download audio from YouTube using an online tool?

Yes, there are several online tools available that allow you to download audio from YouTube. Some popular options include OnlineVideoConverter and Y2Mate.

How do I ensure the audio quality when downloading from YouTube?

Audio quality can vary depending on the video quality and format. To ensure the best audio quality, try downloading the video in the highest available quality and choosing a reputable YouTube downloader software.

Can I download audio from a private YouTube video?

No, it is not possible to download audio from a private YouTube video unless you have access to the video and the owner has given you explicit permission to do so.

What should I do if the audio won’t download from YouTube?

If you are having trouble downloading audio from YouTube, try using a different YouTube downloader software or trying a different video or audio format. Some other potential issues may include internet connectivity problems or issues with your Mac’s settings.

Is it safe to download audio from YouTube?

As long as you download audio from reputable sources and ensure that you have the legal right to download the content, downloading audio from YouTube is generally considered safe. However, it is important to be cautious when downloading third-party software and to choose a reputable YouTube downloader software to avoid any potential malware or viruses.

Is it possible to download audio from YouTube using Safari?

It is technically possible to download audio from YouTube using Safari, although it may require additional plugins or extensions to do so. Using a dedicated YouTube downloader software is generally a more reliable option.

What steps should I take before downloading audio from YouTube?

Before downloading audio from YouTube, you should ensure that you have the legal right to do so. Additionally, you should consider using a reputable YouTube downloader software, choosing the highest video quality available, and checking for any potential malware or viruses that may be associated with third-party software applications.


Downloading audio from YouTube on Mac can be done easily with the help of various reliable applications and online services available. The most important thing to keep in mind is to always respect the copyright of the content creators and use the downloaded audio only for personal use or non-commercial purposes.

By following the steps we have outlined, you can choose the best method that suits your needs and preferences. Whether you decide to use a dedicated application or an online converter, make sure to do your research to find a safe and trustworthy option.

We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you on how to download audio from YouTube on Mac. With the right tools and knowledge, listening to your favorite tracks offline has never been easier!


Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We understand that downloading audio from YouTube can be a complex process, but we hope we have provided you with a clear guide on how to do it on your Mac. Remember to always use the downloaded content responsibly and legally, and do not hesitate to share this knowledge with your friends and family.

So, go ahead and start building your own offline music library today! Until next time, happy downloading!