4 Ways To Convert YouTube Videos Into MP3 Files

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Just several years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine a one-stop solution for all our media needs; and yet today, YouTube practically fulfils every part of it – from searching for our favourite music videos, to catching up with the latest media gossip.

But what if there was a certain song you wanted to listen to on your portable music player, or a business podcast you wanted to carry around in audio format – instead of watching it as a video online? Fret not, for here are a few magical ways to transform that YouTube video into an audio mp3 file for your convenience:

1. How To Convert Youtube Videos Online And Download Them Instantly

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By far the easiest way to obtain an MP3 file from a Youtube video is to have all the work done for you beforehand, so that you can use it instantly with no extra hassle. This is probably the preferred method for most laymen, since it’s as simple as click-and-go in most cases.

Video2MP3 is personally my favourite site for online video conversion. All you have to do is copy and paste the Youtube URL of the video you want to convert into the text bar, select whether you want the MP3 file in standard or high quality (higher quality usually takes longer to download), and press the convert button. You’ll have to wait awhile for it to convert and download, but it’s mostly an automated process in which you don’t have to lift a finger otherwise.

If you like this kind of instant conversion, other sites to consider include VidtoMP3, FromVideo (which also supports Vimeo!) and YoutubetoMP3.

2. How To Convert Videos Locally On Your Computer Straight From YouTube

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The first method converts the YouTube videos into MP3 files on a third party’s computer, then allows you to download them; but what if you wanted to skip the download and head straight to the conversion step? One reason you may want to do this is perhaps for security reasons, so here’s a way to bypass the third party and keep the process strictly between your computer and YouTube.

DVDVideoSoft provides a large warehouse of free conversion software, but by far their most useful offering is their free Youtube To MP3 Converter. As the name implies, the software extracts and converts Youtube videos directly on your computer, so you’re assured of a safe MP3 file if you’re cautious about viruses. The interface may not be as pretty as more recent software, but the entire process is easy to understand and user-friendly, with a straightforward guide to help you out in case you need some hand-holding.

3. How To Download Videos First, And Then Convert Them At Your Convenience

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If you’re like me, then you probably won’t want to just convert the videos into songs, but would like to store a collection of the videos themselves as well. To do this, you’ll have to take two steps: firstly, to download the videos to your computer, then convert them into MP3s yourself.

To download the videos to your computer, you can either choose to download them via online downloaders, or use local software to do the job. Some of the online video downloaders include KeepVid and SaveVid, while the free Youtube Video Downloader is installable onto your computer. If you use Mozilla Firefox, you’ll be happy to know that Download Youtube Videos + offers a secure solution for downloading Youtube videos right from within your browser.

Next, you’ll want to convert the videos you’ve downloaded into MP3 files. If you’re using Windows, the free Freez Flv to Mp3 Converter works well to convert the downloaded Youtube videos (.flv) into MP3 files.

And there you have it, your untouched downloaded Youtube videos and converted MP3 audio files, all in one setup!

4. How To Download Videos & Convert Them Into MP3s On a Mac

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If you’re on a Mac, then you’ll have to use slightly different software to perform the above steps, but the process is mostly the same. The reason behind this is because Macs are unable to run the FLV codec natively, so you have to download them as H.264 videos instead and use the appropriate software to convert them into MP3s.

Videobox offers a nifty solution for downloading Youtube videos to your Mac. In tech speak, it downloads Flash videos and converts them into H.264 format so that you can play them on Quicktime – but for the layman, it downloads them so that it just works on your Mac.

After you’ve downloaded the video, the next step is to convert it into an MP3 file. FfmpegX is an amazing conversion software which works exceedingly well and has independently amassed glowing reviews, and is by far the best conversion software I would recommend. In fact, codec fans will be happy to note that FfmpegX handles a wide variety of formats, so its conversion capabilities are not confined to merely converting videos into MP3 files.

Have you ever wanted to convert a YouTube video?  Tell us your experience in the comments

This post was guest written by Aaron Pek

9 Best Ways To Stream and Download Chinese Songs

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If there’s ever a disadvantage to being Chinese, it’s how (relatively) difficult it is to look for Chinese songs on the web, as the majority of music repositories on the web are in English.

It isn’t that there aren’t any sites dedicated to Chinese language media, it’s just they don’t share the spotlight which their English counterparts particularly enjoy. For that reason, I’ve compiled the best sites; so whether you’re a native born mainland Chinese, an American born Chinese who can’t speak the language or someone who just happens to like Chinese music, you’ll at least have someplace to go to satisfy your oriental melodic desires.

1. How to Search for Chinese Music

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Baidu is arguably the largest website dedicated to providing Chinese music on the web. To get technical, Baidu isn’t just a music streaming database; it’s actually the largest search engine in use within Mainland China, eclipsing even Google.cn, but it handles music streaming just as well as any other Chinese media site.

Their extensive database handles remarkably like Google (even their interface is somewhat similar to Google’s), and you navigate your way through the site via a search box, so most people should be familiar with the concept. Using Baidu, you can look for information about your favorite artiste, album covers and listen to local gossip, as well as stream and download songs to your computer.

2. Where to find Downloads for Chinese Songs

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When it comes to downloading your favorite Chinese songs, music site Gougou just can’t be beat. Unlike Baidu, it doesn’t encompass everything related to the Chinese world); it’s tailored specifically for musical interests only. One may compare Baidu to being the Google of China, while Gougou is a little more like iTunes.

Another advantage which Gougou has over Baidu is that, being a music site, it’s essentially easier to find downloads for your songs. Baidu has many links to Chinese songs uploaded all over the web, but only about 30-40% of them allow you to download the songs to your PC; the rest just stream music. If you want to download music without the hassle of clicking through various links, then Gougou should be right up your alley.

3. How To Stay Updated With The Chinese Media Scene

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Along with Baidu, Xunlei was one of the few sites which, only a few years ago, was in the running to conquer mainstream Chinese Internet. Of course, we now know that Baidu has won the race, but that also means that Xunlei is a respectfully quality content provider, on par with Baidu. When you visit Xunlei, the first thing that strikes you is how similar it looks compared to Yahoo, while Baidu looks more like Google. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but seeing how both Google and Baidu won the search engine war, it’s fair to compare Xunlei with the less stellar Yahoo.

However, that’s not to say its service is poorer by any means; you can find news on various media figures, stay updated with the films playing on the mainland and in Taiwan, and even order music DVDs if that’s where your interests lie. If you use their search engine to look for a particular artiste, it’ll link you to one of the less famous music sites which streams their music.

4. One Source For All Your Chinese Music Streaming Needs

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Some people like to spread their web music resources out to maximize their streaming opportunities; but if you’re the kind that prefers to stick with one location for all your needs all the time, then Kuwo is probably a good bet for you. It doesn’t have the massive resources which Baidu or Xunlei is capable of accommodating, but if you’re just looking for music, it has nearly everything you need.

Kuwo has a slick neat interface which puts everything within reach of your fingertips, so you won’t find yourself fumbling trying to navigate. It stays updated fairly frequently, so while it won’t cover every possible scenario, it’s a reliable service for your music needs.

5. How To Keep In Touch with The Chinese Music Billboard Scene

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The above sites all rate music very well, but if you’re searching for a recommendation, then Taiwanese site G-Music is probably what you’re looking for. It has the added advantage of being based on the Taiwanese billboard charts, not those of mainland China, so if you’re looking for a different perspective – since most of the famous artistes are from Taiwan and Hong Kong anyway – you’ll do well to follow the updates on this site.

A Chinese media site wouldn’t be a media site if it didn’t stream music, so G-Music accommodates by allowing you to stream music to your PC as well. They have a fairly reliable lyrics list as well, but the interface isn’t as clean as Baidu, so it’s up to you to decide which site you prefer. If you want, you can also order CDs of your favorite artistes from the site, and they’ve been known to feature English singers too (hint: California Girls)!

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6. How To Stream Chinese Music on a Desktop Client

If you wish to access music from your workplace where all but a few websites are blocked, or perhaps you live in an area with shoddy Internet connection, then the ideal solution would be to use a music client program which enables you to download music without requiring the use of an Internet browser. Enter TTPlayer, a music client software which you download to your PC and use natively within Windows.

TTPlayer only supports Windows as of this writing, so Mac users may have to wait awhile for an update. Having said that, it’s an excellent piece of software which streams choice music to your PC, so if you find yourself hampered by Internet browser restrictions, this is an effective alternative for your music needs.

 

Other worthy mentions:

7. Cococ

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We’ve mentioned some of the better sites to download or stream Chinese music sites above, but that doesn’t mean that the rest are unreliable. Cococ is a media site which has drawn comparison to Gougou for its efficiency, and it has its own loyal band of users which reliably depend on it.

One nice feature that Cococ makes clear in its interface is the ability to organize song searches according to your preference. You can search for songs according to their popularity, how recent they are, or what category their music falls into. As an added bonus, you can also look for lyrics, as well as enjoy a sprinkling of English songs which sometimes show up in their databases.

8. ChikoMusic

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ChikoMusic is a relatively small blog-like site compared to its other media counterparts, but where it lacks in quantity it makes up more than enough in quality. A quick reference to its music list shows the newest albums and most popular artistes already displayed, and you have a choice to stream the music to your PC or download them.

The way ChikoMusic arranges its music, by listing them according to the album and artiste they are associated with, makes searching for music a pleasant experience. Plus, their blog interface is a nice departure from the chaotic mess of advertisements that the bigger media sites tend to be.

9. Sogou

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They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and Sogou‘s interface and logo definitely stands out as a comparison to Gougou’s. Like Gougou and Baidu, it offers the common plethora of media services such as news on your favorite artistes, music, album art and ringtones.

You can use it as an extra to complement the other sites when you’re unable to find a certain piece. The interface is familiar enough to use, so you shouldn’t have any trouble if you’ve been frequenting the more popular Chinese media sites.

This guest post was written by Aaron Pek and edited by James Yeang

Do you use any other good chinese music sites?  Let us know in the comments!

GIVEAWAY: Audials One: Rip Audio Streams into MP3 Files

audials

What is it?

AudialsOne is a commercial music suite which has one killer feature.  It can record everything you hear on any website or streaming application, rips the audio streams and automatically saves the file as a new MP3 on your computer.  You can also do this in batch style where you can also just search by genre, artist or song title and AudialsOne will scour the internet for streams which are playing relevant material and record them to your PC as well.

AudialsOne takes care of DRM copy protection and file format problems with music  and audio book files via its PerfectAudio quality guarantee

The giveaway

Worth USD59.90 each, but we’re giving it away to 10 lucky Friedbeef.com readers thanks to our sponsors :)

How to Get It: 

10 readers will be selected randomly to receive this giveaway.  To be eligible:

Just leave a comment on this post

OR

tweet this post and tag #friedbeefgifts

You can do both to increase your chances :) We’ll do the prize drawing on New Year’s day.

This post is part of our Christmas giveaway bonanza to say THANK YOU for reading this blog – Do check out our OTHER seasonal giveaways and feel free to enter as many of them as you like.

Update: GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Here are the lucky 10 winners as selected by Random.Org:

1. alex
2. Ryan Schwartz
3. mlweg3
4. enusri
5. Rafael Capucci
6. vhick
7. Hady
8. jelson
9. Keshav
10. David

I’ll be in contact with you shortly to distribute your prizes. Thank you everyone for entering the giveaway :)