Easiest way to download YouTube videos and convert them to any format including .mp3 in 2022

Methods of downloading YouTube videos have changed over the years. Here are two of my preferred methods for doing so in 2022.

tl;dr: easy:

Use a Youtube-Mp3 converter site, if you know how to Google then you’ve probably found one of these already.

tl;dr: is asked to fix printers:

Get the latest ‘youtube-dl’ fork like yt-dlp. Use ffmpeg to convert.


Easy

Yeah there’s really nothing else you need here

The Other Method

  1. Get yt-dlp. Put it in a folder somewhere in C:\ like ‘youtubedownload’. Rename the .exe file to yt.exe.
  2. Get ffmpeg. Put it in the same folder. You could rename this .exe file if you want as well, the names will be the commands used in the future.
  3. Press the WINDOWS key, and type ‘path’.
    (INCOMING WALL OF PICTURES)
  4. Choose ‘Enviroment Variables’
    enviroment variables pointer
  5. Then,
    edit path detailed pointer
  6. You can then add a new entry for the ‘path’ environment variable. The system uses this to allow the executing directory to be in any directory listed in the path. Meaning, when you run a command in CMD, the system will always check any directories in the ‘path’.
    add new path entry
  7. Click OK on all open windows after adding the directory the exes are in to the ‘path’.

Example Usage

We will be using this song from YouTube: Moving Romance – Yoann Garel. It’s also available on Soundcloud here.

Right click on your Desktop > ‘Open Command Window Here’. If you don’t have this option in the context menu, you can download these registry edits to add it.

Next type the name of the yt-dlp .exe followed by a space and the url. So if you renamed it ‘yt’ like stated previously, it would look like so:
yt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIMdcJWOEFM
Hitting enter will start downloading that video to the desktop directory you just launched the CMD window in. (Hint! If you want to use a Soundcloud URL like we have below, that will work too! Isn’t technology great?)
yt-dl download example

If you want to convert the resulting video to a proper audio file like .mp3, this is where ffmpeg comes into play. A simple syntax of the ffmpeg command to convert to an mp3 would look like ffmpeg -i [input file name] [output file name].[output file extension]. But wait, we don’t want to type that long, ugly file name in that yt-dlp just spit out onto our desktop… luckily we have a trick for that.

Run ‘dir /x‘ in the open CMD window.dir /x example yt
This is an extremely helpful windows command that will show ‘short’ filenames for files, making working with longer file names a breeze. Windows is telling us in the screenshot above that we can refer to the video we just downloaded as ‘moving~3.web’. Now assuming no renaming of the ffmpeg .exe took place in the setup step, our command simply becomes:

ffmpeg -i moving~3.web output.mp3
ffmpeg -i output.mp3 example

And you’re done! You now have ‘output.mp3’ on your desktop saved as the song we were just playing on YouTube. I’ve combined this process with scripted metadata adding/titling for an offline library. And, with the right yt-dlp commands it can even become an efficient way to export entire playlists of music.


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Published 2022-03-06 02:23:43

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