Sunday, May 12, 2013

Converting YouTube Videos to MP3 Files

As a traditional musician, it's helpful to record the jams and sessions you attend in the hopes of capturing tunes you might want to learn. These are the folks you're going to be ultimately playing the tunes with, so you might as well learn their versions.

However, you don't really have to do that because chances are you can find multiple videos on YouTube of a similar enough arrangement.  Problem is, these recordings might be too fast, too slow, or have unnecessary fluff before or after the recording you want to listen to.  So what I do is use a site like or
to convert the video to an MP3 file.

Then I use an easy to use free software called mp3DirectCut to trim the selection to just the audio that I need to hear.  Finally, I put the recording on my tablet or smart phone, or send it to my email, so that I can open it in the Amazing Slow Downer or in AudioStretch - both of which are apps that allow you to slow down or speed up a track without changing the pitch.

Now that YouTube video with a bunch of talking before the audio, or a medley of tunes with the one you want to hear in the middle, or a setting that was too slow or too fast, can be trimmed to the part you need and either sped up or slowed down.  You lose the visual component, but it opens up a whole world of Clifftop Festival video field recordings, Irish session videos, how-to videos and more for a headphones jam.


  1. Thanks for mentioning AudioStretch! I'm the author of the app :-) BTW, if you want to slow down audio *and* video, I've heard of one app that can do that: Anytube. Don't know whether it can work with YouTube videos.

  2. Thanks for commenting Gerry. I have been meaning to do a review of AudioStretch but I haven't because I'm not sure I understand all of its features. So far I'm only using it to speed up or slow down a track.