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How to: Convert YouTube video to iTunes audio

15 August 2011 3,915 views No Comment

Where are kids getting music these days? In addition to iTunes and Spotify, the former being larger by orders of magnitude, YouTube is the place, the legality of which is probably on par with recording (internet) radio. Here are three ways to get the music you want from Google’s industry-leading video service.

First off, there’s the manual method. Say, for example, you want to download Catch your fall by Clokx, YouTube and Flash offer a backdoor to do that:

1.) Open the video in Safari
2.) From the Window menu click Activity (Command + Option + A)
3.) Then in the window that pops up, look for the YouTube with your video
4.) Therein, look for the line (image above) that ends in “MB”
5.) While holding the Option key, double-click it
6.) When your video finishes downloading, locate it (videoplayback.flv) in the Downloads folder
7.) Open in QuickTime X* and “Save As” (Command + Shift + S) as audio only file

* You’ll need to install Perian.

The disadvantage of this method is that you have to manually add track information — name, artist, etc.

Copy, paste, convert…

MediaHuman’s YouTube to MP3 (free) obviates those issues. To use, download and mount the .dmg file, then drag it to your Applications folder.

Launch YouTube to MP3 and simply paste the URL of the YouTube video you want to download and click Start. The downloading and converting takes just a couple of minutes, and YouTube to MP3 delivers the finished product to a new folder in your Mac’s Music folder called “Downloaded by MediaHuman.”

Just drag the resulting file into iTunes. Though YouTube to MP3 names the file, fastidious users will want to clean up the tags nonetheless.

The better way?

That said, I prefer a method that combines automatic and hands on that comes with other benefits. Marc Hoyois’ ClickToFlash (free) not only strips YouTube et al videos of Flash and presents them in native H.264 format, but also provides a convenient way to download them.

Further, ClickToFlash quashes Flash-based ads, animations, etc. — it’s the only way to surf the web using Safari.

After installing the ClickToFlash Safari Extension, right click (Control + click) on almost any Flash video to get the the pop up like the one shown above. Just click Download Video and it appears in your Downloads folder.

Then all you have to do is open it in QuickTime X*, Save As Audio Only and, when the conversion is finished, drag it into iTunes.

And, there you have it. Three free and simple ways to get the music you like off YouTube and into iTunes.

Which method do you prefer?

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