Last Updated on December 17, 2019 by Husain Parvez
There is a way to convert videos from YouTube to M4A format, allowing you to listen to all of the greatest soundtracks and audiobooks offline. Here’s a complete guide on why you would find the need to convert YouTube videos to audio files in the first place, and how you can do it the easy way.
During the early years of the internet when media was a scarce commodity available online, YouTube emerged as a revolutionary content sharing platform. While not being the only video sharing platform when it came out in 2005, YouTube garners the attention of Google, which purchased it just a year later for a whopping $1.65 Billion. From watching funny cat videos to getting the daily dose of news from around the world, YouTube has become the epicenter of entertainment for many users all around the world.
One of the most popular ways that people enjoy YouTube is for the infinite database of music content that is officially made available by artists and studios on the platform. The way YouTube makes money is by throwing adverts out and limiting the use of the app when the screen is turned off. While the video-sharing platform does offer the ability to enjoy music offline and even with the phone’s screen turned on, this requires you to get a paid subscription to YouTube Music, but do you really want to pay a premium for something we can help you get for free?
Why convert videos from YouTube to M4A format audio?
If you’ve been out there looking to fetch the music files from YouTube long enough, you’re probably aware of the fact that there are numerous services for it. However, only a handful of these gives you the ability to convert the YouTube video files into M4A audio format, which is a form of MPEG-4 file. What makes M4A unique is the fact that it is used by Apple to power up music files on Apple iTunes and all the iOS devices.
The advantage of M4A format audio is small file size and lossless sound experience, allowing you to store high-quality music in a smaller size. Hence, if you are looking to play audio files from YouTube on your iPhone or iPod, you will first need to convert the file to M4A. Then comes the process of adding these compatible audio files to Apple iTunes and syncing them to the device of your choice.
The biggest advantage you have by converting any audio file into a MPEG-4 supported audio extension such as M4A is the fact that the file size essentially becomes half of the original one. This comes to you with no compromise in the quality of the audio, thus making it the preferred choice for streaming services since it directly means shorter loading times. Additionally, the smaller file size for music on your modern mobile devices makes extra room for other storage-hungry attributes such as games, mobile apps, video files, images, and documents.
How to convert YouTube videos into M4A audio files
While Android and computer devices are capable of running audio files of all types, Apple chooses to keep the doors firmly shut when it comes to cross-platform compatibility. The fact of the matter is that if you want to play any audio file on your iPhone or iPod through the iTunes client, you will need to ensure that the file format is M4A. Although there are plenty of audio file converters available online, none of the reliable ones offer the ability to directly convert videos from YouTube to M4A audio file.
The good news is that you can still fetch the audio from YouTube videos in the basic MP3 format, and then convert it to M4A file format relatively easy. To make things simpler to follow, we’ve broken down the entire process into three steps:
Step 1: Convert YouTube video to MP3
The first step is to convert the YouTube video into an audio file, and there are plenty of online services to help you do this. For this guide, we’ve picked Peggo, since it is a free, ad-free, and reliable conversion tool that has been around for years now. Apart from YouTube, Peggo also allows you to convert and save files from SoundCloud as well.
- Open YouTube on your computer and browse to the video that you want to convert into an MP3 audio file.
- Right-click on the video and click on the tab that reads “Copy video URL”.
- Now head over to Peggo and paste the URL in the field at the top of the screen.
- The page will automatically load and take you to the preview screen. Here you can use the slider bar to choose the start and stop time of the audio file you wish to convert.
- At the bottom of the screen, you will see the “Download MP3” button, so go ahead and click on it.
The YouTube video will now be converted and downloaded to your computer in the form of an MP3 audio file. Remember, it could take a few minutes for the service to process the video file and begin the conversion, so just wait it out as the download begins.
Step 2: Convert MP3 to M4A
Once you have converted the YouTube video into an MP3 format, it is essentially ready for playback. However, to prepare it for Apple iTunes client and sync it with any of your iOS devices, you first need to convert it to M4A format.
- Open the Convertio website on your computer.
- Press the Choose Files button and using the file browser that pops up, find and select the MP3 file that you just downloaded.
- Using the file browser, find the audio file and then press the Open button, and then press the Convert button.
- The next screen will give you a drop-down menu, along with more than a dozen formats to choose for conversion.
- Select M4A and then continue by pressing the Convert button to begin.
- Once the file is converted, you can press the Download button to fetch the M4A converted audio.
Now that you have successfully converted the video from YouTube to M4A format, all you need to do is add the audio file to iTunes and sync it with your iOS device.
Step 3: Sync music with iTunes
With the audio file in M4A format ready and loaded, all you need to do now is add it to the iTunes music library on your computer and sync it with your iOS device, and here’s how you can do it:
- Launch the iTunes app on your computer.
- Press the File button on the top-left corner of the screen and select Add File to Library In case of several audio files, you can choose Add Folder to Library option.
- Using the file browser, select the M4A file that you’ve converted in the previous step and press the Open
- Now go ahead and connect your iOS device to the computer and wait as iTunes automatically recognizes it.
- On the side menu, click on the Music tab and on the right side of the screen, you can choose to sync the “Entire music library” or “Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres” to proceed.
- Using the “Albums” section on the bottom-right side of the screen, you can choose the M4A audio file that you’ve recently added.
- Press the Apply button and wait while iTunes syncs the audio file to your iOS device.
That’s it! You should now be able to not only find the newly synced audio file in your iDevice’s music library but play it effortlessly.
For decades now, MP3 has been the industry standard in digital audio files, for the reason that it was universally playable across all media devices. However, as the storage requirement for apps, games, and other multimedia files increases, the inception of low-space audio formats such as M4A has been on the rise. Apple has officially adopted M4A and M4R as the preferred choice in audio files, and several others in the music streaming business are following the same path to reduce file size, without making any compromise in the quality of the sound.
In the guide listed above, we’ve explained how you can fetch video files from YouTube, convert them to MP3 format, and then further reduce the file size for iTunes compatible M4A file extension. Since the process does take up a few steps, we recommend that you convert files in bulk, which is a feature allowed by the conversion tool mentioned above. If you have any doubts about how to convert videos from YouTube to M4A file format, be sure to ask away in the comments section right down below.