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How to download music from YouTube

How to download music from YouTube

Streaming services like YouTube offer a lot of convenience, but there may be times when you wish you had access to some of the huge video and music library offline. The solution may not be obvious at first, but it is actually quite simple. In this article, we will recommend two of the best ways to download music and other assets from YouTube. In addition, we will review the legality of storing clips offline, and how they may affect the company’s terms of use.

Downloads via YouTube-DLG

Many programs and websites have come and gone with the intention of allowing users to download files from YouTube. The problem with many of these services, however, is that they are fraught with bloatware, scam ads or just are not reliable. To solve these problems, YouTube-DLG comes in.

DLG is an open source program available for free on Github, and was created as a graphical front-end for a text-based version called YouTube-DL. The great thing about this interface is that nothing gets in the way of you. The user simply enters one or more URLs that they want to download from, selects their choice from a variety of video and audio formats, and lets DLG do its job.

All files will be ripped to a YouTube-specific folder, or to another of your choice. DLG also has the ability to read files from Facebook, Twitter and many other video streaming sources.

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What can you legally download from YouTube?

However, you need to be careful with that kind of force, as some use cases for programs like YouTube-DLG are not strictly legal. You should stick to downloading assets under consideration public domain or fair use. Under United States copyright law, works that have become public property can be downloaded, reproduced, and modified as the user sees fit without penalty. They are really free.

As outlined by Stanford University, there are four common ways that workers enter the public domain:

  • Copyright has expired.
  • The copyright owner was unable to follow the rules for copyright renewal.
  • The copyright owner deliberately places it in the public domain, known as “dedication”.
  • The Copyright Act does not protect this type of work.

A more difficult phase of copyright law is something called fair use. Fair use applies to those who want to use the work of others in a critical, pedagogical or transformative capacity. For example, the use of a short movie clip as part of a movie review may be protected under the fair use clause, but uploading an entire scene without comment can not.

From US Copyright Act Section 107:

… fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use for reproduction in copies or telephone plates or otherwise specified in that section, for purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarships or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

With that in mind, downloading copyrighted music directly into your library for personal use will not be considered legal. YouTube also views third-party downloaders as DLG as a breach of their user agreement, as described in the Terms of Use:

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The following restrictions apply to your use of the Service. You are not allowed to:
1. access, reproduce, download, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, modify, modify or otherwise use any part of the Service or Content other than: (a) as expressly authorized by the Service; or (b) with the prior written permission of YouTube and, if applicable, the respective rights holders;

The company may use content downloads using this method as a reason for account suspension or termination, so be careful.

Downloads via YouTube Premium

Fortunately, we have an even more secure method when it comes to downloading music and videos from YouTube, which is guaranteed not to violate any laws or conditions. In recent years, the company has implemented a feature that allows users to store content directly from the website or mobile app. You can then access it again each time you upload the app, even if you are completely offline.

In the US, this feature is locked behind the paid YouTube premium subscription, but is available for free in some other regions. When the feature is enabled, you can find one download the icon below the videos next to where you usually find sharing and commenting features. The compiled list of songs and videos can then be found and viewed library part of the app.

The only drawback is that works downloaded using this method cannot be moved, copied or modified by the user in any way. They are still considered locked to the YouTube service and can only be accessed via the app. If a saved video is deleted from the YouTube server, it will probably also be deleted from your device the next time you are online. This is considered a necessary function so that no infringement of copyright can be allowed.

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To summarize: A program like YouTube-DLG gives the user the greatest degree of flexibility when it comes to downloading audio and video online. But using it at all quickly falls into a legally murky area.

Downloading directly via the YouTube app is the most worry-free method of storing the contents of your device. However, you will have no say in where these songs and videos can go, or even how long you will have access to them.

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