RIAA Finally Shuts Down Popular YouTube to MP3 Converter
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YouTube-MP3, the world’s leading YouTube-ripping site has reached a deal with the RIAA and will finally pull the shutter down on its operation. The private settlement ends months of speculation after a major lawsuit was filed by several major record labels in 2016.

YouTube Ripping

Ripping videos straight from YouTube is big, big business. As there is no legal way to download and convert videos from YouTube to MP3, myriad ripping services offer that exact service, for free, to anyone. YouTube-MP3 is one of the most popular sites of all, receiving millions of visitors every day.

RIAA Finally Shuts Down Popular YouTube to MP3 Converter youtube site image
Image Credit: Pixinoo via Shutterstock.com

Of course, if users are converting YouTube videos into audio to listen to elsewhere, they’re depriving music labels of advertising profit. In an attempt to actually directly affect the situation, a coalition of major music labels, including Capitol Records, Warner Bros. Records, and Sony Music, represented by the RIAA, took the site to court — and appear to have won. While there has been no official outcome, according to TorrentFreak, a recent ruling indicates that both parties have reached an agreement.

Part of that agreement is the closure and transfer of the YouTube-MP3 site to one of the record labels, as well as the YouTube-MP3 accepting blame. Furthermore, the ruling will prohibit site owner Philip Matesanz from “knowingly designing, developing, offering, or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as ‘streamripping.'”

While it is certainly the case that the ripping site will close, at the time of writing, the site is accessible. However, any video conversion attempts return the following message:

RIAA Finally Shuts Down Popular YouTube to MP3 Converter youtube mp3 conversion site message

The site is live, but its functionality has been removed.

It’s Illegal

Ripping and converting videos from YouTube is illegal, and certainly breaks the YouTube Terms of Service. You’re probably breaking other copyright laws, too. That isn’t to say I haven’t done it — there is some excellent music on YouTube that simply isn’t available elsewhere.

That said, I am not profiting from advertising at the loss of the music labels. If the site was pulling in millions of visitors daily, that is a significant amount of lost advertising revenue. And while the size of Matesanz’s fine hasn’t been revealed, I’m sure it isn’t light.

Did you use YouTube-MP3? Do you think all converters of this type should be shut down? Or are they providing a vital service YouTube refuses to provide itself? Let us know your thoughts below!

Worawee Meepian via Shutterstock.com

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  1. Noneya
    November 17, 2017 at 3:38 am

    ... I don't understand why this was worth writing an article about. There are so many other websites that you can use to download YouTube videos! Just a simple, "Youtube to MP3" search on Google brings up many other sites that aren't loaded with viruses or popups. You would think that if anything, YouTube would be more concerned about figuring out a way to get around AdBlock and other ad blocker programs that people use to not have to watch the ads.

    Wouldn't preventing the use of ad blockers be a better use of their time? I mean, without ads they don't get paid... right? Or am I just assuming here?

  2. Bob Knobber
    October 2, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    You do realize that you have a link on this page to an article on how to use this same service, which no longer works. Nice and confusing. Thanks.

  3. Amber
    September 15, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I because I don't have enough money to always buy a iTunes card or something I find it stupid to shut it down, so many people used it and buy that more people watched the video because we wanted it we like the songs but it's not worth it if we have to pay for our own entertainment. We shouldn't have to pay for every single thing in life give us back our freedom

    • LOL47857
      October 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      If you don't have enough money to buy an iTunes card, then you have a few options.

      You can get a job, and if you have one, get a second job to support your need for being entertained. You can listen to other streaming sources that don't require payment. There are virtually unlimited streaming radio options.

      If you don't think you should have to pay for your entertainment, then I guess you feel that others should work for free to keep you entertained.

      If you think you shouldn't have to pay for every single thing in life, then you should start working for free for other people and live the same way.

      You think that freedom means that you get to consume other people's products, that they worked hard to create and deliver for free. What you don't get is that you're asking those people to give up their freedom; you want people who produce the music and pay the costs to deliver it to you to be your slave.

      You are a very stupid person. Thanks for making me laugh for free.

  4. mister junior
    September 7, 2017 at 1:23 am

    I needed it so I can watch regular videos. I go to some place with free wifi and download my watch later playlist as mp4 so I dont waste my data or if I dont have data left

  5. Bla
    September 6, 2017 at 1:06 am

    They're literally trying to make us pay money for music. This is bullshit! Ok?!! Some people cant pay for music, some people with money can even find their songs! We need this, I NEED THIS.

    • Gavin Phillips
      September 6, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Wait, what? Of course they're trying to get you to pay for music. After all, some made it. Don't they deserve money? Like, we write things on this website, that you're reading and commenting on, and we're partially paid for by advertising. Don't we deserve to get paid?

    • Kevin Hu
      September 9, 2017 at 1:50 am

      It's not that we need free musics that we turn to YouTube to MP3. Because of this incident, YouTube does not host MP4 files anymore, only MKV files, which means you cannot import to Adobe Premier Pro or Media Encoder. I use Internet Download Manager that allows me to download embedded video easily for video editing. Also, when they shut down YouTube ripping sites, it may be difficult to download gaming sfx and free no copyright musics. The major concern for me as a content creator when YouTube stopped hosting MP4 and the shut down of YT 2 MP3 is that it is harder for me to do my video projects, not pirating musics. Please YT, let us download MP4 and musics, you can simply block paid musics from ripping and screen recording.

  6. BeedleTheBard
    September 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I don't get the point of trying to convert a YouTube video to MP3 format. The audio on YouTube is in AAC format for MP4 videos and in either Vorbis or Opus format in case of WebM. It has already been transcoded from another lossy format (usually MP3 if not uploaded by artist or record labels themselves). So converting it into MP3 is lossy to lossy transcoding once again, which no doubt further deteriorates the quality .

    • Gavin Phillips
      September 6, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      Yes, you're spot on actually. I think some people would rather take the audio hit (a double hit, in this case) rather than track certain rare tracks down. Or, in the case of a talk, or a seminar, etc, the audio quality isn't nearly as important. And the majority of people cannot really tell the difference between audio formats. It takes a fair amount of listening to spot the difference.

  7. Iskiox
    September 5, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Their are dozens of sites similar to this that will pop up on one simple google search; frankly I'm unsure why this is newsworthy or why youtube actually thought filing a lawsuit would make a dent in anything--but hey I guess I'm reading this shit so it's something

    • Gavin Phillips
      September 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Haha, not only reading, but commenting, too!

      I see your point. Like you said, it won't make a real dent in the problem, as other places will profit from their downfall. But it shows they are willing to take action against an individual.

  8. Richard Steven Hack
    September 5, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Try youtube-dl. Command line software. Someone even wrote a GUI for it, but I can't run that since I'm still on openSUSE 42.2, and it requires 42.3 libraries. But it rips MP3 tracks from Youtube videos as well as downloads Youtube videos directly. And scores of other sites videos as well. Open source, constantly maintained. Cross-platform, Linux and Windows.

    • Gavin Phillips
      September 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Hey, thanks for the tip, will give that a look over. Cheers!

  9. Shantel
    September 4, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    I used it because some of the songs i listen to are NO LONGER BUYABLE ANYWHERE! THEIR old MUSIC!!!! I haven't seen some of the songs i listen to on real disks in over 20 years already.

    This is super annoying. Time to go find a new site.

    • Elley
      September 5, 2017 at 1:29 am

      Songs that are unavailable anywhere for purchase, music that is years out of print, lectures and interviews that simply can not be purchased in digital or hard copy, among so many other things on youtube that people want to download and can't without a converter... It's a necessary service.

      • Normande Morencie
        September 21, 2017 at 11:25 am

        I so agree with you, Elley. The music I downloaded were from the 40s to mid-70s for my personal purposes: to listen & enjoy and bring these songs to exercise classes to relive those eras with my participants. Purchasing a CD for one song @ $24 or buying an itune for $1 adds up for an assorted exercise customed -made cd for an hour's worth of music (approx. 18 songs)

    • Gavin Phillips
      September 5, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives.

      • Normande Morencie
        September 21, 2017 at 11:32 am

        Hi Gavin,
        What are these alternative sites, Gavin? I am not "tekky".
        If I downloaded music it was for my personal use. I would place earphones on and get lost in the music - and download only the assorted 40s to mid 70s songs I wanted onto my personal cd.
        Thank you

    • Anon
      September 11, 2017 at 6:32 am

      Yeah, A lot of other sites like using adware with aggressive ads like those fake bluescreen/error ads that make me laugh every time. Use a userscript and download tampermonkey from the google chrome store to manage it.