If you’ve walked on this planet for a while, then you know how much the passage of time and the evolution of technology has annoyed our sensibilities – and our wallets – as the necessity to obtain upgraded versions of our favorite songs keeps painfully hitting us over the head. I know for a fact that I’ve paid four times for my beloved Thriller album – first record, then cassette, then CD, and then mp3. And no doubt there are those of you who are from the 8-track generation who have paid five times for the privilege of listening to your Led Zepplin.
I became so sick of having to pay for the same product over and over again, that I found a way to get my music for free. And it’s NOT illegal, either.
We all know what happened to Napster, Audiogalaxy, Kazaa, Limewire, and any number of the file sharing programs that were out there back in the late 90s/early 2000s, that made it possible for us not necessarily to have to buy CDs and eventually mp3s. I admit, I did my share of downloading songs and converting to .wav files so I could burn them to a CD. But I still have a giant stack of CDs on my shelves to prove I paid for <most> of them. 😉 Downloading on dial-up was quite a challenge, and much of the time I wondered if it was even worth the twenty hours it took to procure Seven and the Ragged Tiger, when I could just pay the $15 again and get it over with. But I was stubborn. I was standing on principle!
These days, I have reached my limit. I won’t pay for these things again. And, sometimes I won’t even pay for them once. I also admit, I’m not much of the music nut I was back in my younger days, and I might get a new song once every three months or so, so I’m hardly abusing a process. But I do still go out and get old songs I think of that I knew I had an age ago, but have long since been forgotten or given to Goodwill. Michael Bolton comes to mind.
All right, all right, enough lead in. How do I do it?
It’s simple really. In my travels as a website developer, I often get asked to do odd technological things. And, when a request comes in that I don’t readily know how to solve, I have to do research. Somewhere along the way, I came across this rather wonderful site: http://www.clipconverter.cc/. I’m sure I originally came across it when I wanted to convert some kind of video file from one format to another (I have to do that a lot), and no doubt this site is how I solved that particular issue. But… I found another use for it. 😉
I am not going to go into everything this site can do, because quite honestly, I don’t know all that it can do. And, this post is just about getting mp3s of your favorite songs. So, that is what I will focus on. If you want to research more, that’s your call.
The first thing you need to do, is go to YouTube and find your favorite song. It doesn’t matter what is on the video, because we’re not interested in that. So if you end up with your song fronting a video that scrolls through the lyrics or a static picture of the album cover, who cares. All we care about is how it sounds. And as long as it’s on YouTube, as far as I’m concerned, it’s free for all. Let’s take a Joni Mitchell song:
Next, take that link and put it in the line on the clipconverter site called Video URL to Download:
Then, click “Continue”. This will take you here:
The image you see on the right is the image from YouTube, so you’ll know you’re doing okay. Next, you click on MP3 to get the right format (so you only convert audio). Leave all the other options at their defaults, and then click “Start”. Make sure you read the terms of service!
It takes about a nanosecond for the file to be converted. When it’s done, assuming you don’t have any problems, you should end up here:
Here is where you click “Download” and save the beautiful new mp3 to your computer and go on your merry way with it.
And that’s IT. Takes about one minute. That is, unless you have some weird problems, which I’ve never had. If you do have weird problems, you’re on your own. I’m not running a support line here, folks.
Good luck! And happy listening!