20 best audio grabbers for MP3 in 2021
Edited by Pat Bitton
May 14, 2021
There are a ton of reasons you might need or want to pull audio from various online and offline sources. Likewise, there are a ton of solutions. MP3s offer the most flexibility and mobility among audio file formats, so in this article, we’re taking a look at the 20 best free browser extensions, online programs, and desktop software for grabbing audio for MP3.
Desktop MP3 grabbers
Using a program on your desktop, you can save streaming video and other internet content directly to your PC. Desktop MP3 grabbers typically offer the best quality and functionality. These programs require an audio grabber download, and some might slow down older computers or those less equipped to handle high-demand programs.
Best for: pulling clean audio from microphone and multiple system sources
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars from 44 reviews
Movavi Screen Recorder can capture both your system audio and your microphone input at the same time. This video and audio grabber can create rich content with simultaneous screen recording and webcam input as well. Save recordings to popular video formats like MP3 for fast and easy sharing to Google and YouTube.
Best for: pulling music and other audio from CDs, vinyl, and cassette tape
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars with 214 reviews
Audiograbber normalizes music, deletes silence from the beginning and ending of tracks, and can encode audio in most popular formats, including MP3 and WAV. This free desktop software can also download and upload disk info from GnuDb, a free database of CD audio, so you can share your tracks and enjoy others.
Best for: playing audio files of various formats
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars with 146 reviews
One of the most notable features of Foobar2000 is its completely customizable user interface. The SDK gives total control over the configuration. At its core, Foobar2000 supports most audio file formats, including MP3, and can transcode supported audio formats. It can also read inside compressed files and rip CDs. Foobar2000 is compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android.
Best for: reading and controlling audio distortions caused by damaged CDs
Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars with 30 reviews
Exact Audio Copy (EAC) reads CDs “almost perfectly.” It provides time positions for any errors that can’t be corrected, enabling the user to control any potential distortion caused by the error. This is perfect for ripping scratched CDs without listening to every extracted track to identify and locate distortions.
Best for: converting CD audio to standard audio file formats with names and titles
Rating: Not available
Microsoft Windows users can download a free software package known as CDex to rip CDs with CD-Text support that allows easy inclusion of album, artist, and track titles. CDex can also automatically identify most CDs and retrieve metadata from supported online databases. Tracks can be directly recorded or ripped with normalization and advanced jitter correction and indication.
Best for: CD ripping and encoding for Linux
Rating: Not available
Asunder is an open-source graphical CD ripping program. Save tracks from an audio CD in various popular formats, using CDDB to name each track and add tags. Asunder also lets you create M3U playlists. Simultaneous ripping and encoding speed up the process. No specific desktop environment is required.
Best for: ripping and burning CDs with high-quality album art and metadata from supported online services
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars with 1215 reviews
EZ CD Audio Converter creates high-quality CDs, MP3s, and other audio files. Users can batch convert an unlimited number of audio files at once in over 60 formats with double-pass error detection, digital silence removal, fade, de-emphasis, normalization, and advanced metadata editing.
Best for: ripping damaged CDs on Mac computers
Rating: Not available
Max is a desktop CD ripper for Mac with a high-speed ripper for pristine discs and other options for damaged discs. A built-in comparison ripper can be used on drives that cache audio. Otherwise, cdparanoia can perform error correction.
Best for: downloading YouTube videos and converting them to popular file formats
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars with 21 reviews
YouTubeGet converts YouTube videos into formats that are compatible with iPods, cell phones, PSPs, and desktops. It costs just under $30 and is unique on this list as the only desktop grabber designed for YouTube. Users can burn downloaded videos onto DVD/CD by saving them as AVI or WMV files.
Best for: extracting audio from video files
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with 296 reviews
This desktop software program extracts the audio from video files on your computer and saves them as MP3, M4A, or OGG files that you can then play within the application or another music player. Queue video files by dragging and dropping one at a time or in large groups. Conversion is fast, and the resulting music files have a bitrate of up to 320Kbps.
Sound grabbers online
Online sound grabbers don’t require any software downloads or external hardware. You can execute the entire process online at your convenience. The flip side is that they need a steady internet connection and tend to slow down computers, especially older models without sufficient system resources. Some of the websites mentioned below host so many ads that it can be difficult to view their content and navigate on some devices.
Best for: compressing and converting video to desired size and quality
This online HD video converter boasts a speed of up to 900 frames per second for conversion to compressed video formats and audio formats like MP3. There’s no limit to the file size you can convert on HDconvert, but the free option does not include higher quality videos with no watermark.
Best for: converting YouTube videos to MP3 audio files
TheYouMp3 is a straightforward online conversion service. You provide the link to the YouTube video you want to convert and receive a link to an MP3 file of the video’s audio “within seconds.” They boast the fastest conversion speeds available for this service and provide QR codes for quick download to mobile devices. There are no limits to the number or size of videos you convert on this platform, and it works for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Best for: converting online videos to MP3 audio files
If the videos you want to convert don’t live on YouTube, you can use MP3Fiber to convert videos from SoundCloud, Dailymotion, Facebook, Vimeo, Metacafe, Instagram, and others. However, it appears conversions have ceased because of a complaint by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Best for: converting YouTube videos to MP3 files with ID3 tags and uploading to iTunes
FLVTO is a free online conversion service where you can paste the URL of a YouTube video and receive a downloadable MP3 audio file. This site offers one-click iTunes uploading, HD quality, and ID3 tag editing to help you identify the tracks in your playlist.
Best for: converting online videos to MP3 and MP4 formats
The free version of Dirpy allows you to convert videos up to 20 minutes in length to single MP4 or MP3 files. The full version allows you to convert videos up to 180 minutes in length with higher quality in various formats. The premium service also enables subtitles and ad removal.
Best for: converting and downloading videos to watch offline
Videos from dozens of websites can be converted and downloaded for offline viewing through TubeOffline’s free online video conversion service. There’s a search function to help you find out if your chosen video host is supported. The website currently has a warning about previous versions causing CPU issues. They advise using the newest version if you’re on an older device.
Best for: converting YouTube videos to MP3 or MP4 formats
This service is specifically for YouTube videos up to 90 minutes in length. They impose this limit to ensure the fast turnaround of MP3 and MP4 files. YtMp3 is an entirely free service. The site is clean and free of obstructing advertising on their Home page. The process to use this online converter is simple. Insert the URL into the text box at the top of the page, choose either MP3 or MP4, and click Convert.
Best for: recording audio from your sound card or microphone
Apowersoft Free Online Audio Recorder is a free online service, but it does require the download and installation of a launcher the first time you use it. After that, you can start the recorder with one click. Set the recorder to pick up streaming, radio stations, in-game audio, voice chats, and more. Your audio files can be MP3, WMA, AAC, or any of several other formats.
Google Chrome extensions to grab audio from websites
Extensions are one of the most convenient ways to grab audio from tabs on your Chrome browser. However, Chrome extensions cannot capture audio from offline videos or files and cannot record sound on Mac devices.
Best for: quickly capturing audio from individual tabs while using Chrome
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars with eight reviews and 4K users
Record audio from your Chrome browser tabs using Audio Capture. You can mute the tab or tabs you’re recording and continue working on the web while recording the muted audio. Because it’s a browser extension, all you must do to start it is click the icon in the upper right corner of your browser window. Keyboard shortcuts make it easy to control the recording process in the selected tab.
Best for: recording video with audio
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 10K reviews and 5M users
Loom is a screen-grabbing tool with high versatility of usage. It can record screen activity, webcam, microphone, and share the result with your team. It can also grab system sound. However, the tool isn’t specialized in sound capturing, so you may have to process the result to get the audio you need.
Comparing audio-grabbing software
|Movavi Screen Recorder||The Movavi sound grabber records system and microphone audio.||Extensive functionality for capturing sound and video.||Might cause slower devices to run more slowly.|
|Audiograbber||Extracts digital audio from CDs, vinyl, and cassettes.||Compatible with GnuDb.||Users must install a third-party search engine.|
|Foobar2000||Extracts digital audio from CDs.||Completely customizable user interface.||Requires more computer knowledge than other MP3 programs.|
|Exact Audio Copy||Extracts digital audio from CDs.||Double-pass error detection.||Not currently compatible with Mac or Linux.|
|CDex||Extracts digital audio from CDs.||Includes CD-Text and metadata from supported online databases.||Unreliable when used with a drive that caches audio.|
|Asunder||Extracts digital audio from CDs.||Enables the creation of MP3 playlists.||Does not support MusicBrainz for tagging.|
|EZ CD Audio Converter||Extracts digital audio from CDs.||Includes double-pass error detection.||Paid service after the free 30-day trial.|
|Max||Extracts digital audio from CDs.||iTunes compatibility for easy addition to the library||Cannot convert WMA or Real Audio files.|
|YouTubeGet||Downloads and converts audio from YouTube URLs.||Enables CD burning from AVI or WMV files.||Paid service at just under $30.|
|4K Video to MP3||Extracts digital audio from video files.||Allows playback within the application.||Users have complained of functionality issues after recent updates.|
|HDconvert||Compresses and converts video||Converts video files at up to 900 frames per second.||The free version does not include high-quality video.|
|TheYouMP3||Downloads and converts audio from YouTube URLs.||Fastest speeds for YouTube video conversion to MP3.||Few conversion formats available.|
|MP3Fiber||Downloads and converts audio from online videos.||Works with a variety of online video hosts.||The website currently states conversions have halted due to an RIAA complaint.|
|FLVTO||Downloads and converts audio from YouTube videos.||One-click uploading to your iTunes playlists.||The number of ads on the page makes it difficult to navigate on some devices.|
|Dirpy||Downloads and converts audio from online videos.||Very simple interface and conversion process.||The free version is limited in video length and quality.|
|TubeOffline||Downloads and converts videos for offline viewing.||Works with dozens of video hosts.||Website warning might indicate some computers have difficulty with this program.|
|YtMP3||Downloads and converts audio from YouTube videos.||Service and all features are completely free.||No additional features to support the enhancement of audio files.|
|Apowersoft Free Online Audio Recorder||Records system and microphone audio.||Can be used to record a variety of system audio sources.||Requires download and install of a launcher.|
|Audio Capture||Records audio from selected Chrome browser tab.||Allows you to record online audio with browser tabs muted.||Cannot grab audio from offline sources.|
|Loom||Records screen with system and microphone audio||Allows for high versatility of usage.||Cannot grab audio without the video.|
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Frequently asked questions
What is the best audio grabber?
The best audio or music grabber depends on your intended purposes, personal preferences, and device capabilities. All the audio grabbers on our list are suitable for converting video, system, or microphone audio to MP3 audio files.
- Movavi Screen Recorder
- Exact Audio Copy
- EZ CD Audio Converter
- 4K Video to MP3
- Apowersoft Free Online Audio Recorder
- Chrome Audio Capture
What is the best program for ripping CD to MP3?
MP3 conversion is a great way to preserve the audio from a largely obsolete format. The following desktop audio grabber programs are capable of ripping CDs for digital storage as MP3s.
- Exact Audio Copy
- EZ CD Audio Converter
Does Audiograbber work with Windows 10?
Yes, it does. Audiograbber is explicitly for Microsoft Windows. It works with Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
How do you use Audiograbber?
As one of the first programs in this sector to become popular, Audiograbber is an intuitive desktop software system. You start by downloading the latest version of the software, which no longer requires an MP3 plugin and has replaced freedb with gnudb. Open the program and insert a CD into your CD drive. You can add titles and names in Settings. Select the tracks you want to grab and start. You can also choose different file formats, display CD-Text info, pull info from online CD databases, normalize audio, or play tracks. During copying, you can set the program to shut down the PC, create an M3U list, play the tracks, or eject the disc when finished. If you have any issues with Audiograbber, or if you’re looking for features geared towards the application of the finished audio rather than the process of ripping, try Movavi Screen Recorder.
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