Why Changing YouTube to 320kbps MP3 is a Waste of Time

Changing Youtube movies to MP3 (or related audio format) is a well-liked option to receive music, and there are many websites particularly for this goal. The issue, nevertheless, is that many individuals in search of “lossless” or “CD-quality” music are misled by what these converters are able to.

For those who aren’t a lot of an audiophile, and also you don’t care about issues like MP3 bitrates, this text isn’t for you – however if you happen to’re somebody who often makes use of web site converters to obtain “320kbps” MP3s from Youtube movies, learn on to search out out why you’re losing your time.

What Audio Bitrate does YouTube Stream In?

For starters, Youtube doesn’t play audio at 320kbps, even on the best video decision. It doesn’t come even near 320kbps. Youtube makes use of two forms of audio codecs – AAC (wrapped in an MP4 container) or Opus in a WebM container.

For AAC, Youtube will play a most audio bitrate of round 126 kbps. For Opus, it may be between 56 kbps and 165 kbps. That is regardless of the audio supply format being uploaded as a result of Youtube will robotically re-encode movies to make use of their format. So even if you happen to add a video with 24/96 lossless audio, Youtube will convert it to 126 kbps AAC in an MP4 container.

Be aware: You can too attempt to manually decide the Bitrate of any audio file your self.

As soon as a video reaches a specific amount of views and turns into “fashionable”, Youtube will robotically re-encode a WebM/Opus model of the video, which could be solely barely greater in high quality (156 vs 126 kbps). There are quite a few methods to check this, however let’s use a free on-line device known as “YouTube Video Data”.


The video we’ll use shall be “[Lossless] Dire Straits – Cash for Nothing 24 Bit Sound 2K Video”. This video was uploaded as an MKV merged with a lossless FLAC file, so it ought to sound wonderful.

Now we’ll run the video URL by means of the video information device, and here’s what we get (be aware the bitrates circled in pink). A variable bitrate stream between 55 to 143 Kbps. We are able to do that once more in VLC, and examine the codec whereas streaming the video.

Audio Supply Issues, however Not A lot

Regardless of its bitrate, that video really sounded actually good. How come?

It had nice supply materials, a lossless format from a grasp studio monitor. In fact, it’ll sound higher than a majority of movies on the market that use horribly compressed MP3s because the audio supply. So even when it isn’t being delivered to you in pure lossless format, it nonetheless sounds higher than the common music video on Youtube. However make no mistake that the unique audio supply is being compressed by YouTube.

Now that we’re conscious YouTube is compressing audio all the way down to 128 – 156 Kbps, you may ask, what’s the purpose of changing YouTube movies to 320 Kbps MP3, like these websites providing “Excessive-quality MP3 rips” from YouTube?

There isn’t.

In reality, by changing a YouTube video to 320 Kbps MP3, you might be in actual fact damaging the audio high quality. The conversion web site will rip the audio from the YouTube in its AAC / MP4 container, then re-convert it to a 320 Kbps MP3. Anytime you change an audio file from one format to a different, it will get compressed over again – and by “upsampling” a 128 Kbps supply to 320 Kbps MP3, you might be in actual fact simply including a bunch of ineffective knowledge to the file which equates to ineffective background noise.

Think about it like this – you’ve gotten some outdated VHS tapes laying round. You copy them to your laptop and burn them to DVD. Do they magically develop into DVD-quality movies? Or, say you’ve gotten a 500×500 picture file, and also you resize it to 5000×5000. Despite the fact that the file dimension will increase, the picture itself turns into blurry, proper?

That’s primarily what occurs whenever you “convert” a YouTube video to a better bitrate. If you wish to convert YouTube movies to audio recordsdata with out hurting the audio high quality, you’re higher off changing to a lossless format, like WAV or FLAC. At the very least that means, the unique YouTube video received’t be compressed throughout re-encoding.

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