How to Download Audio Files on Mac

How to Download Audio Files on Mac

Are you wondering how to download audio files from the embedded audio on different websites or even from YouTube? If it is a soundtrack or another popular melody, you can find it on SoundCloud, Bandcamp, or any website that offers downloadable music. Keep in mind that if you use free services for downloading music, you may have legal issues, but as long as you continue using the track personally, there won’t be any problems.

In this article, I’m going to tell you which apps allow downloading music tracks for personal use.

In this example we’ll record or download music from YouTube, still, you can choose any website and do the same. Let’s start with a free option and proceed to paid ones which have free trial versions. You can use them during the trial period - that could be suitable as well.

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How to Record Sound with QuickTime on Mac

The application is standard for every Mac, and we’re used to the idea that it’s a video player, actually, it is more than that. It helps users record their screens, record themselves from web cameras and record audio. Here is a manual on using QuickTime for what we need:

  1. Launch QuickTime app (Cmd+Space and type “QuickTime” to find the software).
  2. Control-click (or right-click) on the icon from the Dock.
  3. Select ‘Record Audio’.
  4. Press the arrow near to the ‘Rec’ button and make sure that Mac’s internal microphone is selected.
  5. Open the webpage that contains the audio of your choice.
  6. Push the ‘Record’ button and play the music.

The quality is going to be high, still, you shouldn’t make any noise as QuickTime records everything that’s happening around. Just leave the music playing and let the app record it.

In case you want to use something else than recording sound, there are options for downloading audio straight from websites (YouTube, SoundCloud, Vimeo, and all other audio-streaming sources). Music can be also grabbed from Podcasts, PowerPoint and other sources. Here is the first software that makes it real, Parallels Toolbox.


How to Get Music with Parallels Toolbox on Mac

This app is a set of tools that make difficult things simple, for instance, getting videos from the Internet, clearing memory, hiding desktop and others. Getting audio from the Internet is one of its functions. It is easy-to-use and friendly for beginners. They offer a 7-day trial while the full version will cost money (annual subscription).

Steps for downloading audio to Mac using Parallels Toolbox:

  1. Install the app.
  2. Launch it using the Toolbox icon in the top menu (near Mac’s clock).
  3. Choose the ‘Download audio’ option. A pop-up should appear.
  4. Open the website page with the music you are going to download and copy-paste or drag-n-drop its URL to the Toolbox window.
  5. After dropping the download process starts automatically. It may take some minutes, and large files can be downloaded even for an hour or more. Everything depends on the quality of the Internet connection.
  6. After the download is finished, find the file in the Downloads folder and play it with iTunes.

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Here is my example which was downloaded in mpeg 4 (m4a) format and has a cover image. As for the quality of this audio, it appeared to be very high.


How to Get Music with Audio Hijack on Mac

An alternative option for getting music from the Internet is the Audio Hijack software. It is a bit more difficult to use, but its benefit is an unlimited trial version that will continue working so you won’t have to obligatory buy the full version. The only difference is that without the full version you won’t be able to get tracks longer than 10 minutes as the quality will sharply fall after 10 minutes.

Steps for downloading audio to Mac using Audio Hijack:

  1. Download the app and launch it.
  2. Select ‘New session’, then ‘New Blank session’.
  3. Click the ‘Application’ button.
  4. Find Safari (or another browser that you will use for grabbing a webpage).
  5. For the next step, you’ll have to install Audio Capture Engine (ACE) to get music from Safari.
  6. Get it and enter your password for installing it if necessary.
  7. Select ‘Recorder’ and drag it to the window.
  8. You now can select the format quality. I’ve chosen ‘High-Quality MP3’.
  9. Go to the ‘Application’ tab and add the URL with the chosen audio.
  10. Click ‘Record’, the page will open. In some cases, you need to start the audio file playing.
  11. The recording process will take some time, so please wait.
  12. Once the process is finished, stop recording audio by clicking on the button.
  13. Go to the ‘Records’ tab.
  14. Play the music inside the app.
  15. As an option, you can add this audio file to iTunes by clicking ‘Action’ and then ‘Add to iTunes’.

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The quality of the file was pretty similar to the quality of music we got with the help of Parallels Toolbox But keep in mind that after your trial period is over, the quality will degrade in files over 10 minutes.