Trying to record YouTube pieces via Audacity

I’m using a PC with Windows 10 and 16GB RAM. Using Audacity several years ago I was able to record a number of LPs to CDs. Now I’m trying to figure out how to record selected classical music pieces on YouTube to CDs.

The main problem is figuring out how to first record the YouTube sound on the PC into an audacity working audio file. I’d appreciate some advice and help with this.

I’ve been studying the following Audacity user guides:

Tutorial - Recording audio playing on the computer
Tutorial - Recording Computer Playback on Windows
Audio Setup Toolbar

The terminology is somewhat confusing.

From Audio Setup Toolbar, I have the following choices:

Host: MME, Windows DirectSound, Windows WASAPI.

MME is selected by default. Is this OK?

Playback Device: Windows Sound Mapper - Output, Speakers (Realtek High Definition), WSUS VP228 [my monitor].

Speakers is the default. Is this OK?

Recording Device: Microsoft Sound Mapper - Input, FrontMic (Realtek High Definition).

FrontMic is the default. Is this OK?

It’s set up to record 2 stereo channels, which I presume is OK.

Besides my questions above, are there any other audio settings I should be concerned with to enable my PC to record a YouTube sound track via Audacity?

Thanks — Nawdry

For a (non-copyrighted) Youtube recording, I would use WASAPI then for Recording Device I would use: Speakers (Realtek High Definition) (loopback). As Audacity will not be playing anything, you can ignore the Playback Device. As Youtube plays through your speakers, Audacity will pick it up through a special loopback channel built into the driver. The “Loopback” device is only available through WASAPI.

On some machines there is a Stereo Mix device which can be accessed via MME. Many times this device disabled so it must be enabled manually.

If you’re trying to record what the computer is playing,
then the recording device you need is the computer speakers, not the microphone.

Jademan, for Recording Device, Speakers (Realtek High Definition) does not seem to be a choice. The only choices offered are:
(1) Microsoft Sound Mapper - Input,
(2) FrontMic (Realtek High Definition)

Recommendation? Thanks — Nawdry

OK. First make sure your Host is WASAPI, not MME. The device you are looking for is the LOOPBACK device. If you don’t have one you cannot use this feature.

So then run [Windows Key]-R, “mmsys.cfg” > Recording tab.
Then right-click in the panel and enable any disabled devices:
If you have Stereo Mix (or something similar) then you can use that.

Otherwise, you will have to look for an external hardware solution, which might include a USB device with line-in and your own cable routing the headphone jack back to LINE-IN. NOT microphone-in which will NOT work.

OK, I changed Host to Windows WASAPI. Then I check Recording Device and I find that Speakers (Realtek …) (loopback) has miraculously appeared. Sounds to me that I’m on the right track here, please correct me if not.

Hope I’m good to go at this point to try to record from a YouTube video. I’ll give it a try …

Thanks — Nawdry

Here is an alternative method that might work for you…
Download and install… 4K Video Downloader get it here… 4K Download | Free and useful applications for PC, macOS and Linux
With 4K you can download any Youtube video…OR it will download only the audio in 128k MP3 format…
Once you have that MP3 file…you can then open it up in Audacity and use whatever effects you want to improve the sound quality…

OR do this…
With 4K download the video…the audio in the video is higher quality that the MP3 you extract from the video…
Once you have the video downloaded…use Switch Sound File Converter and this will extract a WAV file which is higher quality than the MP3 file…
Get Switch here… Convert Audio Files To/From All Audio Formats. PC/Mac Audio Converter

Keep us posted on your results…

Thanks for the tip – I’ll experiment with this.

Quick update …

The combo of 4K Video Downloader + Switch has worked extremely well for me. Took some getting used to at first, but now I’ve successfully made 7 excellent CDs with multiple classical works recorded from YouTube on each. Works like a charm. Immensely grateful to you for pointing me to this solution!


Nawdry…thanks for the response…but I see that I didn’t explain my situation very well…
What you describe I already do…I download songs from Youtube and use them to learn guitar…

I’m in St Louis and my guitar instructor moved to northern Michigan…When we work on Zoom…we cannot play together…he plays than I play…Zoom is not fully duplex…

A year ago or more I ran into a website that evidently solved the latency problem that prevents the 2 guitars from playing together…This website is what I’m looking for…I thought I bookmarked it but if I did I cannot find it…I;ve been googling around but so far have not run into it…
I’m hoping someone knows what I am referring to and can point me in the right direction…\

Thanks for your help…

Seems to me there was something, jamkazam, or something similar a few years ago.

Thank you…~!!!

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