Unable to record from Youtube

I actually had this working a couple days ago, but now, nothing is working. I’ve updated the drivers and followed the steps in the FAQ, but still…nothing. Running Win 7 x64 and Audacity 2.1.2. I have Overdub and Software Playthrough both turned off and when I choose either of the two Stereo Mix options in the drop-down menu, I get nothing on the monitors. When I hit record on VIA High Definition Audio, it records, but it’s not getting anything. When I hit record for the USB device (my headset), I get a popup that there was an error opening the device. Help?

Stereo Mix can only record from the built-in sound device, not the USB headset. To record from the USB headset, use Windows WASAPI loopback. See http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tutorial_recording_computer_playback_on_windows.html#wasapi.

As always, we assume you have copyright holders’ permission to record.


I’d read that somewhere and tried, but that still was coming up blank. I was actually able to get it to record by pointing the microphone to my headset speakers. But now, it’s not picking anything up on the microphone itself when I change it to MME/Microphone. In fact, when I hit record, it opens a new audio track, but nothing else happens…the vertical line doesn’t even move.

If you are referring to WASAPI loopback there, you have to start playing the song before pressing Record in Audacity.

And you have to set up Audacity correctly:

  • In the first (Host) box of Device Toolbar, choose “Windows WASAPI”.
  • In the second (Recording Device) box, choose the (loopback) input for the device you are using for playback. So in your case, chose “USB headset (or whatever the device is called) (loopback)” in this step. If it does not say “(loopback)” you have chosen the wrong device.
  • In the third (Recording Channels) box, choose mono or stereo.
  • In the fourth (Playback Device) box, choose the Speakers or Headphones that you are using for listening. So in your case, choose “USB headset” (or whatever the device is called).

Also ensure Transport > Sound Activated Recording is off (no tick or checkmark).


If you only want to save YouTube audio to your hard disk, try going to SaveFrom.net, and paste the YouTube URL. You should be able to download the whole file or the built-in audio.