How to Split Songs From Full Albums on YouTube

Listening to a continuous album on YouTube can be inconvenient.
... Jochen Sand/Photodisc/Getty Images

YouTube hosts millions of music videos, many as continuous albums accompanied by album artwork. While downloading commercial music from companies such as Sony or Universal can be a copyright violation, many albums hosted by YouTube are in the public domain and can be downloaded in MP3 format. Rather than listen to these albums without breaks, use MP3-splitting software to separate them into individual tracks. These programs are designed for splitting continuous albums and can automatically detect the silence between songs.

Download a YouTube video as a full album in MP3 format. Open the video in a browser window and copy the URL, then visit a site such as ListenToYouTube, YouTube Mp3 or VidToMP3 and paste the URL in the text box (links in Resources). Click the “Download” button next to the text box to convert the video to MP3 and save the file to your computer. Each of these sites provides a free service and requires no registration.

Download an MP3 splitter, such as Slice Audio File Splitter, AIV MP3 Cutter or Data Doctor Audio Splitter (links in Resources). Each of these programs is free and performs a similar function, although Slice Audio File Splitter includes many more features than the others, such as detecting silence between tracks and cutting multiple tracks simultaneously.

Launch the software and click “Browse” to locate the album on your computer. If you're using Slice Audio File Splitter, select “Slice Into Individual Tracks” and set the silence threshold to a level low enough to trigger a cutoff when silence is detected. This setting may take some experimenting to get right as between-track silence may be noisy for some albums. If you're using another program, you must drag the starting and ending sliders to the exact locations for each track.

Click the “Split” button to separate individual tracks from the album based on your selection. The files are saved in the same folder as the original album and differentiated by numbers appended to the input file name. This process can take a few seconds to several minutes, depending on your settings and the number of tracks being separated.

  • VidToMP3 supports many websites in addition to YouTube, including Dailymotion, Vimeo and Myspace.

David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.