Looking for the perfect playlist downloader for your recording project? We dissect the top 5 tools on offer and see which is best.
A playlist downloader allows you to own a copy of the music that you stream. It’s a website or software program that allows you to directly download the audio track from a source, converting it into a file that can be saved on your machine, and listened to at a later date.
It typically uses a file format such as MP3 or MP4. People use these programs for a variety of purposes. For example, downloading podcasts from YouTube, recording the audio – and in some cases, video – from a video game stream, and many more.
Spotify is one of the most popular music-on-demand streaming services, available for both desktop computers and mobile devices. However, there are some limitations around the models of subscription available.
While the premium version is advert-free and allows a much higher sound quality, it does cost you a monthly fee to use. The popular free version is packed with adverts and doesn’t allow high definition audio quality. What’s more, both versions need internet access to work, unless you can download your playlist.
For these reasons, some people to choose to download Spotify playlists using programs such as those we’re going to discuss.
Below, we’re going to look at the best 5 audio downloaders and converters available to use.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Using a Converter?
The main drawback to using an audio downloader to record and save music is that doing so is illegal in many countries if you’re using the software to download copyrighted music. This is the same general concept that applies to downloading the original song tracks from a peer-to-peer file-sharing website.
That said, although this practice is seen as being illegal, the actual download, installation and use of software like those we’ve listed above is not always illegal, unless using one that is specifically designed to target music tracks only.
The 5 Best Spotify Playlist Downloaders
Below, in no particular order, we’ve listed the 5 best playlist audio recorders and downloaders available right now. These tools are for saving your playlists or other audio tracks as downloadable files that you can retain for future listening on all of your devices.
We’ve included the pros and cons for each so you get a good overall picture.
Spotify VK Downloader
VK.com is a social network that emulates the look and feel of Facebook, and is commonly referred to as the ‘Facebook of Russia.’ However, it has a bunch of other functionalities that are not shared by Facebook, such as the ability to play music.
Spotify VK Downloader, otherwise now known as Spotiload, isn’t a separate application that you download to your computer or phone. Rather, it’s an extension to the popular Chrome internet browser, which uses the vk.com website to download tracks from your Spotify playlist, before saving them as an MP3 file.
To get the application extension installed on your computer, start by going to the Chrome Web Store and searching for the ‘Spotiload’ extension plugin. Next, simply click on the ‘Add to Chrome’ option and follow the on-screen prompts as required.
Once it’s installed, you’ll need to create your own Vk.com account. Simply navigate to the vk.com website and follow through with the account creation process, before returning to Spotify to browse and download your chosen playlists. The extension that you downloaded will have added a toolbar to your browser, which will let you choose the tracks you want to access.
The main drawback of this service is of course that you’ll have to create a VK.com profile, even if you had no intention of using the service again in future. What’s more, there can be some degradation of audio quality, though this isn’t always evident in every single saved track.
- Straightforward to install
- Doesn’t cost you anything to use
- Illegal to use in some countries
- Requires you to create a Vk.com account
- There can be some loss of audio quality
TunesKit Spotify Music Converter
TunesKit Spotify Converter literally converts tracks from Spotify into an MP3 file to be listened to on a range of devices. It requires the Spotify application to be downloaded onto the computer to be used, which can either be a Mac or Windows machine. On first launch, an intuitive GUI (Graphic User Interface) makes it straightforward to start converting tracks immediately.
To kick the process off, it’s as simple as selecting a music track or whole playlist to be converted, then dragging it over to the TunesKit Converter. Alternatively, you can achieve the same result by copy-pasting the song URL into the program’s search box. Songs will then be loaded in and displayed on the GUI, along with key information like the song title, duration and album information or art.
Once this step has been completed, you have a number of options available via the menu bar ‘Preferences’ section. In here, you can choose to convert to an MP3 file or otherwise, while fine tuning the bit rate, sample rate and other settings. This is an awesome option that gives you complete control over the audio quality of the converted file. You also have options to determine how the end result is displayed, such as keeping the songs in order of artist, alphabetically.
When you’re ready to kick things off, hit the ‘Convert’ button to transform those selected tracks or playlists into the file format that you specified in the settings menu prior to this step. Bear in mind that even if you’ve selected a playlist, the songs are converted one track at a time.
The main drawback of this service is that once the free trial expires, the full version costs $9.95 (as of May 24th, 2018). Now in our opinion, the fact that the interface is so good and that you have control over the audio quality makes this a price worth paying. Ten bucks to preserve the audio quality is a bargain really.
Another minor drawback is that once you’ve started converting a track or a bunch of tracks, you can’t cancel the process until it has completed. This means that if you’ve made a mistake in what you have chosen to download, you will just have to bear it until the download has completed and you can start over. You’ll also have to have the Spotify client installed onto your PC/Mac.
- Removes DRM from Spotify tracks
- Converts to a range of formats
- Works on both Windows and Mac machines
- Numerous customization options
- Gives you control over audio quality
- Requires download of Spotify client
- Not free
- Conversion process can’t be stopped once started
Check it out here.
Mp3fy.com Spotify Downloader
Mp3fy.com is an online music downloading website that links to a wide array of over 1,000 streaming websites. In addition to Spotify, this list also includes YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Vine and more. Once connected, it can download and convert entire playlists to MP3 files in a matter of seconds.
The general usability of the website is good, and one of the most beneficial points is that you don’t have to download any software onto your machine to use it, unlike some other software programs that require installation. The success of finding the track you’re looking for is typically very high, and download rates are strong, provided that your internet connection is reliable.
The main drawback to this website is that it is much more limited in the type of track that you can convert to. Only MP3 file formats are supported, whereas many competing services support up to 10 different file formats, meaning this website is already at a significant disadvantage in this area. Still, it makes our list owing to the fact that it does not require a software installation onto your machine, which is a major selling point.
- Doesn’t charge
- Doesn’t require a software installation
- Supports download of video as well as audio
- Only supports MP3 files
- Can suffer from loss of audio quality on download
TunesKit Audio Capture
TunesKit Audio Capture is one of the newer Spotify downloader software programs available, designed to help record any and all sounds played through your PC with a single click. The program supports a range of media programs, including iTunes, VLC, and Windows Media Player, whilst also supporting a wide range of online web players. It can download audio without any loss of quality, whilst permitting users to edit the recorded sample file.
All audio tracks recorded via the TunesKit Audio Capture tool can be saved in multiple formats that include MP3, WAV, AAC, M4B, FLAC and M4A. Downloaded tracks also retain their original quality, with ID3 tags intact, and recordings can be split and merged as needed, which is ideal for removing track breaks. What’s more, the software can record multiple tracks at once, meaning you could be recording more than one Spotify track simultaneously from both the downloadable software client and the web-based player.
The main drawback for this service is that it requires you install the Spotify application onto your machine, since it won’t allow recording directly through the online web version of the music service. What’s more, you will also have to pay a fee to use this application, unlike some of the alternatives above that offer free versions, or at least free trials.
This is the most expensive tool on our list but it’s also the most powerful. If you want complete control over your digital audio then a feature packed program like this is a must.
- Can convert tracks into multiple formats
- ID3 tags kept intact and no loss of quality
- Easy to understand user interface
- Compatible with multiple streaming services and audio inputs
- Charges for use
- Requires Spotify to be installed on computer
- Doesn’t allow recording via web player
KeepVid Music is a free-of-charge Spotify music downloader that lets you manually download the music from any website, including YouTube, Vevo, DailyMotion and so on. The library of websites that the software claims to be able to source from is around 10,000 or more.
The GUI is simple and straightforward, with an easy to understand interface that doesn’t have a distracting array of features or elements. There are four main tabs to concern yourself with: ‘Get Music,’ ‘Music Library,’ ‘Device’ and ‘Toolbox.’ These are self-evident, with the first being your gateway to downloading music, and the second being your list of previously downloaded tracks.
One of the best things about KeepVid Music is its ability to download a whole batch of tracks in just one click, while retaining information such as the ID3 tags. The software is also capable of removing any adverts or track breaks from recordings.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the disadvantages of this tool in order to be completely objective. Firstly, the free version of the service is loaded with adverts. Although the user interface is simple and not cluttered, the ads detract from this design somewhat. You can get rid of these adverts by upgrading to and using the premium version, but this comes at a cost.
- Vast range of source websites for music
- Can remove adverts from tracks
- Single-click downloads for large batches of files
- Free version contains numerous adverts
- Pro version of the tool isn’t free of charge
Which Service is Best?
It’s hard to say specifically which service you should use, as they all have their own pros and cons, so it really depends what you’re looking for.
However, with regards to features and audio quality, the Tuneskit Audio Capture and Tuneskit Spotify Music Converter are definitely the most powerful. These just happen to be the only two that aren’t free too.
Consider whether you want something that has to be installed on your PC, or whether you’d prefer to use a website that requires no installation. Also, look at the specific services offered by each program; some are capable of downloading multiple tracks at once, while others support a wider array of file formats than their competitors.
If you don’t require high fidelity audio then the Mp3fy.com online tool is pretty amazing. I used this a lot when I was a teacher and needed short clips of music for presentations and activities. It’s very easy to use and completely portable.
It’s all about balancing these advantages and disadvantages to choose the service that’s best for you.
Let us know what you think down below. If you know something we don’t and there’s a solid program that we’ve missed then please let us know.
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