Science music playlist

For your entertainment, I have created a short YouTube playlist of some science-y songs. It includes some songs about science, and some science-themed parody covers.  Perfect for playing in the lab! I included this video of Uri Alon singing about peer review, which I recorded at the Horizons conference career fair a few weeks ago. Alon is a group leader at the Weizman institute who regularly speaks  – and sings – about the culture of science. I’ve been a fan of his songs and commentaries for years, so I obviously took a front row seat at his keynote talk.

As far as I can tell, this song is not available anywhere outside of some YouTube videos, but some of the songs on the science playlist are available to purchase online, and if you like them you should buy them (preferably directly from the artists – info at the bottom of the post), but if you want to just try them out the YouTube playlist is a start.

The problem with YouTube, though, is that you have to play it from YouTube, and that’s not always practical. Sometimes it’s really just the sound you need, and not all those videos.

There are ways to convert YouTube to mp3 music, which you can then play from your favourite audio player (or phone, let’s be realistic) on the go. To get this playlist working on my iPhone, I used the free mp3 converter Flvto to extract the music as mp3.

It’s quite simple to use: Grab the url of a video, paste it in the box on the site, and click “convert”. There is no registration required, so that’s really all there is to it. I tried it on the video posted above.

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Step 1

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Step 2 (and that’s it. After this you just select where you want to save the audio: direct download, save to Dropbox, or email.)

I’ve tried it on a few of my videos using this method, and it works really fast.  Flvto also has a desktop converter, where you can convert several tracks at once, but for my YouTube converter needs the website worked well enough. There are also add-ons for Firefox, IS, and Safari (Chrome is still to come), but again, I was happy with just the web interface. Although I only used it for YouTube, it should also work for videos that are on other sites.

Is it legal or ethical?

An obvious question, and I looked into some of the issues before making my playlist. Extracting the audio of a video is in itself legal in many jurisdictions, and so is listening to it by yourself. Flvto has some information about this on their website as well. There are many perfectly ethical reasons for grabbing the audio track from a video, Think of remixes, mashups, collabs, and short reviews.

However, if you just want music to listen to, the artists would prefer if you paid for the music where possible, even if they uploaded the YouTube video themselves. The music I have included in this playlist is not always available for purchase anywhere, but where there is, I have listed the relevant links below, and I’ve also bought a few of the tracks after first listening to free samples myself.

The playlist tracks:


This post is promoted content, but all opinions, song selections, and suggested links to purchase are mine.