A chat with NotMP3’s Mike Tomson: The story behind one of the best YouTube to MP4 converters

Arif Bacchus

Recently, I reviewed NotMP3, and I proclaimed it as one of the best ways to download YouTube videos on Windows 10. I mentioned the simplicity and the design of the app as reasons why use it so much in my production of the OnPodcast. However, I also had the chance to chat with the person behind the app, Mike Tomson.

In a series of emails, we talked about the inspiration for this app, what makes it so different from the many others in the market, and what makes his app so great. Here’s his story.

What was the inspiration for NotMP3?

Not Mp3

One of the first questions I had for Mike was about the inspiration for the app. I was curious, in a crowded market of conversion apps and services, why and how NotMP3 wanted to breakthrough. I also questioned him about the legality of downloading from YouTube — knowing that copyright violations are often a thing in the online world. In the words of Tomson.

“The high-profile dispute over the legality of downloading from YouTube, that was erupted in 2017, engaged us to find a new legal way to extract MP3 audio from YouTube. Thus, we created our first program – Free MP3 Recorder for YouTube which is the implementation of a new stream-recording approach to saving YouTube audio.”

On copyright issues, Tomson says NotMP3 spent a lot of time in meetings with lawyers. They examined YouTube’s Terms of Service in detail and came up with two different approaches. This is the key to the way their products are implemented. He tells me:

“All our products were implemented according to 2 different approaches: stream recording and stream-ripping methods. The first one is absolutely legal because the stream recording software does not download any content. Our recorders for YouTube and SoundCloud let us play audio tracks in real-time and record audio straight from the sound card of a computer. The second method is legal for personal use. If users download videos exclusively for personal and private use they are unlikely to face responsibility for their actions.”

He also went on to mention how NotMP3 expanded its reach. Over time, the service became quite popular, and he tells me that NotMP3 listened to users’ requests for the expansion of the NotMP3 toolset. “Later, at the requests of our users, we extended the list of our free tools by adding Free MP3 Recorder for SoundCloud, Free Video Downloader for YouTube, Free YouTube to MP3 Converter, Free Music Downloader for SoundCloud,” said Tomson.

What was it like developing this app? Was it an easy task?


App development isn’t an easy task, which is something I learned a lot about when I spoke to Windows app developer Joe Finney in episode 16 of the OnPodcast. There are a lot of challenges involved With that in mind, I wondered how Tomson developed the app. He tells me it’s all about user feedback and what the user wants and needs.

“It is not a secret, that the way from a creative idea to a viable product is never short and easy. Our case was no exception. But the most important thing is to live up the user`s expectations. We hope that we have succeeded. Besides, we remain open to the users’ requests and keep on implementing new features and developing new programs.”

Tomson pointed me back to his app and promised that new tools could be coming soon. It’s something that NotMP3 promises on its website —free updates and staying up to date. “Stay tuned for new free straightforward tools,” he told me.

Are you planning a Microsoft Store version of the app?

Microsoft Store Windows 10

With OnMSFT being a Microsoft-centric publication, another question I had for Tomson had to deal with a Microsoft Store version of the app. With there being 1 billion Windows devices in the world, it seemed to me like a store version of the app would be a no-brainer, but Tomson told me it wasn’t quite easy dealing with the Microsoft Store.

“Quite frankly, we already tried to submit our app to the Microsoft Store, but it was refused. Then we decided to ensure the development of our own site, and therefore, we don`t plan to make a new attempt to add our program to the Microsoft Store.”

This surprised me, as there is indeed a YouTube converter in the Microsoft Store already, but it is a hit-and-miss experience where sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. As a Win32 application, NotMP3 always works, and it never fails out and refuses to download videos. That’s what makes it so great. Tomson even pointed back to me the many reasons why I already love NotMP3. There are no ads or bundled software, there’s a simple user interface, fast downloading, unlimited downloads, batch downloading, support for 4K videos, and more.

What makes NotMP3 so different?

Not Mp3 Info

The final question I had for Mike had to relate about what makes NotMP3 so great and different from all the other converters on the web. I already touched on no ads, limits, and the fact there are no restrictions, but there’s still a bit more. Tomson mentioned that NotMP3 programs are always available and work 99% of the time, with the 1% only being when YouTube makes changes and the software needs to be adjusted.

“NotMP3 software is faster at converting and downloading than browser-based tools. In addition, it doesn’t require any registration with an email address, and therefore there is no risk to receive spam,” he told me.

Are you a developer? Email us, we’d love to chat!

If you’re a Windows app developer, we’d love to chat with you, just like how we spoke to Mike Tomson and previously, Joe Finney. Have a new Windows app? Just getting into development? We’d love to chat and have you join us on the OnPodcast. Send us an email at [email protected]. And remember to watch us every Sunday at 9 AM PT/12 PM ET on YouTube!