Downloading videos

Sites like YouTube don’t have an easy download option. But a lot of software and sites have come out to help download You Tube videos as well as video from other, similar sites. This guide to downloading YouTube is a survey of the techniques and methods in current use, although this is not an endorsement or recommendation of any of them. There’s also a compilation of various guides, including how-to videos.

A while back, CNET reviewed some of this software.

Web-based downloaders

With these, you enter the address of a video, and you’ll be brought to a new page where you can save and even sometimes convert it. (warning on all the ads and popups)

Here’s another one… and even Techcrunch had a clean-looking YouTube downloader, but it’s been apparently disabled by YT itself. is an online FLV convertor. Enter the URL and go. Converts to Divx+mp3, MPEG4, and audio only (mp3).

Stand-alone software

These are programs that you run on your computer (outside of a web browser) to download videos.

YouTube Downloader apparently works for Windows.

For Linux (and other unices, not doubt) there’s clive, which is billed as a “video extraction utility for YouTube” and other online video sites.
[homepage] [png screenshot] [debian package]

Peteris Krumins also has a few interesting methods, including one way to download online videos using GAWK and a Perl one-liner. Nice!

Video download tutorials and guides

There’s more info on this topic out there, from discussions to articles like
Chris Pirillo’s “How to Download You Tube Videos.”

Finally, you can watch videos to tell you how. Instructables has a video tutorial, and you can see many more out there including some on the youtubes themselves: 1, 2, 34.

For further reference

Need more? Here’s hundreds.

First published on March 6th, 2009 at 3:11 pm (EST) and last modified on March 7th, 2009 at 3:09 pm (EST).