YouTube is an incredibly powerful site: you can watch some of the most amazing videos produced by people all around the world on it. Recently, it has become a great tool for education too, and thus has become exceptionally resourceful for students across the world.
There is, however, one feature that greatly lacks in YouTube: a means of downloading videos to your computer’s hard drive to watch later whilst not having to connect to the Internet. If you visit the site (www.youtube.com), no matter how hard you look, you will not find any means for doing this.
That’s because video on YouTube isn’t really meant to be downloaded, unless you employ the help of a few third-party resources which also just happen to be free, and in this blog post I’m going to show you how to do just that.
The methods below are for users of PCs and Macs; since I don’t use Linux, I don’t know of a method for that operating system unfortunately. However, if you happen to use Linux and know of any method, please feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section ;)
Method for PC Users:
Downloading video from YouTube onto a PC requires one easy-to-use program, aptly named YouTube Downloader. Once you’ve downloaded this app, follow the steps below to get the video onto your hard drive:
1. Go to www.youtube.com, and open the video you want to download (either by searching in the top-right search box, or choosing one of the videos on the home page).
2. You don’t have to wait for the entire video to load (this will just waste your bandwidth!) So just copy the address of the page (from your browser’s Address Bar) or copy the text inside the text box labelled “Embed Video” (it’s situated on the right of the video, just underneath the publisher’s description).
3. Open YouTube Downloader, and paste the code into the URL text box. Then, click “Download”, and wait while the video gets downloaded.
4. Once the video is downloaded, you’ll notice that you can’t play it on your computer: the file format (.flv) isn’t recognised by Windows. So, you’ll need to convert it. This can be done using YouTube Downloader. Open the app, and select the option for converting video. Then, open your downloaded video file, and choose a conversion template (you have the option for converting the video into iPod, iPhone, PSP… etc. formats).
5. Once the video has finished converting, you can play it on your PC, and even send it to your iPod or iPhone using the correct software (i.e. iTunes).
Method for Mac Users:
Getting video onto your Mac is very similar to the PC method. But instead of YouTube Downloader, you'll need a neat little app called TubeTV. Once you've downloaded and installed the app, open it and follow the prompts on-screen.
So there you have it! The simple way to download video off YouTube to your desktop. And with the conversion software, you can take it with you wherever you go.
If you’ve got another method of downloading video off YouTube, please drop a line in the comments! Thanks, and hope this helps.