May 24, 2010

How to Download Youtube Videos

Have you ever watched an awesome video and wished that you could watch it offline or watch it on your iPod or PSP? Saving the videos onto your hard disk for offline viewing can be great especially if you are using a slow connection (like dial-up) or when you want to convert it so you can watch it later on your portable devices. However, many users of YouTube are frustrated because YouTube does not offer any way to download your video.

Well, here are some ways to download your favorite video:

METHOD 1: Get it from your cache.

This method is not for the faint of heart (or novice computer users). It involves digging your browser's cache for the video file. Once you have fully loaded the video in your browser, go to the cache folder of your browser and browse for the video file. Unfortunately, browsers do not save it in cryptic names and sometimes, removes the file extension. However, by cleverly analyzing the size and date modified (by sorting the files by size or by date modified) of the files, you can find which one of those is your video. Simply copy your suspected file out of there and put FLV as the file extension (I'll discuss how to use that file later on). If that's not the video, try another file from the cache.

TIP: The cache folder of your browser is where the "downloaded" files of your browser goes. Examples of these are images from a webpage, a flash advertisement, or anything else. By understanding how cache works, you can actually retrieve your recently loaded flash game or video from other sites and play it offline! However, depending on your browser settings, the cache might have a size limit and will automatically delete the oldest entry. Other setting might involve disabling the cache completely but result in extreme reduce in web page performance.

METHOD 2: Use a Firefox Add-on

Firefox add-on provides an easy way to download YouTube videos by taking care of geeky stuff and sometimes, automatically download and convert the video for you for just a click of a mouse. Browse the wide selection of Firefox add-ons in

NOTE: Most of the add-ons won’t work anymore with the new YouTube layout. I have troubles downloading some videos using DownloadHelper add-on but maybe it’s just me.

METHOD 3: Use Any Video Converter (or any software that can help you download YouTube videos)

Any Video Converter can download YouTube videos successfully. You can also convert the resulting file to many popular video formats such as avi, wmv, mpg, or mp4 (not h264). The only downside is it downloads videos in a medium-low quality. But I’ve been using it and never encountered any problems with it.

METHOD 4: Use websites that can download YouTube videos

Try googling the search query “download youtube videos” and it should come up with some sites that can help you out. I recommend Keepvid as it allows you to select the file format and quality of your video download.

To play the video, it must have an FLV file extension. You have two ways of playing that file:

* Download an FLV player.

You can try searching for a free FLV player. I myself do not use this step as it requires me to install another piece of software. Though, this might be a quick solution for playing your video.

Download a codec pack (I recommend K-Lite Codec Pack)

For advanced users, codec pack can also contain other codecs you never know you need (like the 3gp codec). Once you have installed the codec pack (assuming it has the necessary codec), you can use most media player (like Windows Media Player or Media Player Classic) to play your video. Plus, you can now open any FLV file by just double-clicking its icon.

Convert it to another file format (like AVI, MPG, or WMV)

You can convert it to a format your computer or portable can recognize. You can use the afforementioned Any Video Converter for this task.

If you've found any problems or have a suggestion, leave it on the comment section