Here are a couple of ways you can download YouTube videos to your PC or laptop, and also some information about whether or not the practice is legal.
Before we reveal how to download YouTube videos, we feel duty-bound to discuss the legal and moral issues of downloading content from YouTube.
Downloading YouTube videos: Terms & Conditions
The first thing you need to consider when downloading a video from YouTube is that if you do so, you're immediately breaking YouTube’s terms and conditions. “Big deal” you may think, and to be brutally honest, you’re probably right in thinking so. If Google (which owns YouTube) was to track down a particular user who downloaded a video from its servers, and then went on to suspend that person’s account, it would take only minutes for a new account to be set up and the process to begin again. Naturally, Google discourages such actions, but at the same time it doesn't make its content that difficult to download.
Downloading YouTube videos: Copyright laws
The main thing you need to consider here is that copyright laws apply to YouTube in the same way they do if you were to smuggle a video camera into a cinema to record Hollywood’s latest blockbuster.
Therefore if you're downloading something that you know, or suspect, to be copyrighted material – such as a music video or a TV show, or even if you simply see the copyright (©) symbol in the description of the video - then you're breaking the law.
The water becomes muddied a little when you already own a copy of what you're downloading. For example, if you've bought the latest Lady Gaga single and part of the CD or download file was her latest music video, it could be argued that what you are doing is simply backing up content that you've already paid for. People have been making personal copies of media for years through Apple’s iTunes software – transferring music from CDs to iPods – and neither record labels nor law agencies have made a significant effort to stop the practice.
Downloading YouTube videos: non-commercial content
On the other hand, if it’s simply a video from your cousin’s birthday party you want to download, and YouTube is the quickest and easiest way to get your hands on the file, then common sense would suggest that you're probably safe from being persecuted by Google’s terms & conditions and the fat cats at major media corporations for doing so.
How to download videos from YouTube
One of the easiest methods to download videos from YouTube has been around almost as long as YouTube itself. KeepVid is a website that provides multiple download links to YouTube videos; to use this website you'll need an up-to-date version of Java installed on your computer.
How to download videos from YouTube using KeepVid: step one
Search for the YouTube video you wish to download and once you have located it, copy the full URL.
How to download videos from YouTube using KeepVid: step two
Go to KeepVid.com and paste the URL into the provided field. Next you simply need to click on the download button located to the right of the URL box.
Note: other on-page download buttons will be links to sponsored third-party software, which you probably don't want on your computer. Alternatively, you can financially support the site by donating via links found at the bottom of the page.
How to download videos from YouTube using KeepVid: step three
The third and final step is to choose in which format you'd like to download the video, plus the quality. Once you've made your choice simply click on the link clearly provided and your download will begin automatically.
If you're a Firefox user and want to regularly download YouTube videos then installing the DownloadHelper add-on
might be a good option for you as it sits in the toolbar and works on a wide range of other popular websites too.
How to download YouTube videos to an Android smartphone or tablet
Downloading a YouTube video to an Android device is a little trickier than it is on a PC, as mobile web browsers aren’t as sophisticated as their desktop counterparts. Specifically it’s the lack of support for Java means that the popular YouTube video downloading website KeepVid (as mentioned above) will not work on a mobile device.
The workaround for this is to download an app that does the job for you. TubeMate is the best in its class - in our opinion - however it is not currently available via Google Play.
The fact that this app is not available on Google Play is hardly surprising, as Google owns YouTube and therefore makes money by serving adverts to Android devices in the form of YouTube prerolls. Allowing users to download YouTube content via an app on the Play app store would remove this revenue stream for Google.
That said, you can still install the TubeMate app on your Android device, but will have to do so from a third party website and, thus at your own risk. Here’s how you do it.
Download YouTube videos on Android: step one
On your Android device, go to Settings > Security > then scroll down to Device Management and check the box Unknown Sources.
Note: by checking this box you are allowing the installation of non-verified apps, which greatly increases the risk of harmful software infecting your Android device.
Download YouTube videos on Android: step two
Next you need to go to your browser, and enter the following url: www.androidfreeware.net/download-youtube-tubemate.html
Click on the blue “Install App” button, and you will be displayed with a yellow warning message, press “OK” to continue.
Download YouTube videos on Android: step three
To open and install the app, go to Settings > Storage > Downloads. The .api you have just downloaded will be at the top of the page as it’s the most recent file. Simply click on the file to begin installation.
Download YouTube videos on Android: step four
Open the TubeMate app and search for the video you wish to download in the provided search box. Once you have your desired video and click on the green arrow at the top of the screen, then select the resolution tha you want and finally click on the green download button.
Download YouTube videos on Android: step five
To play the video either locate open the Gallery app and the file will be stored in your Video folder.
How to download YouTube videos to an iPhone or iPad
Downloading YouTube videos on an iPhone/iPad is a relatively straightforward task, but first you need to download a third-party app. From here it’s as simple as opening the app, searching for a video and then pressing save.
Download YouTube videos on iPhone/iPad: step one
Got to the App store and search for “Video Downloader Lite Super – VDownload ” and download the free app.
Download YouTube videos on iPhone/iPad: step two
When the download is complete, open the app and use the search field provided to find the video you want to keep on your iOS device. When you have found it, press play and a pop-up will appear with the option “Save to Memory”, press this button.
Download YouTube videos on iPhone/iPad: step three
Your video will then begin downloading in the app - you can check the progress via the Download button at the bottom of the screen. When the download is complete another pop-up will appear with a green button inside, press this button to transfer the video to your Camera Roll.
Category: Personal Finance