By Barb Dybwad 2009-08-13 08:00:48 UTC
DISCLAIMER: As some of you have pointed out in the comments, downloading personal copies of YouTube videos is not supported by the YouTube Terms of Service, which states:
"You may access User Submissions for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the YouTube Website. You shall not copy or download any User Submission unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the YouTube Website for that User Submission."
We want to stress that most of these tools do violate the ToS and that if you use them, you do so at your own risk. Also. if you've been tempted to download for a better browsing experience on the big screen, don't forget YouTube has already got you covered on that with YouTube XL .
It's been a while since we looked at ways to download YouTube videos to get local copies of your favorite vids, and we thought it might be time to take a look at which options are still left standing and what new apps are worth checking out.
For those of you new to the concept, you'll need to know a couple of things. Many of these sites and tools simply grab YouTube videos in their native Flash format (FLV). To watch these files on your desktop, you'll either need to get yourself an FLV player or convert the files into another format you can watch in your media player of choice (or on your iPod/iPhone, cell phone, or wherever the videos will ultimately end
Some of the listed tools include FLV players or file format converters along with the video download functions. Choose your poison according to your needs and patience level — if you do a lot of downloading it might be worth your while to check out the more full-featured apps.
And now, on with the list!
HOW TO: Download YouTube Videos To Your Desktop
Easy YouTube Video Downloader
Moyea YouTube FLV Downloader
Desktop YouTube Downloader
[Mac OS X application] TubeTV - This freeware app provides search and browse tools as well as downloads and conversions. You'll need to install the excellent Perian open source component to handle the conversions. If you're a Mac user and don't already know about Perian, it's a great Swiss army knife-like codec utility that can also help solve a lot of compatibility problems trying to play back video files with Quicktime.
This is by no means a comprehensive list — we left out a number of sites and apps with nearly identical features to the items on this list. And though we included a few freemium and paid apps, we avoided some of the more costly tools in favor of the free and cheap in this set.
There's also sure to be some apps and sites we just don't know about yet — so if you have a favorite tool for downloading YouTube videos to your desktop, let us know in the comments! If you're listing a paid app, be sure and tell us why it's worth paying for.
Category: Personal Finance