Download YouTube Videos the Easy Way
Even YouTube’s most enthusiastic fans (like Michael Wesch, whose Anthropology of YouTube video we mentioned recently) tend to overlook one very disappointing fact — you can’t easily save videos to your hard drive.Luckily it turns out that, while YouTube certainly doesn’t make it easy, it is in fact possible to download and save videos for offline viewing. In fact, there’s a whole cottage industry of developers building tools that allow you to download YouTube videos.
Lifehacker points us to YouTube File Hack, which can be used as either a standalone application or from Internet Explorer via a menu item that offers to download YouTube videos. I took it for a spin this morning and it does indeed work. Now I have my very own copy of skateboarding dog lovingly preserved for all eternity.
While YouTube File Hack is the easiest tool I’ve tested for IE users, it isn’t the only means of grabbing a YouTube movie.Safari users have it easy, just open up Activity Monitor and double click the actual video file. Safari will happily download an FLV for you. Firefox users can check out Lifehacker’s Better YouTube extension which uses Greasemonkey script to insert a “download this video” link next to every YouTube movie.
There are several other Firefox plugin out there, as well as a few other standalone apps. If you have a favorite method be sure to let us know.