Monday, August 8, 2011

How to download videos from YouTube

YouTube is great for watching videos online, but sometimes videos go away. So, in this tutorial, I'll teach you how to download videos from YouTube. Though I'm on a Mac, this tutorial should apply to PC users as well.
1. Grab the URL of the YouTube video that you want to download. It should look something like this:

2. Then, go to and enter the URL in the download bar

3. ...And click Download. The page should say "Loading Java applet". Depending on your browser, you may have to grant the applet permission to run.

4. Once the page has finished processing the URL, it should give several options for downloading the video:

5.  For this example, I am going to choose the MP4 version of the movie. The higher the number to the left of the download options, the better the quality. Also, as you can see, there is an option just to download the sound from the movie. So, I downloaded the MP4 version:

I'm on Firefox, so the download window looks like the above. If you're on Safari, it'll look like this:

6. Technically, you are done downloading the video and you can skip these next steps, but if you want a more friendly version of the Youtube video (MP4s are not the best), follow these next steps. So, right-click (control-click) on the file that you downloaded, and open with Quicktime Player. If you are on a PC, this will be a little different, as you may have to download Quicktime Player. You can do that here.

7. Go to File>Save As...

And save as a movie.

The above screenshot is one of Quicktime Player X. If you are using Quicktime Player 7, the Save As... dialog will look a little bit different. One thing to note here is the "Save as a self-contained movie" radio button option. You want to make sure that this radio button is selected because the other option, "Save as a reference movie" requires that you have the original file.

Click Save, and...
8. And you are done! Have fun watching your Youtube video.

-- Matthew

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