Save YouTube Videos To Your Hard DriveYouTube and other video sharing sites provide endless hours of wholesome, time-wasting entertainment. But what if you want to watch movies without the browser?Theres no direct or easy way to download YouTube videos from the site, butthankfully there are ways to make a local copy for personal use. A number of toolsexist to save youtube videos for playback on your computer, iPod, iPhone, PSP andeven your boring old DVD player.Using FirefoxThe easiest solution if youre a Firefox user is to install the Download Helper add-on.Download Helper can handle much more than just YouTube -- in fact the add-on cangrab just about any media file from nearly any source and download it to yourmachine. There are also a couple of other Firefox plugins, notably Video Downloader,though the latest YouTube site update seems to be interfering with VideoDownloaders ability to grab video for some users.Using Other Desktop SoftwareIf youre not a Firefox user, dont worry, theres some other options. My VideoDownloader is a Windows program that will download movies from YouTube, thoughit will set you back $30 (theres a free trial that allows for 10 downloads so you cantest it).Mac users looking to go from YouTube straight over to your video iPod or AppleTVhave a couple options. Theres Podtube 2 which will download and convert files fromYouTube, Daily Motion and MySpace. PodTube 2 is $5. TubeSock 2.0 offers similarfeatures, though it only handles YouTube videos, and costs $15.The latest RealPlayer (version 11, a beta release, is $30 and supports Windows XPand Vista only) has the ability to download and burn videos clips from YouTube andother sites like Google Video and MySpace Video. The player will automatically adda "Download" link button to video pages in Firefox and Internet Explorer. Oncedownloaded, you can use the player to watch the videos or burn them to a DVD.Although it hasnt been updated in a while, theres Tubular, which looks a bit likeiTunes applied to YouTube. Its for Mac users only.And finally, the most primitive -- but definitely free and working -- method is to useSaveTube.com. Just paste in the YouTube URL and SaveTube will find the cached fileand give you a download link. Here is a collection of some other free youtube videodownloader to save youtube videos.
What to Do With Your Downloaded VideoUnless youre using one of the all-in-one solutions listed above, once youve pulleddown the Flash FLV file from YouTube or another video sharing site, youll need toconvert it to another format for viewing in QuickTime (which includes iTunes andAppleTV), Windows Media Player or on a portable device.Alternately, you can just use a FLV-capable media player like the excellent and freeVLC (all platforms) to watch your downloaded FLVs.Mac users: To convert your FLV file on a Mac you can use mac video converter,which is free though limited to output in MP4. You can also use the aforementionedTubeSock.Windows users: Theres Super, which is free, or Zillatube, which costs $30. Bothsupport a wide range of output options.Mac and Windows users can also try MPEG Streamclip, though Windows folks willneed to download the Windows version of Apple QuickTime, which is also free.Linux users: You can turn to ffmpeg (which also works on OS X and Windows).Youll need a little command line juice, but this conversion script should get youstarted:ffmpeg -i myFile.flv -ab 56 -ar 22050 -b 500 -s 320×240 myFile.mpgAnd there you have it, now you can watch your YouTube favorites anywhere youdlike in nearly any video format you can name.