YouTube and other video sharing sites provide endless hours of wholesome, time-wasting entertainment. But what if you want to watch movies without the browser? There's no direct or easy way to download YouTube videos from the site, but thankfully there are ways to make a local copy for personal use. A number of tools exist to save youtube videos for playback on your computer, iPod, iPhone, iPad, PSP and even your boring old DVD player. Amacsoft provides an ideal tool for downloading online videos for free.
Tips: Mac YouTube to MP3 Converter is a useful and high quality software to quickly extract MP3 from YouTube videos. You can make a try.
Using Firefox to Save YouTube Videos to Hard Drive
The easiest solution if you're 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 can grab just about any media file from nearly any source and download it to your machine. There are also a couple of other Firefox plugins, notably Video Downloader, though the latest YouTube site update seems to be interfering with Video Downloader's ability to grab video for some users.
Using Other Desktop Software to Save YouTube Videos to Hard Drive
If you're not a Firefox user, don't worry, there's some other options. My Video Downloader is a Windows program that will download movies from YouTube, though it will set you back $30 (there's a free trial that allows for 10 downloads so you can test it).
Mac users looking to go from YouTube straight over to your video iPod or AppleTV have a couple options. There's Podtube 2 which will download and convert files from YouTube, Daily Motion and MySpace. PodTube 2 is $5. TubeSock 2.0 offers similar features, though it only handles YouTube videos, and costs $15.
The latest RealPlayer (version 11, a beta release, is $30 and supports Windows XP and Vista only) has the ability to download and burn videos clips from YouTube and other sites like Google Video and MySpace Video.
And finally, the most primitive, but definitely free and working method is to use SaveTube.com. Just paste in the YouTube URL and SaveTube will find the cached file and give you a download link. Here is a collection of some other free youtube video downloader to save youtube videos to hard drive.
What to Do With Your Downloaded Video?
Unless you're using one of the all-in-one solutions listed above, once you've pulled down the Flash FLV file from YouTube or another video sharing site, you'll need to convert video to another format for viewing in QuickTime (which includes iTunes and AppleTV), Windows Media Player or on a portable device.
Alternately, you can just use a FLV-capable media player like the excellent and free VLC (all platforms) to watch your downloaded FLVs. You can also convert FLV video to another video formats for playing on mobile phone, iPod, iPad etc. Best Video Converter can convert between all popular video formats for you.
Tips: How to Convert AVI to iPod playable video format to enjoy anywhere and anytime.