Tip & How-To about Apple iPhone 3G

How to get Youtube videos locally on the iPhone/iPod Touch

Since the iPhone's native YouTube app has no automatic or manual cache function, watching YouTube videos (especially for offline iPod Touch users) becomes very difficult and often quite slow. So, here are a couple of ways to get your iPhone playing videos without using all that prized 3G data or waiting a couple of years for that 20 second clip to buffer.

Method 1 (Recommended) Requires $1.19 app purchase
This method doesn't need any computers at all, but still gives you the option of using it on your computer if you want. Here is what to do.
1.Find the video you want and copy the URL. This is slightly more difficult to do than it would seem. Using the native YouTube app, you can choose to email to a friend and then copy the video URL from the message, or you can use Safari to navigate to YouTube, then choose Desktop view at the bottom to get the full version, then search for the video you want. From the search results, you can just tap-hold on the name and copy the link, or go to the video page and copy the URL out of the address bar. Now, in your clipboard is the URL for your video (http://youtube.com/watch?h7T14m, for example). Next in Safari, head over to Zamzar.com. While there are other (arguably better) online video conversion sites, this one I've found to be the most reliable for iPhone-only operation. Now, choose URL jsut above the file box, then paste the URL of your video in the box, then choose iPhone as your output format. Next, enter in an e-mail address that is active/checkable on your iTouch device and click Convert. 98% of the time, it will work, there will be progress bars just under the box and it will give you a confirmation message that the upload has worked. For the other 2%, try again and if it still doesn't work, choose a different video.
2.Now, go to the Inbox of the email account you entered previously (in Safari or Mail, doesn't really matter) and after about a minute, you should've received an e-mail from Zamzar.com (longer videos take longer to arrive), not with the actual video (which would be pointlessly trapped in Mail) but with a link to a download page. Tap-hold to select, then Copy the URL for the download.
3.Now is when you'll have to pony up the money. You are going to download a download browser. There are a billion of them on the App Store, but my choice would always be hwBrowser. While it doesn't support pause/resume with downloads, everything else about it is solid, easy-to-use and it's cheap. You take your pick, but make sure it has an option to force download a link. Some browsers will see an iPhone compatible file and simply start playing it, instead of downloading it. Now, after you have downloaded hwBrowser, open it up and tap the bottom right icon and choose settings, then change the download button from Action to Toggle (Action *should* work, but I've had mixed results, try it if you want). Now choose Done and tap in the address bar, then tap again, and choose Paste, which should paste an enormous URL from Zamzar.com into the address bar, then hit Enter. Now, the download page should appear. Tap the Download icon (top left) to choose Download mode (shows DL) (if you are using the Action button, choose Download Next Link). Now, tap on the Download Now icon on the download page and choose Yes to save the mp4 file. Wait for the download to finish. If you tap X, then Hide, you can keep browsing and check the progress in Settings(bottom right)>Downloads, but it will give you a pop-up when it's done. Now, if you tap the files icon (left of Settings) you should see your file. You can rename it, create a folder for it, etc by using the folder tools button in the top left corner. Tapping on the file will start playing it, straight off your iPhone. This now means that since you can use hwBrowser without the Internet, you can watch the videos offline.
4.You can also move the videos back onto your Computer by starting hwBrowser, opening Settings>Settings and entering the address shown into a browser onto your computer. From here, you can also drop it back into your favourite app (however, but usually with WebDAV or FTP).

Method 2 (horrifically unreliable) FREE!
This method will download Youtube and Dailymotion videos directly to your device, but you won't be able to access them outside of the app or on your computer, which doesn't seem so bad, until you start actually using the app in question.
For this, you'll need an app bizarrely named iWoopie. It's free, which is nice. It's also an absolutely horrific app, which is unfortunate. Once you open the app, ignore the Most Popular videos which are invariably hopeless and head to the search tab. Click in the search box (more difficult than you'd think since it's hiding *under* the status bar) and type in your query. Try to be specific. Once the results arrive (if they do, and if the app hasn't already crashed, a frequent occurrence) choose a video from the list and click Download. Now, a badge will appear on the Downloads tab. Tap on the Downloads icon and watch what happens. If it says 0% and then Complete, it hasn't worked. If it just says Error, it obviously hasn't worked. On the off chance that it has worked, you should've seen the progress bar fill up and then tap on the video to check that it's playable. It often isn't. To combat this, you'll have to download about 50 different videos by about 50 different people from both site in the hope that one of them will work. For example, I've downloaded almost every video in the Top 25 results for Iron Man 2 and none of them worked. Of course, that's not a problem, because even if it does, it'll probably just crash anyway. Yes, this app is actually that bad. Use it if you really want, but believe me when I say that even Method 3 would be better than this.

Method 3 (not so fantastic) FREE!
This method will need a computer at some point, so be ready. For starters follow steps 1 and 2 from Method 1 to get your download link.
1.Now, download ByteTornado Downloader. This is actually a good app anyway with quick, easy downloads and almost-full pause and resume functions (won't work with the dynamic Zamzar servers we're using for this, so don't try). After you've downloaded it and opened it up, paste the URL you copied into the Browser tab's address bar. You should see a little yellow box and a badge on the second tab, indicating that you are downloading the file. Tap the downloads tab to watch the progress and wait until it's done. The problem here is that ByteTornado has no inbuilt preview function. It can only download and host the files from it's own file server. Even if you navigate to 127.0.0.1 (geeks will recognise this as like calling your own phone number, except with computers, it works) and trying that, it simply downloads it again, from itself. Strange.
2.Now, download another app. For this, you want a mobile disk app, with viewing capabilities. My recommended pick is Discover, a useful, powerful and easy-to-use app with an amazing web interface. I'll do the instructions for Discover, so if you're unsure, try it first, then try your own pick if you don't like it. Other choices inclued FileApp (uses FTP and has good file management capabilities) or DocumentViewer (simple and poweful, but also $1.19)
3.Now, go to your computer and open a browser, any browser should work so it's not really important. On your iTouch, open ByteTornado, then enter the address shown in the Share tab into youre computer's browser. You should be greeted with a simple page listing the files you've downloaded. Right-click>Save Target as to download the files and save them somewhere on your computer. Now, quit out of ByteTornado and open Discover or whatever you've downloaded (Some apps need to enter a sharing mode. If so, do so). On your computer, enter the address the app gives you. For Discover, it will be the same address as before, but with :8888 at the end instead of :9999. Now, choose (or create) the folder where you want the videos, then choose Add files in the bottom pane, find and choose the *.mp4's that you downloaded before, then click Upload All to push them to your device.
4.Once the upload is complete, you can simply tap the file in Discover to start watching the video
One of the biggest problems with this method is that since the video files have to go via the computer anyway, you have two far more viable options. Firstly, you could just use YouTube Downloader and a converter to download the videos on your computer in the first place and then put it on your device however you want to. Secondly, since the videos are on your computer, why not just import them into iTunes, sync your device and be done with it...

There are probably a couple of methods and feel free to let me know, but for the moment, these (especially Method 1) are pretty sound methods of getting YouTube (or generally online) videos onto your iPhone/iPod Touch. Hope it helps and Good Luck!

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