Some great video you found on YouTube may be gone before you even have time to post it on your blog and email it to your friends. Why won't you let us download files off your site like Google Video does? While we wait for YouTube to let users freely download videos, there are several ways to get around this limitation.
Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to copy video files off YouTube.com and convert them for iPad, iPod, Apple TV, iPhone or even just to watch in iTunes. This trick will work on either Mac or PC using Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer.
1) Find a video clip on YouTube.com
Tens of thousands of video are submitted to YouTube everyday. Chances are you will find something good on the site. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will be downloading the 1991 TV pilot, Lookwell. It stars Adam West as a former actor turned amateur detective. The show is pure genius. It was written by Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel, the voice of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.Wait for the video file to completely load. Depending on the length of the clip, it may take several minutes to download. Once the clip is cached on your computer, you are ready to find it and convert it.
2) Let the clip COMPLETELY load in your browser
Wait for the video file to completely load! I'm serious. Wait for the video file to completely load! One more time? Wait for the video file to completely load! Depending on the speed of your Internet connection and the duration of the video file, it may take several minutes to fully load your clip. Lookwell is a full 30 minute TV show and took about 8 minutes to load. 3) Getting the FLV file
After the clip has completely loaded (you should be able to watch the entire clip in your web browser), you can then save the file on to your computer's hard drive.
There are 2 ways we can do this. The EASY way which will require you to purchase some cheap software (~$30), or the HARD way which is 100% free. Scroll down past the EASY section below if you want a free solution. If you just need to grab one or two videos then go with the free method. But if you find yourself saving and converting YouTube clips on a regular basis, then spend a few bucks and get the software.
The EASY Way:
Purchasing Software to Easily Download & Convert the YouTube ClipsIf you have a few bucks to spend, then there are plenty of great applications that will quickly and easily help you download YouTube video files and convert them to iPod, iPhone, Zune and even Apple TV. All you have to do is paste in the URL of the YouTube page you are on and the software will automatically download and convert the file for you.
The HARD Way
: But it's FREE!Firefox users (Mac/PC) can use several different plug-ins like DownloadHelper to automatically download YouTube video files. However, each time YouTube updates their code, these plug-ins and scripts usually need to be updated. YouTube doesn't like these Firefox plug-ins and actively tries to disable them.
4) Rename the FLV file
You probably don't want a file called something like "eBXal1GAA4A.flv" or "get_video", so rename your file something like to something that makes sense like "Lookwell.flv". Be sure to add the ".flv" to the end of your file name so other applications know it's a Flash Video file. One more time. Make sure you add the ".flv" to the end of your file name so other applications know it's a Flash Video file.If you find later on that your FLV file isn't working, try naming it ".flv1"If all you want is a FLV file, then congrats you are done. If you want to convert this file to something that will work in iTunes or play on a Video iPod, then keep reading.
5) Picking a video conversion application
Before you open up this Flash video clip in a converter application, make sure you add ".flv" to the end of your file name. HandBrake is a software application that can convert MPEG video (including DVDs) into a MPEG-4 video file in .mp4, .avi, or .mkv containers. Originally developed for BeOS, HandBrake is now cross-platform, and available for Windows and Solaris. If you are a Mac user, use mac video converter
6) Open and Convert FLV files
The exact steps need to convert the FLV file will vary depending on which application you are using. Handbrake and Mac video converter both have conversion presets that make the process much easier.If you want to tinker with the audio/video settings of the video, then just take a look at the Info and Properties screens under the Window menu.
7) Import Video into iTunes
When the FLV is finished converting to a MP4 or M4V file, you can import it into iTunes. Open iTunes and select Open from the File menu (File > Open).
And if you just want to just export out a MP3 of your video clip, then there's another methodshop.com tutorial that you might like: How to Convert Between Audio File Formats for Free Using iTunes
8) That's It!
Congratulations! You are done. Go buy yourself a drink... and feel free to buy us one too.