Ever found a YouTube video that you really liked, and wanted to keep? Saving your favorite clip can often be very tricky. That’s because YouTube and bunch of other sites (like Google Video) convert their videos to a flash based FLV format. Of course this is not a bad thing. FLV is great for displaying videos on your website. Your visitors only need to have flash installed. All the nonsense with downloading appropriate plugins, codex or streaming players is bypassed.
But when you want to download and save the file, then convenience turns into nuisance. There is an easy way to grab YouTube movies though. Here is what you do:
Download and install the VideoDownloader Firefox extension. Then, browse to the movie and let it load completely. Click the downloader icon in the statusbar, and choose to save the clip. Now just wait for it to appear in the specified folder.
Note that you saved the FLV formated video, which means that most of the mainstream media players will not recognize it. How do you play the movie? It depends on your system.
If you are on Windows you can download and install FLV Viewer (pictured above). It is actually a very nice player application, and if you just want to be able to view the clip, it should be sufficient.
If you don’t like the player, or want to be able to watch the movie in Windows Media Player, or some other application, you will need to convert it to an AVI file with MediaCoder.
ffmpeg -i video.flv -ab 56 -ar 22050 -b 500 -s 320x240 video.mpg
[tags]flv, youtube, saving youtube video, flv player, media coder, mplayer, ffmpeg[/tags]