Saving YouTube Movies

FLV Player

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.

If you are on Linux, you should be able to play FLV files with mplayer. Alternatively you can convert the file to an MPG using ffmpeg:

ffmpeg -i video.flv -ab 56 -ar 22050 -b 500 -s 320x240 video.mpg

Sources: gillsmethod and jadmadi.

[tags]flv, youtube, saving youtube video, flv player, media coder, mplayer, ffmpeg[/tags]

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7 Responses to Saving YouTube Movies

  1. ZeWrestler UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I represent the RIAA and the MPAA your going to have to remove this post from the internet, because it violates some really really stupid law that we came up with and prevents us from looting earning an honest dollar from the customer.

    Thank you for complying. =P

    Reply  |  Quote
  2. ZeWrestler UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    dude, i hate it when your blog doesn’t let me use basic html tags, like the strike through line one.

    Reply  |  Quote
  3. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Hmmm… Not sure if I can change the HTML thing. This seems to be a “security feature” in WordPress. :P

    Let me try test.

    Reply  |  Quote
  4. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    No, it works fine – just use <strike> tag.

    Btw, was it you who told me about the hellsing anime? I found like a half of the ova on youtube yesterday, and it rocked.

    Reply  |  Quote
  5. ZeWrestler UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    i used the tag thats a single s rather than the word strike.

    i might have told you about hellsing. ova? i thought it only ran 13 eps?

    Reply  |  Quote
  6. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I guess Worpress prefers the word strike instead of s. Go figure.

    Well, it might have been a regular episode. I saw part 3 and 4 out of 5 of something. It was labeled “Hellsing Ova”. Parts 1 and 5 were taken down by youtube for copyright violation :(

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  7. My preferred tool is youtube-dl. It has a switch to download higher quality video too.

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