Last updated May 7th, 2016 at 05:57 am

Downloading videos from YouTube*, Google Videos, Facebook and other popular video sites requires the use of downloader programs, browser addons or online video tools. Some downloaded video file formats may not play in your preferred video player.

This article is intended to help you through the maze of options so that you can easily download videos for personal use. You can then view them later without connecting to the internet.

Video Downloaders

There are many downloaders available in various forms. Some offer more features than just downloading. Here is a selection of the most popular for you to choose from.

Downloaders for YouTube

YoutubeMP3

YoutubeMP3 is a free online YouTube MP3 converter. It allows you to easily download audio from your favorite YouTube video’s with ease. You can convert the audio into several output formats including: mp3, webm, mp4, aac, m4a, f4v and 3gp. Just paste the URL of the video you’d like to convert into the text box on the hompage, select your output format and hit the convert button.

you tube download

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KeepVid Firfox icon

  • KeepVid is a browser Toolbar button for downloading YouTube FLV files.

KeepHD Firfox icon

  • KeepHD is an online utility that downloads YouTube videos in a choice of formats: FLV,
    3gp Mobile Download,
    MP4 and if available
    HD ( High Definition 720p)
  • How to Use: On the KeepHD site enter the URL of the video that you want to grab and hit the “Download Video” button.. No registration or plugins are needed. .

PWN YouTube

  • Downloads FLV and mp4 formats There are three ways of downloading via PWN
  1. Go to their website and enter the video URL into the ” Download a YouTube video from any web page:” URL box – handy if you are not viewing the video on YouTube.
  2. Type pwn in front of any YouTube URL.
  3. Add the browser bookmarklet from the PWN website and click it when you are viewing
    any Youtube page or public webpage with an embedded YouTube video

Get Tube v.3.0

  • Get Tube is a downloadable utility for Mac to download videos from YouTube and to save format mp4 or mp3.

Downloaders for Multiple Video Sites including YouTube

download flickr
Source: nickwheeleroz’s Flickr

Flash Video Resources Downloader

  • This application offers three methods of video download:
  1. Enter the URL of video on the Flash Video Resources Downloader Page
  2. Install the Flash Video Resources Downloader 1.0.2 Firefox Extension
  3. A Greasemonkey script that allows downloads from 3 adult sites that I am not going to mention here.. The Greasemonkey Firefox addon must be already installed.

flash downloader Flash Video Downloader 1.7

  • The sites currently supported by Flash Video Downloader include: YouTube, Google Video, MySpace Video, DailyMotion, Metacafe, Break.com, Blip.tv (blip.tv), Spike (spike.com), MyVideo.de (myvideo.de), YourFileHost and others including adult sites.
  • An added feature with this utility is that you can download Flash Games from: gamespot.com, community.games.com, armorgames.com, net-games.biz, gamesvine.com, zoopgames.com and flashgames247.com.

Clone2Go Free Video Converter

  • Clone2Go is a free software program for Windows that downloads and converts videos including YouTube and Google Videos FLV files The program includes a feature to split videos into smaller clips.
  • You can download major file formats such as WMV, FLV, MPEG-4, MPG, RM, RMVB, AVI, 3GP and convert them to a variety of formats including MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV. It supports conversion to files playable on portable devices such as MP4 player, iPod, iPhone, Sony PSP, Microsoft Zune, Mobile Phone (e.g. Nokia N-Series), Pocket PC and smart phone.

download videosVideo Download Helper

  • Video Download Helper is a Firefox extension that works with popular video sites such as YouTube, MySpace, Google videos, DailyMotion, Porkolt, iFilm, DreamHost and others.
  • When DownloadHelper detects that it can do something for you, an icon at the bottom of your Firefox window becomes animated and a menu allows you to download files by simply clicking an item. When you are on a page containing links to images or movies, you can download some or all of them at once.
  • Converting files from your hard disk into a choice of multiple formats (Windows or Linux) is now possible with the installation of a file converter feature which uses the powerful FFMPEG video conversion utility. The feature is available from the extension’s preferences. An experimental Integrated MP3Tunes services allows you to send videos to mobile phones or to your private locker.

Net Video Hunter

  • Net Video Hunteris a Firefox addon that allows you to download videos and music from most video-sharing sites – YouTube, Google Video, MySpace, Metacafe, Dailymotion, iFilm, Videoegg, Veoh, Blip.tv, etc…
  • This extension also supports the download of music if it’s in a player on a website (for example, Myspace Music player). The beauty of this extension is that it captures the video links (if it’s possible), and the video counter of all the videos you have played from a webpage. (e.g. a YouTube Playlist Page) Clicking on the Net Video Hunter icon at the bottom of the Firefox window displays the list of captured media files which you can then Play or Download. Turning off the video smoothing feature plays the video in lower quality which is ideal for slower computers or for preserving download bandwidth.

flashgot file downloaderFlashgot

  • One of the problems with trying to download online videos is finding the actual video file source. Flashgot is a Firefox extension that works alongside your preferred download manager (Windows, Linux, Mac) to download all the links, movies and audio clips of a page including links to FLV videos.
  • Once downloaded and configured to recognize your download manager, Flashgot can be accessed via the Tools menu or by dragging and dropping a shortcut to your toolbar. The toolbar menu gives you options capturing video selections and creating galleries. You can choose to download all videos that Flashgot finds through its Auto Start feature, although this may create a massive amount of downloads. Download

Vixy Net

  • Vixy allows you convert a Flash Video / FLV file (YouTube’s videos,etc) to MPEG4 (AVI/MOV/MP4/MP3/3GP) file online.
  • When you submit a URL, it will download and convert to the video format, and then you can download the converted file.
  • As well as an online converter Vixy now has a beta desktop version for Windows and Mac.

Orbit Downloader

Orbit video music downloader

I would have added Orbit to the top of the list had it not been for some of the Orbit forum messages which indicate a few issues with the newest version. I have as yet been unable to get it to work with YouTube through Firefox itself. However, If I use the Grab++ function in the Orbit program Tools Menu it will download YouTube videos that are playing in Firefox.

  • Orbit Features:
  • A free downloadable program, based on p2p and multi-source downloading technology, which integrates with Firefox, IE,Opera and Maxthon browsers.
  • You can download and record streaming media, social music, social video, movie, flash and files from “anywhere” including Pandora, YouTube, Yahoo, Myspace and Rapidshare.
  • Supports most of the file-sharing service websitesmegaupload, badongo, sendspace, yourfilehost, uploading, filefront, 4shared, turboupload, depositfiles, filefactory ……
  • Supports: HTTP/ HTTPS/ FTP/ RTSP/ MMS
  • Includes a pause and resume function which includes interrupted downloads

Facebook Video Downloader

download facebook video

Facebook Video

  • Facebook Video allows the download and conversion of Facebook videos in one of two ways:
  1. Greasemonkey Script
  2. A new Firefox addon that lets you download and convert Facebook videos, and embed videos outside of Facebook.

Playing Downloaded Videos

video players
Source: libraryman Flickr

If you download an .mp4 version of a video file, you can play it in Real Player, QuickTime Player, or iTunes. Most players do not support YouTube FLV files. My choice for a lightweight but fully featured video player is my default video player, VLC Player.

VLC

  • VLC is A free video player that supports most file formats with no extra codecs needed, for example, MPEG, AVI, WMV, AV, FLV, MIDI, Flash, Real, MP4, MOV, 3GP, OGG ….For Windows, Linux, Mac OS X 10.5 or later and various other operating systems.

Another highly rated free player, which I have not tried, is:

GOM Media Player

  • GOM Media PlayerFeatures: Supports most Codecs, plays incomplete or damaged AVI file by skipping the damaged frames and can play video files that are still in the process of being downloaded.

If you just want a program to play FLV videos there are a number of free programs including the one I used before I realized that VLC could play them.:

FLV Player

  • FLV PlayerPlays Flash FLV and H.264 (MPEG-4) videos.
  • This program also includes an option to install a free audio recorder browser toolbar, Free Recorder, which allows you to make MP3’s from anything you can hear on your PC, including sound tracks from videos, music, and more. Download current version FLV Player 2.0.25: CNET Download.com

Do you have any preferences for video download or video player applications?