How to download YouTube videos, and other curious things

Summary:If you've ever wondered how to download YouTube videos (and other curious things) to your computer, this post is for you!

One question I'm frequently asked is if I know of a way to download YouTube videos, to which my answer is, "Why, yes! Yes, I do." As such, I've decided to write a quick post addressing this popular question, as well as chime in with a couple of additional mentions that are relevant to the subject.

Now, while I know that many of you reading this already have the know-how to download YouTube videos, this post is for those who comprise the 6,000,000+ (according to my Google keyword research) monthly searches on this topic! What follows are the 3 solutions I personally use that 100% fill my needs for downloading not only YouTube videos, but just about everything else as well. With that said, these certainly aren't the *only* solutions out there, so I encourage others of you to chime in with any differing solutions you use!

1 - Keepvid.com: When it comes to saving YouTube videos, KeepVid is my first choice, without question. While there are tons of sites out there that perform the same function, KeepVid is consistently on top of YouTube when changes are made that temporarily "break" services like this. It's quite simple to use: just copy the link of the YouTube video you would like to save, paste it into the URL box at the top of KeepVid's site, click the "Download" button, then select which quality and format you would like to download the video in from the links that show up afterward. From copying the link to visiting the site and running through the process, you can have a video downloading in under 7 seconds! To note, KeepVid also supports downloading videos from Vimeo, Google Video, DailyMotion, Metacafe, and Megavideo. Visit site: KeepVid

2 - JDownloader: This program is one of my favorite programs, period! For Windows, Mac, and Linux, JDownloader is a download manager for just about every site imaginable that streams and hosts files. You can have it monitor your clipboard so that it automatically grabs links you copy, so if you find that you want to download something like a whole series of videos from YouTube, you can just copy the link for each of them and they'll automatically paste into JDownloader. Removing the step of having to paste all of those links really helps to save some time. And like KeepVid, JDownloader allows you to choose the quality and format you'd like to download YouTube videos. But really, this functionality is but a minor piece of a greater sum, for JDownloader is SO much more.

If you have any premium accounts with sites like RapidShare, HotFile, FileServe, etc., you can enter your log-in credentials for those sites and furiously download files from them with only the limitation of your bandwidth. Not only that, but because it's a download manager at its core, you can queue up download links from just about anywhere. And for sites that require you to enter CAPTCHA information (the pictures with weird, almost unreadable word combinations/numbers, like "Bicycle PancaKeS"), JDownloader will auto-enter that information from CAPTCHAs it recognizes (offhand, MegaUpload is one site I know it recognizes them from)! Definitely check out JDownloader if you're looking to download YouTube videos en masse. Visit site: JDownloader

3 - DownloadThemAll!: For my Internet browsing needs, I primarily use Firefox. As such, I have a multitude of add-ons that I use, including download manager add-ons like "DownloadThemAll!". Unlike the two suggestions above which have YouTube download capabilities, this add-on is solely for "other curious things." If you've ever been on a page with a ton of pictures, MP3s, documents, or other file types, "DownloadThemAll!" gives you the ability to download all of those files with just a few clicks. So, instead of having to save 100 pictures, songs, PDFs, or whatever else file-by-file, you can quickly save them all to a folder of your choosing. Once installed, it's as simple as right-clicking on a page, selecting "DownloadThemAll!...", then choosing the folder you would like to save the files to and clicking "Start!". It also has plenty of functionality for you advanced users who would like to specify/negate certain file types to download (like if you work with files that have uncommon file extensions that "DownloadThemAll!" doesn't recognize), etc. Overall, an invaluable add-on if you frequently download groups of files. Visit site: DownloadThemAll!

That's it! Those are the three solutions (outside of the old standby, that is; "right-click, save target as...") I use to download YouTube videos and other curious things. Again, these are far from the only solutions out there, and while my chosen three may not be "the best" or the most efficient, they're certainly good enough for me; an individual who has yet to harness the virtue of patience.

Do you have any personal recommendations for download managers/sites/programs/add-ons you'd like to contribute? Please do so in the comments below!

-Stephen Chapman

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About

Stephen is a freelance writer and blogger based in Charlotte, NC. His contributions to ZDNet cover topics related to security, gaming, Microsoft, Apple, and other topics of interest with a tech/SMB skew.

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