For those of you new to the concept, you’ll need to know a couple of things. Many of these sites and tools simply grab YouTube() videos in their native Flash format (FLV). To watch these files on your desktop, you’ll either need to get yourself an FLV player or convert the files into another format you can watch in your media player of choice (or on your iPod/iPhone, cell phone, or wherever the videos will ultimately end up).
Some of the listed tools include FLV players or file format converters along with the video download functions. Choose your poison according to your needs and patience level — if you do a lot of downloading it might be worth your while to check out the more full-featured apps.
And now, on with the list!
KeepVid – KeepVid is a simple and free utility that’s not quite as slathered with ads as some in the free downloader playing field. Just paste the URL of the video (works with YouTube as well as several other video sites) and you’ll get an option to download it in either FLV or MP4 formats — the extra format option is a nice touch here, too.
Vixy – Vixy offers YouTube downloads in the following formats: AVI (DivX + MP3), MOV, MP4, 3GP and MP3. It’s easy to use and not as obnoxiously ad-laden as some of the options further down this list (it’s also survived since our previous feature on the subject).
Easy YouTube Video Downloader – This one’s actually a Firefox() extension that adds a download button option to the YouTube interface itself. Conversions are available to MP4 and 3GP, with HD quality options displayed where available.
VideoDownloadX – This site made our last list and is still around. The plus side is it’s completely free. The downside is it’s so heavily ad-supported you have to tread carefully to avoid accidentally clicking on an ad, and you have to manually rename the files with a .FLV extension. You’ll also have to provide your own Flash FLV player to watch the downloaded videos.
SaveTube – Another simple paste and download tool in the vein of Downloader9 or KeepVid, SaveTube works fine but, like VideoDownloadX, is a minefield of ads to navigate.
VideoGetting – This one is free and supports conversion into multiple formats (WMV, MP3, MP4, MOV, 3GP, AVI, MPG, MPEG), but you’ll have to tolerate annoying pop-ups and ad traps to use it.
Moyea YouTube FLV Downloader – The free version of this app simply downloads YouTube vids as FLV files, while the paid app lets you convert them to MP4, 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG, MKV, FLV, MP3, MKA, WAV, AC3, and M4A.
Vixy – The online tool Vixy we mentioned above in the web section also has a client available for download if you want to go the desktop app route.
Videoslurp – This attractively-named free app includes a built-in browser to find the YouTube vids you like and download them in one click. There’s a web-based online downloader version of Videoslurp also, but we couldn’t get it to work (if anyone else has luck with it, let us know in the comments).
Desktop YouTube Downloader – This $10 app has a 15-day free trial and comes with a bunch of features, including a built-in FLV player so you can watch videos without needing a separate Flash player or waiting for a file conversion. If you want the file conversion, this app covers that too, and can save the video to MPEG, WMV, iPod/iPhone or 3GP cell phone-typical file formats. It can also extract the audio track and save it as an MP3 or WAV file.