My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How to download YouTube Videos and Videos from other Websites

Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to download YouTube Videos and Videos from other Websites



So you like my Video? Really? Great.
But wait? How do I download it from YouTube?

This wearied series of questions may have crossed your mind whenever you come across Video on YouTube. Often times, these not-so-tech-savvy types may use FaceBook or Twitter to save the link for the Video that they just watched or just copy it in an email to a friend to watch later.

But what about getting a hold of the Video itself?

First before I proceed to spill the beans, please be reminded that downloading Video from YouTube is tantamount to Piracy. It’s not allowed, just tolerated, mainly due to the fact that the six (6) year old website as stated in the article At YouTube, adolescence begins at 5”, published May 16, 2010 11:06 PM PDT By Brad Stone, The New York Times, CNET News.

Google’s Video-sharing Website YouTube is now the No.2 Search Engine online as per the report in YouTube garners most Video views”, published Monday August 16, 6:41 pm ET, Yahoo News.

Google’s YouTube  makes the majority of its revenue from advertising and Video content Tie-ins with Content Providers, such as Time Warner back in 2009AD as state in the article Time Warner, YouTube ink distribution pact”, published August 19, 2009 12:34 PM PDT by Larry Dignan, Digital Media, CNET News

With revenues projected by Citi Analyst Mark Mahaney in the article YouTube Will Be a $1.3B Business in 2011: Report”, published March 21, 2011, 12:35pm By Ryan Lawler, GigaOM to hit some US$1.7 billion this year, YouTube is easily Google’s second most successful acquisition to date to Android, now the de facto standard for Open Source on smartphones.

The fact that YouTube has not yet blocked downloading programs from working is partly a decision of Google to maintain the same spirit of sharing Video content which had made the website created by one of YouTube’s founders and CEO Chad Hurley.

Ironic, as it has also been the source of many a legal battle between Google and Content providers e.g. Hollywood Studios, who Google have managed to appease mainly by offering them Ad-sharing and partnership deals and allowing Content Providers to issue takedown notices so as to have Copyright Infringing content removed.

Just remember if you’re going to use any Video in any Commercial spotlight, Radio or Television, contact the content owner first, as the Video you’ve downloaded from their channel or Account may not even belong to them, putting you in more legal hot water.

Also, do not use the Video as is, but edit it in some significant way so that your presentation at least looks original and you don’t get slapped with the “Idea Pirate” label post-Corporate Event Presentation.

With that said, let’s get to the fun stuff!!

According the article “18 Free Ways To Download Any Video off the Internet”, published October 2, 2007 by Aseem Kishore, Make Use Of there are really two (2) ways you can download Video from YouTube:

1.      Web App – Program running from a Cloud Server on the Internet that does all the heavy lifting in terms of downloading and conversion of the Video to a viewable format
2.      Desktop App – Program you download and install on your computer so that your computer’s Processor and Memory does all the heavy lifting in terms of downloading and conversion of the Video to a viewable format

Web Apps are preferred mainly because they are at your beck and call online and offer a host of other services, including Video conversion into multiple formats and the ability to download Video from another websites other than YouTube.

But if you don’t mind an installed program on your computer and you’re mostly offline anyway as are most Jamaicans who only go online for Facebook or Twitter as noted in Jamaica’s Low Net Penetration – Broadband Internet A Universal Right then a Desktop App is right for you.

It is in this light that I recommend the following au pair of Freeware programs:

2.      SoThink Web Video Downloader for Firefox as described in the article How to Download YouTube FLV with Firefox Video Downloader?”, viewed November 6 2011 by Lindsworth Deer, So Think Media

Both are fairly straightforward and easy to download, install and use with the SoThink Web Video Downloader for Firefox having the added bonus of being able to download Video from any website aside from YouTube, a prime restriction of BienneSoft YouTube Downloader.


Also the SoThink Web Video Downloader for Firefox is a Browser App that runs as an add-on to the FireFox browser, necessitating that you have to have the Firefox browser installed on your Computer.

My only grouse with SoThink Web Video Downloader for Firefox …well….the fact that you have to have the FireFox Browser to use it. Which if you’re a fan of Google Chrome, the world’s most favourite Browser as per the Stat Counter stats in Chrome 16 beats Firefox and IE8 –Mozilla going Mobile and Cloud OS on Smartphones, Tablets and UltraBoooks, can be a pain. 


On the bright side, the Firefox Browser is far more stable than Google Chrome and protects your privacy by deleting tracking cookies and it defaults to Google’s Website thanks to their extended three (3) year Search Partnership Deal.

This as stated in the article Firefox saved as Google renews default search engine deal”, published December 20, 2011 By Jeff Hughes, DigitalTrends and  More details on the Google/Firefox deal emerge, big numbers involved”, published December 23, 2011 By Andy Boxall, DigitalTrends and serves up YouTube videos.

So there’s something to stick in your bonnet Google!

BienneSoft YouTube Downloader is not without flaw, as albeit it has a file converter, the freeware version downloads videos quite slowly and you have to have a YouTube Account to download any adult content. 


As for Video Editing so as to make sure you don’t mistakenly rip off someone else online memes on YouTube, you can professional Video Edit using:

2.      Apple’s iMovie

Both these options are free and comes preloaded with Microsoft and Apple Macs and easy to use! Just make sure your PC is up for it in terms of Processor Speed, Memory and HardDrive space, as Video Editing is very Processor intensive and is worth another article at the very least.

But what about making your edited videos into a DVD, a process known as DVD Authoring? Another article another time…..
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