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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to Download Flash Video From Youtube

Most online videos these days use the FLV format to store the actual video files, so our first task is to get a copy of that file. Some sites, like YouTube, will offer an MP4 download in certain cases, but if not, the FLV file can be converted to a more usable format, so let's concentrate on getting the file downloaded.
 
The easiest way to download any video from the majority of online video sites is with the Video DownloadHelper extension for Firefox. Once you've installed the extension, head to any video page, and then click the DownloadHelper button button (see screenshot below) to see a list of the available media to download on that page. The extension provides a built-in method for converting video files, but they will end up watermarked, so just download the files in MP4 if possible, or FLV if not.
The Complete Guide to Ripping and Converting
 Flash Videos
If the Video DownloadHelper extension doesn't detect the video on the page, you can sometimes head into Tools -> Page Info -> Media, find the video file in the list of resources, and then click the Save As button. If you are a Linux user, you can also just wait until a Flash video is entirely loaded, and then grab the file from your /tmp folder.
The Complete Guide to Ripping and Converting
 Flash VideosAlternatively, you can use Internet Download Manager, which seems to work best — just move your mouse over the video until the Download Video button shows up, and then select the video to download. In our testing, this method worked in an instance or two where the Firefox extension did not. Another solid choice is TubeMaster++, which actually scans network traffic to grab videos, works on Windows or Linux, and can convert to any format—but it doesn't really work with a wireless network card.

Downloading YouTube Videos

You can't talk about ripping Flash videos from the web without giving special attention to YouTube, since much more specialized tools are available for easily downloading and converting video from YouTube in a single step.
The Complete Guide to Ripping and Converting
 Flash VideosThe single easiest Windows tool I've found for downloading and ripping YouTube videos is the YouTube Downloader application, which is as simple to use as pasting in the URL and clicking the OK button. Once it downloads the video, you can switch the radio button and convert the video into almost any format—in fact, you can use this tiny application to convert almost any video (YouTube or not) into almost any popular format.


If you'd rather not use a separate piece of software, you can use the Jet toy, or any number of specialized sites like KickYouTube, KeepVid, deturl, or Vixy to download and rip videos from YouTube or some other sites.

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