an alternative to unsafe youtube downloaders - your web browser?

staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
edited June 2013 in The Commons

Someone asked me recently if it's easily possible to safely download my tutorial videos from YouTube for local storing and offline viewing, even in other video players than in the web browser.

Note that I mentioned 'safely', not just 'easily'... There quite are a few programs and online services available for downloading youtube videos. I'm not sure that they're all safe, and some I have seen carry spyware or other potentially unwanted malware. It turns out that a growing number of browsers have the ability to save a video that's coming in from youtube, perhaps not at high resolution yet but still good enough for many offline uses especially when the bulk of the message is in the audio. In the case of Opera (.ogg) I found different file sizes when downloading after changing the playback settings (240p, 360p, 480p, 720p) but was unable to play them. Glitch?

I'm sure in time it will be perfect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5tzMeKieUM&list=PLBqbdhU5umbceKe01MjASLBUSu7aT35l6

The above link is a playlist of several videos showing a few browsers that
support this technique. You can certainly use the technique to download even
these very same tutorial videos ;-)

- It doesn't appear to work from an embedded video (yet?) so use the link to view it from youtube,
- then right click in the video to pop out the video in a floating window,
- then right click again on the video (not on the controls which are in the midst of the window)
- and find something like 'Save Video...' or 'Save Video As...', sometimes after few seconds of playing.

With Firefox and the newest Opera (and Sea Monkey too) I like how it adds the
video like any download to their download manager so you can start to download a
bunch of videos one after another and eventually see them all complete. Be sure
to give them unique filenames. It usually just gives a generic filename, in some
cases even without the file extension (for example Google Chrome doesn't sow
.webm at the end of the filename but the file is definitely a webm file.)

The format is either .ogg (for Opera) or .webm (for firefox, chrome and sea
monkey). I have not gotten this to work with I.E. nor with Safari. If you see a
better result with those on your system please post a comment with config and version details and wat file format you obtain from such downloads.

I hope this help.

-Philip

Post edited by staigerman on

Comments

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,695
    edited June 2013

    or allow stereomix in your audio settings and camstudio (free from sourceforge)

    edited to add, start recording screencapture with camstudio then put youtube vid into fullscreen HD

    Post edited by JaguarElla on
  • BWSmanBWSman Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I use the FireFox add-on Ant Video Downloader & Player
    It saves videos in the same format as was uploaded; but only plays Flash format videos. Since most youTube videos are in the .flv format; it's not much of a problem. You do need the browser open to view downloaded videos.

  • macleanmaclean Posts: 1,028
    edited December 1969

    I've tried various Firefox add-ons, but eventually, they always break (due to YouTube changing the code). Now I use Keepvid (site). It never fails.

    mac

  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
    edited December 1969

    or allow stereomix in your audio settings and camstudio (free from sourceforge)

    edited to add, start recording screencapture with camstudio then put youtube vid into fullscreen HD

    True, and I do use Camstudio a lot for my tutorials. This method will work if you can indeed watch the whole tutorial and play it and nothing else on screen during that. Though it may not record at 30 fps (if the original is playing at that rate) t's likely good enough.

    Quick question on allowing stereomix, what do you mean, is that a setting in one of the browsers? Which one if so? Or did you mean in Camstudio to record audio from the speakers instead of the Mic?

    What I like bout browser download is the 'set it and forget it' approach, it becomes a download like others and runs in the background, amongst others downloading at the same time.

    But yeah, screen- recording the fullscreen playback can be a viable option in some cases. Thanks for adding that suggestion.

  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
    edited June 2013

    BWSman said:
    I use the FireFox add-on Ant Video Downloader & Player
    It saves videos in the same format as was uploaded; but only plays Flash format videos. Since most youTube videos are in the .flv format; it's not much of a problem. You do need the browser open to view downloaded videos.

    Interesting. I'll have to check that plugin. Though I don't understand why the browser would have to be open to view the downloaded file. Even if it's an FLV. There are plenty of standalone FLV players. I think even Irfanview can handle it. And you can certainly use ffmpeg (and winff) and many other video converters to convert a FLV to a better format, better also in filesize. FLV is based on MP2 (or On2?) technology if I recall. Things have evolved a lot with mp4, and h.264. and on6 and on8 (=webm?). I may have my numbers mixed up here, totally LOL :-)
    Anyway, Great to know there's plugins, and I assume this one's safe to use?

    Addendum. Looks like Ant.com might be ok but still, for some, beware. They too are a search provider and have a vested interest in understanding what interests you so they can serve ads and more services. Some of their statements in their privacy policy I do like, some I'm not seeing much I can trust. Below is their Privacy Policy, read and think about it.

    Privacy Policy
    Ant.com Privacy Policy

    Openness and security
    As a responsible member of the community of website owners, Ant.com takes the privacy and security of its users with the highest regard. Ant.com provides a service for a user which requires Ant.com to collect certain information, public and non-public. This Privacy Policy explains the use of that information and how it pertains to each of Ant.com users.

    Information collected by Ant.com and its purpose
    Ant.com collects non-personally-identifying information when you are visiting our website or using our software applications. This information is typically available from web browsers and servers. One of the information types is Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of the web page from which you came, the date and the time for each page you view, settings such as browser languages, etc. This information allows us to have a better understanding of the behavior of visitors using our sites. We will also use non-personally-identifiable information for such things as KeyWord popularity reports, regionally website migration patterns, etc.

    Ant.com may collect statistics about the behavior of visitors of its websites. For example, Ant.com may monitor the most active user accounts on Ant.com websites or use spamming filters to help identify spam. Ant.com may make this information public or provide it to others.

    Ant.com also collects information made public to us that can be considered personally identifiable, such as your internet protocol (IP) address. Ant.com does not use such information to identify its visitors and does not disclose it.

    There are occasions in which visitors to Ant.com websites, who choose to interact with Ant.com, may require Ant.com to gather identifying information from that user. For such visitors the type of information collected will depend on the nature of the interaction. A user signing up for Ant.com social bookmarking service will be required to submit an e-mail address. Also users are able to sign up for advertising throughout Ant.com websites network. From time to time, this process may be automated. In this case Ant.com will ask for further personal and financial information required to complete the transaction of that type.

    Ant.com may disclose potentially identifying information only to its employees, contractors, and affiliated organizations that need this information to work on the behalf of Ant.com in order to provide a service available at Ant.com websites. These employees, contractors, and affiliated organizations have agreed not to disclose this information to third parties or use it in an unauthorized manner.

    The location of such contractors, employees, and affiliated organizations can be anywhere in the world, and will not necessarily include your home country. By using Ant.com websites you consent to the transfer of such information to them. Ant.com will not rent or sell potentially identifying information for any purpose other than what is described here in this privacy policy.

    Ant.com also provides software applications that are to be used in certain web browsers. These applications are solely for the purpose of a user enjoyment. At no time do we collect information other than what is laid out in this privacy policy with our software applications. Also Ant.com neither hijacks nor changes your browser of choice in a way that is not expected or laid out in the applications information pages.

    Ant.com also guarantees that any registered user can close its user account at any time, and that no personal data will be kept after the closure.

    Changes of your information and our privacy policy
    While most changes to this Privacy Policy will be minor, please note that from time to time we may change our Privacy Policy, and such changes will be at the sole discretion of Ant.com. We encourage our users to check our Privacy Policy frequently and also be on the lookout for alerts that show up from time to time in your user account with Ant.com.

    Post edited by staigerman on
  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
    edited December 1969

    maclean said:
    I've tried various Firefox add-ons, but eventually, they always break (due to YouTube changing the code). Now I use Keepvid (site). It never fails.

    mac

    I have used Keepvid too, and like the options it gives for choosing what format to receive the download in. Not sure at the moment if they're on my black list. I will want to do a security check for sure.

  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
    edited June 2013

    Ok, so here's the problem I see with Keepvid: It wants to install a toolbar. A search toolbar. SO it wants to make suggestions for what I should see when I search. Not sure I want that 'guidance'. I may be wrong but when my antivirus (enabled for detection of potentially unwanted programs, aka PUPs, and potentially dangerous programs, PDPs) raises an alert, it could of course be a false positive. It could. I'll submit it to them to check.

    Keepvid doesn't say a lot on the website about who they are and what they do. That alone is a bit suspicious to me. But I may be overly sensitive, having "seen things", after having worked at Eset for 5 years, I'll give you that. Keepvid looks like it is powered by iLivid. That's where the install attempt comes from when clicking through the video demo. Instead of playing the video that it says it downloaded, it wants to install an .exe. That's a big no-no in my books.

    ilivid_not_safe.jpg
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    Post edited by staigerman on
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,695
    edited December 1969

    stereomix is an audio option in your settings (if your sound card driver supports it, Sony does not, realtek does) it indeed is your speaker output.
    it is disabled by default on windows to discourage illegal music capture but I needed to enable it for my synthesizer and other instruments to record with various audio effects for making my own music.
    This means it is also selectable in recording apps as an audio option.

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,695
    edited December 1969

    putting your tutorial in creative commons enables others to download an mp4 on vimeo and I believe youtube too!

  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
    edited December 1969

    putting your tutorial in creative commons enables others to download an mp4 on vimeo and I believe youtube too!

    ah yes of course that makes sense

  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
    edited December 1969

    stereomix is an audio option in your settings (if your sound card driver supports it, Sony does not, realtek does) it indeed is your speaker output.
    it is disabled by default on windows to discourage illegal music capture but I needed to enable it for my synthesizer and other instruments to record with various audio effects for making my own music.
    This means it is also selectable in recording apps as an audio option.

    perfect. I have realtek on this win7 laptop.

  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
    edited December 1969

    BWSman said:
    I use the FireFox add-on Ant Video Downloader & Player
    It saves videos in the same format as was uploaded; but only plays Flash format videos. Since most youTube videos are in the .flv format; it's not much of a problem. You do need the browser open to view downloaded videos.

    I'm just starting to use the Microsoft Expression 3 Encoder which appears to be free although it might just be a trial, will have to check the EULA details, I saw it mentioned from GoToMeeting's site for conversion and encoding, and I also found that it comes with screen capture tools and I must say so far I like it better than CamStudio. It was a great feel in the interface options. I'm still learning the details though, so a bit early to make conclusions. One challenge I've had with CamStudio is using the right codec for highspeed recorning, million colors and small file size so my file limit of 2 GB per file is not reached too early. I can do 25 Min recordings if I'm careful. This may enable longer ones and smaller sizes, WMV.

  • LindseyLindsey Posts: 1,132
    edited December 1969

    Ok, so here's the problem I see with Keepvid: It wants to install a toolbar. A search toolbar. SO it wants to make suggestions for what I should see when I search. Not sure I want that 'guidance'. I may be wrong but when my antivirus (enabled for detection of potentially unwanted programs, aka PUPs, and potentially dangerous programs, PDPs) raises an alert, it could of course be a false positive. It could. I'll submit it to them to check.

    Keepvid doesn't say a lot on the website about who they are and what they do. That alone is a bit suspicious to me. But I may be overly sensitive, having "seen things", after having worked at Eset for 5 years, I'll give you that. Keepvid looks like it is powered by iLivid. That's where the install attempt comes from when clicking through the video demo. Instead of playing the video that it says it downloaded, it wants to install an .exe. That's a big no-no in my books.

    You shouldn't have to download anything. That button you pressed on is an advertiser link.

    Just paste a Youtube link in the box to the left of the Download button and click on the Download button. The only thing it may try to download is Java scripts to run Keepvid. That should be a one time download. You'll get a list of download links like shown below.

    DO NOT click on any of the big green or blue buttons!! Those are ad buttons.

    keepvid.jpg
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  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,796
    edited December 1969

    I don't know if this is any good to you but RealPlayer works nicely for downloading Youtube vids. I little box appears above a vid in the browser for easy downloading.

  • BWSmanBWSman Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    The player uses the browser window to play videos; but once the videos are downloaded; any player that can read .flv (or whatever format the video is in) can be used. I use the player because it has a scroll list of the files you downloaded on the left side when it is activated. As seen in the options box; you can opt out of sending any information back to ant.com

    ant_options.jpg
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  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
    edited December 1969

    BWSman said:
    The player uses the browser window to play videos; but once the videos are downloaded; any player that can read .flv (or whatever format the video is in) can be used. I use the player because it has a scroll list of the files you downloaded on the left side when it is activated. As seen in the options box; you can opt out of sending any information back to ant.com

    I've noticed that, I like it.

    I also noticed that shortly after I view a youtube video in youtube, the plugin starts downloading it automatically, without me asking it to do so. If I decide I was looking for a different video and keep searching, I still may end up downloading a 100 MB+ file. In some cases that's fine but if you don't have much disk space you'll want to keep an eye on this. Do you know if it's possible prevent automatic download and make it so that it only saves the flv when you request it to do so?

    Other than that I think I like it ok.

  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 147
    edited December 1969

    Lindsey said:

    You shouldn't have to download anything. That button you pressed on is an advertiser link.

    And that may be the reason I don't trust it, i.e. what type of ad partner they allow may indicate how much or little they care about privacy.

    I see iLivid as the advertiser each time I visit. Makes me wonder if iLivid is the one running it. Anyone who owns/runs keepvid?


    [quote ]

    Just paste a Youtube link in the box to the left of the Download button and click on the Download button. The only thing it may try to download is Java scripts to run Keepvid. That should be a one time download. You'll get a list of download links like shown below.

    DO NOT click on any of the big green or blue buttons!! Those are ad buttons.


    I know how to use it, but thanks.

    I was trying to learn more about who's running it. And trying to understand why Eset is warning about it. But it may have only balked at the download attempt after I clicked the ad.

  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 3,482
    edited December 1969

    For Firefox users there are two methods I recommend:

    Greasemonkey ...
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/?src=ss

    with the You Tube Center script
    http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/114002


    or

    Video Download Helper
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-downloadhelper/

  • tsaristtsarist Posts: 973
    edited December 1969

    The download helper extension works well (when it works).
    Mine hasn't worked in a little while (I'm not sure why).

    I have been using
    http://www.youtubeinmp4.com/

    I dislike the popups, but I have had no viruses

  • KeryaKerya Posts: 7,260
    edited December 1969

    I am using http://www.share-tube.eu/
    Using Firefox, AdblockPlus and NoScript, just allowing Share-tube.eu in NoScript and no problems.

  • MurgatroydMurgatroyd Posts: 585
    edited December 1969

    I'm using Safari, and one of my plugins (I think it's ClickToFlash) adds a "Download Video" option to the contextual menu on youtube videos.

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