Howto: Download Youtube and Google Videos

Howto: Download Youtube and Google Videos

Sometimes you want to save the videos that you watch on Youtube or Google Video. Perhaps you want to watch them later. Maybe you are hoping to transcode a video for playback on a mobile device. Or maybe you want to edit a clip into a podcast you are making. Problem is, you can only download a subset of the videos from Google and Youtube doesn’t even have a download feature.

There are a few different ways to get at the FLV file that the video player application is downloading. Safari users can use the Window->Activities feature to locate and download flv files as they are playing, and Joshua Kinberg put together a couple nice Greasemonkey scripts for Firefox that make downloading pretty simple.

I was looking for an easy solution that works cross-browser, and this is what’s working for me: 2 javascript URLs, based on the original code from Joshua’s Greasemonkey scripts, that you can add to your bookmarks list.

Google Video Download Bookmark (right-click, copy address and save to bookmarks)
Download Google Video

Youtube Download Bookmark (right-click, copy address and save to bookmarks)
Download Youtube Video

Don’t click on those URLs here. Just get them into your browser’s bookmarks. The next time you are watching a video on Google Video or Youtube, you can click the appropriate bookmark and a window will pop up that will begin downloading the FLV! The Youtube file will be named “get_video” after it is downloaded. Just rename it and add a “.flv” extension and you should be in good shape.


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