Saving YouTube Videos

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YouTube doesn't offer an easy way to download videos available for viewing on YouTube. There are ways to be able to save those videos to your own system, however. For instance, there are a number of sites where you can paste the URL, i.e. the address of the webpage containing the YouTube video, into a form and then click on a Download button to download the video.

First, go to the YouTube webpage for the video. You can then copy the webpage address with most browsers by clicking in the address field so the entire address is highlighted and then click on "Edit" and "Copy" at the top of the browser window. Or, on Windows systems, you can hit the Ctrl and "C" keys simultaneously while the address is highlighted to copy it.

Then go to the address of a site that provides the capability to download YouTube videos, such as TechCrunch or any of the others listed below. Click in the field where you enter the URL of the video to be downloaded then click on "Edit" and "Paste" or hit the Ctrl and "V" keys simultaneously, if you are using a Microsoft Windows system. Then you can click on the button to download the file.

For instance,, is the URL for a video of a crane collapse. You could paste that URL into the download form at any of the sites below. You will then be able to download the video to your system immediately or will be presented with a link you can click on to download the video. I've listed some of the sites that provide that download functionality below.

Sites for Downloading YouTube Videos

Put an .flv at the end of the name when you specify where you want it downloaded on your system and give the file a name that is meaningful to you rather than a default name, such as get_video, or rename the file giving it an .flv extension after downloading it. You need to add the .flv at the end to signify the file is a Flash Video (FLV) file. FLV is a format used for storing videos. If you obtain a video from YouTube it will likely be in that format.

From the Wikipedia FLV article:

Flash Video is viewable on most operating systems, via the widely available Adobe Flash Player and web browser plugin , or one of several third-party programs such as MPlayer , VLC media player, or any player which uses DirectShow filters (such as Media Player Classic, Windows Media Player, and Windows Media Center) with ffdshow.

You will need an appropriate player, such as one of those listed above, to view the file you have downloaded. If you are on a Windows system and get a message similar to the one below when you double-click on an FLV file, then you don't have an FLV player installed on the system, or at least a player that has been associated with FLV files, so that Windows knows to use it to play such files.

Windows cannot open this file:

File: get_video.flv

To open this file, Windows needs to know what program created it. Windows
can go online to look it up automatically, or you can manually select from a list of
programs on your computer.

What do you want to do?

() Use the Web service to find the appropriate program

( ) Select the program from a list

OK    Cancel

In that case, you will need to download and install an appropriate player. Links are provided below for free software that will play FLV files.

Free FLV Players

* When I played a video with sound, no sound was produced when using Flash Player.


  1. File Extension Details for .FLV
  2. FLV
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Three ways to save video from the Internet
    By: Troy Dreier
    CNET Networks, Inc.
  4. FLV Player updated
    By Martin de Visser
    October 3, 2005
  5. The Amazing YouTube Tools Collection
    Quick Online Tips


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Created: April 1, 2007