There are numerous ways you can take your favorite Youtube videos on the go and watch it later on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. The process is comprised of three main steps: 1) downloading the file to your computer 2) converting the video file (if necessary) 3) adding the video to iTunes and syncing your device
Here are a couple ways you can go about downloading Youtube videos to your iOS device:
This is the method I currently use even though Chrome is my preferred browser. I’ve recorded a screencast in addition to writing step-by-step instructions on this method. Feel free to leave any questions or comments for any clarification.
- Download the Video DownloadHelper add-on to Firefox
- Navigate to a Youtube video you’d like to download
- Select the dropdown arrow in either location, and select to download the video.
- Open iTunes
- Go to File > Add to Library
- Locate your downloaded .mp4 file and select it from the file dropdown menu
- Sync your iOS device
This tool lets you easily download both video and image files from many sites, including Youtube.
Once you’re there, if you see an animated DownloadHelper icon, that indicates that the video can be downloaded. The icon can be seen in two areas: in your browser bar and inline with the Youtube video’s title tag.
If you select from the browser bar, you can specify the video quality. Otherwise, just select Download or Quick Download and the video should should be downloaded to your computer.
If everything worked fine, you should see a .mp4 file downloaded to your computer. High-five!
Check to see if the video is in your iTunes library, in the Movies section. If it’s not there, go back to the previous steps and check to make sure you haven’t skipped anything.
Visit your Video app on your iOS device and enjoy your Youtube video!
Using Safari, you can easily download Youtube videos.
On the Youtube video’s page, press CMD+Option+A or go to Window > Activity. There, you’ll find an activity window of the various resources being downloaded in order to render the current page. The video file is usually the largest file and is probably still loading. Once you locate it, double-click it and the video will start downloading to your computer as an .flv file.
Problem is, iTunes requires .mp4 files for videos. Thus, we need a video converter to work its magic.
If you’re on a Mac, download the Smart Converter app from the Mac App Store. It’s free and let’s you quickly drag-and-drop video files to perform easy video conversion. Plus, it automatically adds the newly converted videos to your iTunes library. All that remains is for you to sync your iOS device and enjoy your Youtube video!
Tip: Mac OS X Hints
Do it the hard (but cool) way
I wrote a tutorial awhile back on how to download Youtube videos via the command line. The tough part is getting it set up, but hey! That’s why I’m here!
Not only can you impress your non-techie friends by working in the command line, the downloaded file doesn’t need to be run through a video converter before it can be imported to iTunes.
Ideally, there would be a button on any Youtube video’s page that when clicked, will automatically download the video to iTunes, whereupon it will wirelessly sync to all your iOS devices. Isn’t that how iCloud was supposed to work?
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