Whether you're interested in enjoying ukulele versions of your favorite Ramones songs or studying the wartime speeches of Roosevelt and Churchill, YouTube has got you covered. But if you want to enjoy those videos on your iPod or a laptop without Internet access, what are your options then?
Or if you're a teacher trying to string together some source material for a lesson or extract a classic speech from someone's hokey slideshow--what can you do?
I'll tell you what: You can download Biennesoft's YouTube Downloader 2.1.7. It's a simple program with two main functions: First, it downloads the Flash video files from YouTube and Yahoo Video and Daily Motion and a host of other video hosting sites. Then it converts that video into something you can play on your PC, Mac, iPod, cellphone, or PlayStation Pro.
YouTube Downloader looks deceptively basic, but it has hidden depth. A lot of thought went into making it easy to use--and Biennesoft doesn't even charge you money for all that work. You fire it up, go to YouTube or another video site, copy the URL of the video you like to the Clipboard, and when you switch over to YouTube Downloader--there's the URL, snatched straight out of the Clipboard.
Click the download button, and it gets the video onto your hard drive. Here's the good bit though; once the video is on your computer, you click the button again, and it converts the video from the FLV format into something you can use: iPhone, iPod, PSP, AVI, WMV, and Xvid. Or it can extract the soundtrack from a video and make an MP3 out of it. There's even a basic video editor that lets you crop out bits you don't like.
I've known people to jump through many hoops to perform the tasks that YouTube Downloader handles in two clicks. I've been one of those people. Thankfully, now I can devote all the time I used to spend in getting videos onto an offline player actually enjoying them.
List price: Free
Where to get it: http://download.cnet.com/YouTube-Downloader/3000-2071_4-10647340.html