Saving Videos from YouTube.com
THE HARD WAY
Created: 04/08/2006 | Updated: 12/22/2007 | By: Staff | Comments

Here are a few manual methods for downloading a FLV file from YouTube.com. Depending on what web browser and operating system you are using, how and where you find the video file will vary from person to person. Please try the easy ways listed on this page first. YouTube changes their site all the time to prevent many of these manual methods from working.

 


Any web browser (PC, Mac, Linux)
This first tip is from a reader called BinaryGenius. Go to YouTube.com and find a clip you like. Every video page on YouTube has a little EMBED box that allows you copy code and post YouTube video clips on your web site. We are going to take advantage of this.

  • Copy the code and paste it into a text edit program like TextEdit (Mac) or Notepad (PC). The code will look something like this:

    <object width="425" height="350">
    <p
    aram name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-oNQXLNMh0c"></param> <param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-oNQXLNMh0c" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

  • You are looking for the URL of the video file. In the example above that would be: http://www.youtube.com/v/-oNQXLNMh0c. Copy this URL and paste it into a new web browser window and press the Return/Enter key on your keyboard.

  • The YouTube clip should load your web browser as a full screen clip. Press play and wait for the video to load.

  • Now take a closer look at the URL. It's different than what you pasted in there. It's a lot longer right? It should look something like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch_fullscreen?video_id= -oNQXLNMh0c&eurl=&iurl=http%3A//sjl-
    static5.sjl.youtube.com/vi/......8X90swYCiZMZTzBdb


  • The next step is to change the piece of code that says "watch_fullscreen" to "get_video". So the example above should look like this after the change: http://www.youtube.com/get_video?video_id=-oNQXLNMh0c&eurl=&iurl=http%3A//sjl-
    tatic5.sjl.youtube.com/vi/-oNQXLNMh0c/2.jp...PDskJaNd08X90swYCiZMZTzBdb


  • Press return and your video will start to download.

  • Save it to your Desktop. If you want to make this FLV file a QuickTime that will play on your iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or in iTunes, skip to the bottom of this page by clicking here.

Internet Explorer (Mac OS X)
Because Internet Explorer is an older browser, it doesn't tend to hide files very well. Let's exploit that.

  • Search your hard drive for a file called "get_video". You can use Spotlight to find the file.



  • Copy it to your Desktop. If you want to make this FLV file a QuickTime that will play on your iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or in iTunes, skip to the bottom of this page by clicking here.


Firefox (Mac OS X)
Firefox users will need to do a little code inspection. It's not that hard. Just follow these instructions carefully.

  • Right-click on the YouTube page and select View Page Source from the contextual menu.

  • You now need to find a piece of code on the page. Select Find from the Edit Menu and type in "watch_fullscreen?video_id"

  • Look for the video ID. It's a very long line of code that should look like this:
    /watch_fullscreen?video_id=dBQ3HbB0c8Y&l...... [click to display code]

  • We now need to combine this prefix "http://youtube.com/get_video.php?video_id=" with the YouTube video ID. Open up a new web browser window and type in the above prefix with the video ID. The final URL should look like this:
    http://youtube.com/get_video.php?video_id=eBXal1GAA4A&l...... [click to display code]


  • Once you have the URL properly formatted, press return. You should now see a dialog box promoting you to save the file.

  • Save it to your Desktop.

  • If you want to make this FLV file a QuickTime that will play on your iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or in iTunes, skip to the bottom of this page by clicking here.


Firefox (PC)
Firefox PC users can search their hard drives for the hidden flv file. Here's a tip from one of our readers named twistrunner on how to find it:

  • The flv file is probably saved in one of these folders on your computer:
    C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USER_ID\Local Settings\Temp\plugtmp\
    C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USER_ID\Local Settings\Temp\plugtmp-2\


  • You can find this file by running a windows search as follows:
    • Look for all files on the C:\ drive that were changed "today" (including hidden ones)
    • Sort the files by date/time
    • Find the file in question (looking at hour/minute of change and file size)

  • Once you find it, drag the file to your Desktop.

  • If you want to make this FLV file a QuickTime that will play on your iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or in iTunes, skip to the bottom of this page by clicking here.

Internet Explorer 7 (PC)
Here's an easy way to find the flv file from MethodShop.com reader Cody:

  • Click on Tools, Internet Options
  • Under Browsing History Click on Settings
  • Then Click on View Files in the window that comes up
  • Arrange by Size, and the biggest file is most likely the movie you're looking for
  • Save it to your Desktop
  • If you want to make this FLV file a QuickTime that will play on your iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or in iTunes, skip to the bottom of this page by clicking here.

Internet Explorer (PC)
IE users on PC will need to do a little code inspection. It's not that hard. Just follow these instructions carefully.

  • Select "Source" from the View menu. You should now see a page of HTML code on a white background.

  • You are looking for a piece of code on this page. Press Control+F to bring up a Find dialog box.



  • Type in "watch_fullscreen?video_id" and press return.

  • Look for the video ID. It's a very long line of code that should look like this:
    /watch_fullscreen?video_id=dBQ3HbB0c8Y&l...... [click to display code]

  • We now need to combine this prefix "http://youtube.com/get_video.php?video_id=" with the YouTube video ID. Open up a new web browser window and type in the above prefix with the video ID. The final URL should look like this:
    http://youtube.com/get_video.php?video_id=eBXal1GAA4A&l...... [click to display code]


  • Once you have the URL properly formatted, press return. You should now see a dialog box promoting you to save the file.

  • If you want to make this FLV file a QuickTime that will play on your iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or in iTunes, skip to the bottom of this page by clicking here.

USER NOTE: "Sometimes instead of getting the download box you get a box that says, "Getting file information." After several seconds a box comes up saying, "This page cannot be opened." There is a way around that. If you look at the address bar you'll see something that looks like this: http://74.125.12.96/get_video?video_id=Hm2BdCbZkKY&origin=chi-v274.chi.youtube.com

At the end of that long url you'll see the phrase, "Origin =." After the sign you'll see something that looks like something.something.youtube.com. You need to delete everything that comes before that so you're just left with the something. something.youtube.com. After the .com you type /get_video?video_id=(insert short video id number here). After the sign you type in or paste in the 11 character id number that appears when you simply click on a video to watch it. An example of this can be found with the following video. (now watch it not do what I want it to) http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hm2BdCbZkKY

If you try to download it using Internet Explorer using the get_video.php?video_id=(insert long id number here) method you get the "getting file information" box. You have to use the method I've described to download it. Sometimes even then it may not download fully. Occasionally it may take 2 or 3 tries to fully download a video. This is a rare occurence though." ~ smns65


Safari (Mac OS X; option #1)
It's actually very easy to download the FLV if you're using Safari.

  • Go to YouTube, then completely WATCH your video

  • Select the Activity monitor from the Window menu (Window > Activity).



  • You should see a URL that has more MBs than the others and that ends with ".flv" or try looking for a Get_video link such as the one below. LOOK at the RIGHT for file size. In the image above, the file is 2.1 MBs. That's the file you want (thanks Bartman).
    http://sjl-casing4.sjl.youtube.com/get_video?video_id=wGkZS94d5HU


  • Once you identify the file, hold down your Option key and double click. It will download to your desktop. The file should start to download. If it doesn't, copy that URL and paste it into a new Safari browser window and press return.

  • The FLV file will download to your Desktop.

  • Go to your Desktop and look for the file named get_video

  • RENAME that file to end with ".flv"

  • If you want to double click and play FLV videos from your desktop, we recommend you get SWF & FLV Player from http://Mac.Eltima.com it organizes your play lists and auto plays your FLV videos like a video jukebox. Oh, and it's FREE.

  • If you want to make this FLV file a QuickTime that will play on your iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or in iTunes, skip to the bottom of this page by clicking here.

  • Safari (Mac OS X; option #2)
    It's actually very easy to download the FLV if you're using Safari.

    1. Found a Flash video that I wanted to download

    2. As the clips is playing, go to Window > Activity and highlighted the following string; http://74.125.12.93/get_video?video_id=0sahHSNy_Uk&origin=lax-v306.lax.youtube.com

    3. Waited for the clip to load completely

    4. Double clicked on the string (this began an automatic download process)

    5. Step 4 downloaded a file (or something??) to my desktop called; get_video

    6. I simply changed the name of this file (or folder..or whatever the hell is was) to something like this; "BettyDaviseyes.flv" (without the quotes, of course).

    7. BINGO, this folder or file or whatever icon immediately changed into a video file icon

    8. Launched an application called SWF & FLV Player, opened the file called BettyDaviseyes,flv and bingo, it played perfectly!

    (thanks to r2able)

     
     
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