Easily download Youtube videos with a simple bookmarklet

One of the most desired software out there right now, undoubtedly, are streaming video downloaders. Why? Because of websites like Youtube (duh! =P). In fact, here on dotTech I have covered quite a few of them in the past, including TubeMaster++, WebVideoCap, VideoCacheView, URL Snooper2, and others I can’t remember right now. So, what would you say if I told you forget all these programs; you can use a simple bookmarklet to download Youtube (and videos from other websites depending on which bookmarklet you use) videos? Locutus has already discussed one in his post on Youtubian; I will introduce you to three more. (Read up on bookmarklets on Wikipedia if you don’t know what a bookmarklet is.)

KeepVid.com “Keep It!” Bookmarklet

KeepVid.com is a website that allows users to download online streaming videos. While the website itself does not specifically define which video streaming websites it supports, rumor has it that KeepVid.com supports most popular video hosting websites. I personally have tested it on Youtube.com and it works fine for it.

Given the popularity of KeepVid.com, the owner(s) of the website have created a simple bookmarklet that can be used whenever a user wants to download a video. Whenever you want to download a video, simply go to the page where the video resides (for example, load the video on Youtube.com) and click on the bookmarklet. Once you click on the bookmarklet, you are redirected to KeepVid.com and given download links to download the video in question:

The one particular advantage of using this KeepVid.com bookmarklet is that not only are you given the choice of downloading Youtube videos in FLV and MP4, but – if available – you can also chose between what quality (360p, 480p, 720p, etc.) you desire. The disadvantage of using this KeepVid.com bookmarklet is that you get redirected to KeepVid.com whenever you want to download a video.

To get the KeepVid.com bookmarklet, either visit the homepage and add it, or drag this to your links/bookmarks toolbar.

All-In-One Video Bookmarklet

The All-In-One Video Bookmarklet is a short script written by 1024k.de that allows users to download videos from YouTube, Google Video, Metacafe, Myspace, Break.com, Putfile, Dailymotion, Sevenload, MyVideo.de and Clipfish.de. I tested it on Youtube and it works just fine.

Like with the KeepVid.com bookmarklet, whenever you want to download a video, go to the page where the video resides (like Youtube.com), and click on the All-In-One Video Bookmarklet. After you have clicked on the bookmarklet, you will be given links to download the video:

While you are given the ability to download videos from Youtube in FLV or MP4, you are not given the option to select the quality of them. As per my tests, the low quality versions of videos are downloaded. On the brightside, unlike KeepVid.com, you are not redirected to another page with All-In-One Video Bookmarklet; rather, a JavaScript script is called.

Since the name “All-In-One Video Bookmarklet” is really long, keep in mind you can always manually rename the bookmarklet (right click on it, select “Properties”, and change the name).

To get the All-In-One Video Bookmarklet, either visit the homepage and add it, or drag this to your links/bookmarks toolbar.

Bookmarklets by Nathan Hammond

On his website, Nathan Hammond posted two bookmarklets which allow users to download Youtube videos. There are two bookmarklets; one bookmarklet is for downloading Youtube videos in MP4 format, and the other is for downloading Youtube videos in FLV format. Also, while you are not given the choice of which video quality to download, as per my tests the highest quality video is always downloaded.

It may be annoying to have to have a separate bookmarklet for MP4 downloads and FLV downloads, but there is one huge advantage to using Hammond’s bookmarklets: they don’t redirect you to any page, or call any script. Essentially, you just need to click on the bookmarklet and after a few seconds, your download will appear without you ever leaving the page. While I can’t claim the other bookmarklets are tracking your downloads (I don’t know if they are or if they aren’t), this method of Hammond’s ensures 100% privacy.

To get Hammond’s bookmarklets, either visit his website and add them, or drag this(FLV) or this(MP4) to your links/bookmarks toolbar.

Final Words

Do you plan on using one of the above mentioned bookmarklets? Or are you going to stick to your lovable video downloader? Got anything else to say? Share below in the comments!

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24 comments

  1. Eric

    Keepvid works really well for Youtube, but I usually use Firefox with the flashgot plugin and/or unplug, and I usually use Free download manager to handle the actual download (note if FDM gives you an error, hitting query size before starting the download or closing the video page will sometimes help.)
    If the above aren’t cutting it for you on other video sites then try Maxthon browser 3 and its built in video downloader that works really really well. Maxthon comes in a portable version as well if you like.
    You can also try Avant browser’s video downloader or Orbit downloader. I haven’t used Orbit in a while but I think it works best with Internet explorer or another browser that uses IE’s engine like avant does.
    Another approach would be http://www.videotoolbox.com. I have used them for about a year and they are really good. They are more for converting videos (mp4, 3gp, or flv with h264 codec produce the smallest file sizes) but you can also download from them if you want. They also allow you to extract audio or create thumbnails from videos. The only catch is that they require free registration but you can use a throwaway/anonymous email if you want or you can try Firefox’s bugmenot plugin to gain access. Please note that they do not support download resuming so don’t ever stop a download.

  2. rjh

    I’m very surprised that nobody has mentioned the best alternative to bookmarklets and video downloaders.

    There are a number of javascript extensions that work very well with Firefox and Chrome. These are able to change the layout of the YT page, add links for downloads in various qualities, prevent autoplay when the page is loaded, prevent autobuffering, amongst other functions and customisations.

    http://www.chromeextensions.org/?s=youtube&scat=all

    http://basicblogtips.com/chrome-extensions-for-youtube.html

    http://www.chromeextensions.org/other/easy-youtube-video-downloader/

  3. Mike

    Keeptube.com has done well by me for Youtube–use a bookmarklet, enter the Youtube video’s URL at the Keeptube website, or simply add the word keep in front of the Youtube video’s URL. And with download quality options.

  4. Mike

    Keep-tube.com has worked well by me for Youtube–use a bookmarklet, enter the Youtube video url at the keep-tube.com website, or simply add the work keep before the Youtube url. Very user friendly, with video quality options.

  5. Nathan Hammond

    Thanks for the mention! I’m guessing that my bookmarklets still work considering they were included here (I don’t actively test them).

    I imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult to build an inline modal popup for quality selection based upon what is available but that is in opposition to my goal of keeping it stupidly easy. It would however put what I’m doing on par with keepvid.

    Watch for a followup on my blog for something that may have a few more features.

    Nathan

  6. mizdoc

    I use Netvideohunter. Downloads most videos. Icon sits at the bottom right of my Firefox page and when I see a video I want to download, I just click on it which gives me the option to view or save it.

  7. OldElmerFudd

    I’m not much of a YouTube viewer – confine myself to instructional videos mostly – but these bookmarklets all work fine in FF 3.6.
    I found the All-In-One website almost completely mystifying. Your link to the bookmarklets worked easily.

    Thanks

  8. jumbi

    aaa, nice tools, but I will stick to download helper FF addon which (except from quality) includes a kind of download manager, which let you download all together or in a specified queue (eg. one after another).
    Very handy for controlling your bandwidth if you download many videos.