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Can’t Download Videos From YouTube? What to do When the Mac Safari Trick Fails

February 13th, 2012 · No Comments · Mac Stuff

Note! Downloading videos is a violation of the YouTube terms of service. See below. Personal, temporary use is not an approved scenario. Based on this information, suggest you limit your caching to sites that are OK with this behavior, or do as I now do and leverage the ability of iTunes to cache locally — and legally — on your devices. (H/T to Brandon Wirtz — @BWOps)

Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Service and as permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service and the Content.

Prepping for my next trip on a plane, and hoped to download some lectures on YouTube to watch on my iPad while airborne. Normally I just do the old command + option + a Activity Window trick in Safari and it works like a charm. I get a FLV file (which I convert using an old copy of Quicktime Pro) and I’m good to go.

Problem is, it doesn’t work anymore. I suspect YouTube has “fixed” their site so the Safari download trick no longer does the job. Kind of like how Apple “fixed” Quicktime, so you can’t do any pro stuff anymore. (Someday I’ll do that “upgrades as downgrades” post…)

ANYWAY. After rejecting many programs that want me to pay $29.95, I downloaded a promising app called “iSkysoft Free Video Downloader” and sadly, it’s also broken. My guess is it relies on the same core process I was using before, and has not been updated.

Decided to go back to an old friend — DownloadHelper for Firefox. Worked like a charm. I’m totally back in business.


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