download flv videos from youtube

My wife wants to keep some videos found on youtube, and I really can't recommend just keeping bookmarks to a random web site like that. Not if you want the content to be available in a few years ahead, or even ten or twenty years. Then downloading the files to keep the locally is the only sane way to make it somewhat more reliable.

To download the files you can do it with a browser or with a command line tool:

Browser StyleGreasemonkey

  1. Use Firefox
  2. Install Greasemonkey
  3. Within Greasemonkey there's concept of user scripts that customize it, and we want a certain customization for youtube pages. So we get the YouTube to me v2 script installed.
  4. Now, each youtube web page gets a red stripe on the top of the page that allows you to download the FLV.

Command Line Style

There exist several command line tools "out there" that do the job. I tried youtube-dl and it did the job splendidly by only proving the main HTTP URL on the command line.

The main lacking feature is that it names the output flv based on the 'v' variable in the URL so the downloads end up being named things like "f_8wuVEYMZ8.flv"...

Play the local FLV movies

For this, I can only recommend the lovely VLC media player, available on all modern platforms.