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How to Download Streaming Videos (YouTube)

September 2015

How to record streaming videos?

From sites like YouTube, streaming videos can be played easily in the browser but when it comes to downloading, a problem arises. From the simple Save Target option, a streaming videos from the internet cannot be downloaded. There are, however, ways to capture these videos. Users can benefit from the assistance of the download-helper websites like KeepVid and YouTube downloader. Mozilla Firefox browser has a Video Downloader extension that can be also used. Installation of commercial software like CamStudio, Replay AV and WM Recorder is effective for downloading streamed videos from the internet. Real player is another option if the download is from YouTube and the free version is available online.

Warning on some sites, this operation may be illegal as it is for YouTube.
The Terms of Service are clear:

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.

Downloading streaming videos

Many websites like YouTube use a Flash Video format that enables highly-compressed streaming video to effectively play in most browsers. However, the inconvenience with this type of format is that you will not be able to download it by using your Save Target option.

There are three common ways available to capture streaming videos online to your computer:
  • 1. Save the video using commercial software
  • 2. Use download-helper websites
  • 3. Capture the video using a Firefox extension


There are software available online that require installation. They can be used to download the streaming videos to your computer. Some have the option to convert your FLV format files into Mpeg or AVI files.

Download Link:
Type: Free

Replay AV
Download Link:
Type: Trial version

WM Recorder
Download Link:
Type: Trial version

Download-helper Websites

KeepVid and YouTube Downloader are download-helper websites that allow users to provide them with the video links. These videos will then be catalogued and uploaded to the site. They are not video hosting websites like YouTube or Dailymotion - they provide a browser-based service as the user only has to enter the video's URL in the field provided and choose its source from the list. The file formats can be converted into Mpeg video formats on Keepvid.

Firefox extension

Mozilla Firefox is a web browser that allows you to grab online videos with its additional Video Downloader extension. This application runs both on Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.

Firefox can be downloaded at Mozilla Firefox

Install Mozilla Firefox
  • 1. Choose Save when the file download window opens and select the path you want the extension to be saved in.
  • 2. When the download is completed, click Open.
  • 3. This will launch the Set Up Wizard and you will be free to make all the necessary changes concerning its installation. If you do not want to make any changes to the installation settings, check the box labeled "I agree to the terms and conditions of the program" and proceed by clicking Next until installation completes.

Install Mozilla Firefox Video Downloader

When Firefox's installation is complete, you can download the Video Downloader extension at
  • 1. When prompted to download the software extension, click Save.
  • 2. Save the add-on in the "Extensions" folder that is within the Firefox folder in your Program Files.
  • 3. When the download is complete, click "Close".
  • 4. When you will open the Mozilla Firefox browser window, it will ask you if you want to install the add-on. Click "Install Now".
  • 5. After installation, the toolbar should have the icon located to the left-hand side of your address bar.
  • 6. You should first load the page containing the video stream to use this option. Once you have loaded the right page, click on the down arrow next to your video downloader icon and choose the format you want to save the video. By default it will save it as an FLV format file.
  • 7. Choose where to save the video.

Note: Winamp's latest versions can play FLV format files. You can download the program at:


If you regularly watch videos on YouTube, the easiest way to download videos from this website is using of Real player:
  • Download and install a free version of Real player
  • A folder named Real Player downloads will be automatically created in /My Documents/Video
  • Launch a video on Youtube
  • A small option should be present at the top of the video saying "Download Video"
  • Click on it and the video will be saved on your hard drive
For unlimited offline reading, you can download this article for free in PDF format:

See also

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Original article published by Carlos-vialfa. Translated by jak58. - Latest update by Ambucias
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