Please note: Due to YouTube’s ongoing war against downloading of their clips, basically every program available (for Linux or Windows) will now fail when trying to fetch the clip with the URL supplied. You can still keep clips you’ve watched by finding them in your web browser’s cache; just watch the clip in full, and do not navigate away before saving a copy of the clip, as it will be automatically deleted by YouTube. With Ubuntu’s superior preview thumbnailing, you will spot them easily from amongst all the files in the cache; simply rename them with something descriptive, and end it with the .flv extension.
There is a cool little app for Ubuntu called QtTube, and its sole purpose for existing is to download video clips from YouTube. As you may already be aware, Ubuntu has native support for .FLV clips (whereas in Windows you need to find a dedicated player that can handle the file type). So you can actually download your favourite YouTube vids and play them back any time you wish without having to go back and watch it from the web page!
Simply use Synaptic to mark qttube for installation, or paste the following into a terminal:
sudo apt-get install qttube
Once installed, it’s really easy to use:
- Under Get Video, paste in the url.
- For Destination Folder, put a path to a folder of your choosing
- Change the File Name to something descriptive
- Click the Get Video button to begin.
You can get QtTube to automatically download to your preferred folder by going to Edit > Preferences > General, where you can specify something like your Downloads or Videos folder as the default download location from then onwards. The default filename for each clip will be the numbers and letters at the end of the url, so just select everything before the .flv and type something more useful. Lastly, to successfully paste an url into Get Video when there is already one there, triple-click the previous one before pasting (you need to make sure the end of the url in the separate little field on the end changes too).
If you find that you can’t play .FLV video clips in Ubuntu, you will need to install Ubuntu Restricted Extras to remedy this.