This is a question many are seeking the answer for that has had several solutions already available in the form of web based scripts, browser addons and standalone applications. To clear the doubt once and for all (and hoping that this should appear within the search results when someone Google’s it) I am going to highlight some of the most popular functioning applications, scripts and addons that does just this.
Using a Web Based Application
The easiest and probably most convenient and compatible way of doing this would be using a web based application that lets you download videos off youtube. One of the most popular and recommended web based tools would be Keepvid, this tool generates a download link of any youtube video simply by pasting the URL of the video in the textbox on their website and clicking the ‘download’ button.
Other Similar Websites:
Using a Browser Addon
Using an application from within your browser is probably convenient as well. I’ve covered DownloadHelper (Firefox) as the ‘ultimate’ video downloader, and I think that still stands, DownloadHelper is very convenient to download videos from Youtube (and again any website for that matter) from Firefox with just a click of a button. Another addon which does this would be Unplug which also does pretty much the same thing and is also a Firefox addon. There’s also Flashgot which lets you integrate Firefox with pretty much any download manager and also lets you download videos off youtube with a click of a button in your favorite download manager
Opera – Javimoya (also a web based application, see above) has a simple widget for Opera that lets you paste the video URL and download the video however they have a few kinks to iron out so don’t be surprised if you get a ‘403 error’ or something similar.
Internet Explorer – The popular Internet Explorer addon IE7Pro which is packaged with tons of features to enhance Internet Explorer supports a feature to download videos off youtube as well.
Using a Desktop Application
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend a separate desktop application just to download videos off youtube, the methods above should be sufficient, however most of these applications are bundled with other features like a video converter as well to convert your videos to a more compatible format, in any case, I’ll let you decide.
One of the most popular applications which handles downloading and converting videos off youtube would be Orbit Downloader (Windows), the primary purpose of the application however is not simply downloading videos off youtube but it has become a tool known for this purpose as it integrates well with browsers and lets you download videos quickly and conveniently, which is what we are looking at here, by default it is a download accelerator which integrates with IE, Firefox, Opera and Maxthon.
For Mac – TubeTV is a freeware application for MAC OSX which lets you download and convert Youtube videos.
For Linux – youtube-dl is pretty much a script that lets you download videos off youtube seamlessly.
So there you have it, I’ve outlined every possible way to help you get that Youtube video you dug into your local hard drive or portable media player, most of these methods are compatible with pretty much any other video sharing service as well.