This post is inspired by my friend Lymore Hauptman, a health coach (gladtobeofhealth.com) who has been a catalyst for many recent nutritional and lifestyle changes in my life.
Lymore recently asked if I could help her download a video from Youtube for one of her presentations. I randomly discovered an amazingly easy and powerful way to not only just download Youtube videos, but also download multiple file formats and qualities instantaneously and for free. The streamlined process is all possible because of an incredible little piece of opensource software called JDownloader.
JDownloader is written in Java so it works on any OS. It’s essentially used as a download manager – able to open simultaneous connections to almost any filehosting site, using either a premium or free account, to help streamline your downloading. What I discovered is it also kicks-ass at downloading Youtube video and audio in multiple formats. The best part about this little ‘hack’ is that you can download high quality versions of the youtube video (as high-def as the uploader provided). How nice is it to be able to download 720p or 1080p versions of your favorite music videos, trailers, or home-made viral clips? Pretty sweet, right? You want an mp4 version compatible with itunes or your ipad? No problem. An mp3 of audio-only of a new track released by some indie group? Jdownloader downloads the temporary audio from the youtube video and converts it into an mp3. Here’s how easy it is…
Without further adieu:
Step 1: Download JDownloader. Install it and launch the app. Have a brief look through the settings, but the most important one for our purposes is your default download folder (know where your files are being dumped!).
Step 2: Find the Youtube Video you want to use. For our purposes we’re going to use a great old-school 90′s hiphop video from the West Side: Warren G – Do You Know (I have no idea how I thought of this song just now..).
Step 3: Copy the URL of the Youtube video while Jdownloader is open and running in the background. (click to enlarge)
Step 4: Your Jdownloader should have picked up what you copied to your clipboard (PC: Control+C or Mac: Command+C) and show different file formats from the Youtube Video as shown in the following screenshot.
If for some reason it didn’t pick up what you copied, just click ‘Add URL’ in the bottom left corner of the screenshot, and paste it in there.
Step 5: Now just choose what file format or quality you want to download: Be it the 480p FLV movie, the mp4, or the mp3-audio – just right click and hit continue with selected link(s) as shown in the following screenshots
Step 6: Click the download tab, and you should start to see your file(s) downloading! Once it’s finished, go find it in the download directory you set in the settings. If you don’t remember or are too lazy, just right click the finished download and click ‘Open Directory’.
Tip: To speed up your downloads in JDownloader, you can increase your ‘max connections’ in the bottom right corner to 4 or 5. Essentially this will open more simultaneous connections to Youtube (or whatever source) to download multiple parts of the file concurrently. This should help max out your internet connection.
Let me know if you found this little hack helpful and if I missed any steps above.