5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online Videos

2011 11 28 15h14 15   5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online VideosStreaming video websites are such a big part of our lives, it’s hard to remember a time when they didn’t exist. These websites revolutionized our computer video experience – no longer do we have to download every single video we want to watch – it’s all right there!

But the opposite is also true. Sometimes sending a link or embedding a video is not enough, and we need the actual file, or only its soundtrack. And when that happens, the default FLV file format rarely cuts it. Luckily, there are several downloaders-converters out there that make it easy as pie to download videos and convert them into almost every possible format.

Xenra

Xenra is an easy-to-use web app which both downloads and converts YouTube videos into multiple formats. You can use it to either download whole videos, or extract entire audio tracks from YouTube videos.

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It’s very easy to use. Simply enter a valid YouTube link in the address bar and click the big red shiny “Download Now” button. You can then choose which format you want your video or audio file to be in, choose its quality and control several other aspects of the download.

xenra 13   5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online Videos

When you’re done, click “Start Conversion”. Xenra will start by downloading the video to its servers, and then convert it into the requested format. The process is rather swift, depending of course, on the video you chose and the quality you selected.

xenra 2   5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online Videos

When it’s done, you can download the file, share it, embed it, and generally have fun with it.

ClipConverter

ClipConverter is another excellent web app which can be used with multiple streaming video websites, not just YouTube. It can even convert or extract audio from video files you already have on your computer.

To start, paste the video’s URL or upload the file you wish to convert.

clipconverter 15   5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online Videos

Now choose which format you want the downloaded file to be converted into. Here too you can download the entire video or extract only the audio. If you wish to download only part of the video, you can specify start and end times and get only that snippet of the video as the final product. When you’re done, click “Start!”.

clipconverter 2   5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online Videos

ClipConverter downloads and converts your video – and does so extremely quickly – and presents a download link along with a QR code, for downloading directly to your phone.

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To speed things up even further, try ClipConverter’s browser add-ons for Firefox, Chrome and Safari, or use the handy dandy bookmarklet.

ConvertVideoToAudio

ConvertVideoToAudio is not as slick as the former two web apps, and not nearly as fast. What it does have going for it, are some unique file formats most other such converters don’t offer.

convert video to audio   5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online Videos

The website itself is way too cluttered with ads, and there are no settings to choose from except format. Having said that, you may find it useful if you need to quickly download and covert an online video into one of these formats, and while you can’t control the quality, it ends up being surprisingly good.

KeepTube

KeepTube is another download and convert service which you can use in multiple ways, although only with YouTube videos. Similar to other web apps, KeepTube sports the copy & paste option, but another way is to add the word “keep” before the word “youtube” on any YouTube URL you’re currently watching.

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Both the copy/paste method and the “keep” method will direct you to the KeepTube website, where you can choose your preferred quality. KeepTube can be used mainly for full video downloads (HD and HQ included), but you can also use it to convert videos into MP3s.

keeptube 1   5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online Videos

If this is not quick enough, you can download a plugin for Firefox or Chrome, or use the bookmarklet. Note that the web app will attempt to launch a Java applet. If this is not to your liking, you can use the non-Java version of the app.

Freemake [Windows]

If web apps are not your cup of tea, and you like the feel of a good desktop app under your feet, this is the option for you. Freemake is a fantastic video converter for Windows which we’ve mentioned in the past, which now also offers Freemake’s free video downloader.

freemake 1   5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online Videos

This slick piece of software grabs your video links from the clipboard. Copy the video URL and simply click the “Paste URL” button. The software can be set up in advance with your favorite settings, and will start downloading and converting immediately. When it’s done, you can even play the new file directly from the app.

If you turn off the one-click download option, you can set up the quality, format and location for each file separately. The downloader can also be used to extract audio from videos.

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Note that the software requires an installation of the latest version of .NET. If you don’t have it yet, it might take a little while to download.

Conclusion

Last time I actually needed to download and convert a YouTube video from the Internet, it proved to be quite a difficult task. But downloading an converting online videos has been getting increasingly easier, and after only a year or two, the Web is teeming with quick and simple options. Now I can’t wait for it to becomes even easier.

Know of some more easy-to-use video downloaders that also convert? Know of an important option we missed? Share in the comments!

Image credit: Shutterstock

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29 Comments -

0 votes

Gbolio

I know & use Freemake. Its excellent

0 votes

Beauty Daffodil

me too, its excellent =x

0 votes

John Jiang

My recommendation would be using keepvid.com, it can download clips from numerous popular video services: Vimeo, Dailymotion, Metacafe…etc.

0 votes

Yaara

Thanks for the recommendation! I checked out KeepVid but wasn’t sure about it, so didn’t include it. I will give it another try.

0 votes

gfed

I’ll second your recommendation for keepvid. I have been using it for some time, and it is easy to use and offers several file format and quality options. Another nice one is RealPlayer.

0 votes

Anonymous

I use a script/addon for my browser. 

Conveniently places all the formats, quality underneath the video

Like: http://youtubedownloader.anoniamto.com/

or: http://www.chromeextensions.org/utilities/chrome-youtube-downloader/

0 votes

Yaara

Awesome, thanks!

0 votes

hackers001

Recently, I did not give lots of consideration to leaving responses on site page reports and have positioned responses even less. Reading through by way of your enjoyable article, will assist me to do so sometimes. Really Nice post….

0 votes

SRW

Download:
Firefox Addon -> Video Download Helper
Convert -> Format Factory ( nearly anything to anything )

This combination does it all and does it the easiest. Far better than all the 5 mentioned. Both free.

0 votes

Yaara

Great, thanks!

0 votes

jello

I have been using http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/ 
for sometime and it does a great job of video conversion.  I am recently 
evaluating freemake but so far I inclined to stay with any video converter. They do have a free version that I use.  

0 votes

Thomas

I suggest you also use Ant Video Downloader. It’s an awesome add-on that grab any video:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-downloader-player/

0 votes

Aibek

thanks for the input

0 votes

Yaara

Thanks! Never heard of it, will give it a try.

0 votes

Tomlinson B70

Yes Ant is goodto download vids in Microsoft Explorer. I you go onto their Web page there is lots more you can download.
Lofty

0 votes

Guest

I’m using Video Download Helper for many years and its excellent (Mozilla’s extension) . It enven does automatic the conversion if i wish, and then a small watermark to no registrated users appears. But it works almost on every site in the web…

0 votes

Yaara

Thanks for the comment! I’ve used Video Download Helper in the past, it’s great.

0 votes

Misha

zamzar.com is also a really good one to use…once it is sent to your email, you have 24hours to download it.  

0 votes

Yaara

That’s a pretty good one! Thanks!

0 votes

Zoy926

Hi,

I tried all the alternatives mentioned in the artice as well as Firefox Addon Video Download Helper, but there are still lot of videos like the link below which all of them are unable to download, somebody please help:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7udCAEsRm4

0 votes

Yaara

I think the file size on this one is just too large. It’s a huge video.

0 votes

Zoy926

No , it has nothing to do with size, there are lots of videos which are way heavier than this and can be easily downloaded. I think the the video uploader has found a trick which can’t be cracked with any of the available tools.
I searched myself a lot on the net but to no avail and I’m waiting for someone to crack this code!!!

0 votes

Peng Hardin

I love using Video Download Helper and wish there was a Chrome version of it so I didn’t have to open Firefox just to snag videos. But I’m surprised you didn’t include Minitube (http://flavio.tordini.org/minitube) in the list. It’s open source, cross-platform, and does a great job on downloading YouTube vids. Plus it doesn’t require your web browser so it’s also great for just watching videos on YouTube. Hopefully they’ll add support for other video sites at some point in the future but it’s still a Must Have piece of software for my computer.

0 votes

Yaara

Minitube looks awesome! It doesn’t download or convert videos, so it’s not really right for this list, but it looks like a great tool. Thanks!

0 votes

Bimboviziato

I use Freemake: excellent !

0 votes

Luke Meyers

I am using Audials One. It can both download or record music and video files and it’s also a good audio/video converting tool; all the popular formats are there and generally works really great. It’s fast, quite easy to use, I am really happy with it.
http://audials.com/en/how_to_record_stream_capture_music_videos_movies_from/start.html

0 votes

Yaara

Thanks Luke!

0 votes

Sasata

i use keepvid and i found it quite good. actually, i used all of the mentioned above and still i think keepvid suits me fine. i am rather surprised that its not mentioned here…

0 votes

Unbelievableifteqar

not for youtube, download videos on others sites educational sites???