Play and Download YouTube Videos On Your Mac with MacTubes

YouTube has become one of the biggest names on the internet. If the number of hits the site gets a day is not convincing enough for you, try to find out how many YouTube video downloaders are available out there – either as online services, browser plugins, or stand alone applications.

Choosing the best YouTube video downloader among that crowd could be troublesome. But for Mac, there’s one name that keeps popping out as the preferable choice: MacTubes.

The iTunes for YouTube

This app often dubbed as the iTunes for YouTube because the interface gives you the familiar look of – well, you’ve guessed it: iTunes.

01 MacTubes main window


The first time you launch MacTubes, you’ll get a blank interface. Even though it seems very logical for some that the first thing to do is to search for videos, some other might get confused because of the “non-online look” of the app.

The search results will be shown on the main pane of the window with small thumbnails for a quick glance. Hover your mouse over any item and a description box will pop out. If you click and choose one of them, the thumbnail will appear on the small box on the bottom left corner.

Click the Play button at the bottom of the main window and the play window – which look very similar with YouTube’s – will appear as if you were playing a video file from your hard drive.

02a Play Window

You may get a warning window telling you that the video can not be played from the embedded URL as some YouTube videos are set to be played only from the site. MacTubes then will suggest you to open the video using your web browser.

02b Not allowed to play

There is another pane at the left of the main window. You can add and remove folders, playlists, searches and feeds here. Arranging and re-arranging the position of each item can be done easily by dragging and dropping. MacTubes also allows you to add videos from the main pane to one of the the playlist or folder.

Downloading the Videos

When you find videos that you like, it’s possible to download them just by right-clicking on the items on the list and choose Download from the pop-up menu.

03 Download Video

The cool thing is that you can download the videos as FLV, MP4 or HD. While the size of HD video makes it a no-no for people with slow connection, the preferable format for many would be MP4 as iTunes and iPod can play this format with no problems.

The download window is similar to Safari’s and will show you a list of downloaded videos and their progress. Very convenient if you ask me.

04 Download Window

I don’t consider myself a YouTube person but after fiddling with this app for a while I think I would convert to one.

Have you tried MacTubes? Do you have other preferable alternatives? Share them using the comment below.

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