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If you want to download YouTube videos to your PC, the options are seemingly endless. There are a huge number of options available that are simple and effective, including not only standalone software but also browser extensions.
Mac owners have fewer options to pick from – but that doesn’t mean we’re out of luck. There are several YouTube downloaders available that work as well or better than anything you would find on Windows.
If you’re looking for one piece of software that can handle not just YouTube downloads, but also a number of other sites, ClipGrab is a good choice.
What I like about ClipGrab is the interface. Instead of asking you to enter a YouTube video’s link, you can search YouTube through the software to find relevant videos. This search function is quick and returns relevant content, though it is limited to four results – a handicap I’d like to see removed.
ClipGrab can also download via URL. The manager could not be easier to use and allows for a number of different download formats including MPEG4, WMV and OGG (among others).
Though the search function only works with YouTube, the software is capable of downloading from some other sites if you enter a video’s URL. Supported sites include Clipfish, Collegehumor, Dailymotion, MyVideo, MySpass, Sevenload, Tudou and Vimeo.
ClipGrab works with all recent versions of OS X.
Fastest Free YouTube Downloader
As the name implies, Fastest Free YouTube Downloader is built to be speedy. It is supposedly able to download videos at over 5MB/sec – if you have an Internet connection that can support it.
In my testing I was only able to achieve a maximum of 1.9MB/sec, which is among the quicker download speeds I’ve been able to achieve with my connection. Stopwatch tests showed that this software does download a three minute long 720p clip at least twenty seconds faster than the other programs here. So it appears there is some merit to the “fastest” label.
What you may like even more, however, is the direct interface and large number of video conversion options. You only need to enter a YouTube video link and hit Start Download – but before you do that, you can choose to save the video in one of over 40 formats.
Fastest YouTube Downloader works with OS X Snow Leopard and Lion.
Another simple YouTube Downloader, 4k Video Downloader supports not only YouTube but also a number of other sites such as Vimeo and Dailymotion. You download videos simply by copying the URL from your browser and then clicking the “Paste URL” button in the software.
Nothing special, right? But 4k does offer something a bit unusual – the ability to download entire YouTube playlists. You can do this simply by pasting the URL of any video that is a part of a playlist. The software automatically detects it and will give you the option to download all related videos.
Conversion options are limited, but include the most popular options – FLV, MP4, MKV and MP3. You can choose video quality and format each time you download, or you can enable “smart mode” which applies the same options to all videos automatically, taking an extra step out of the process.
4k Video Downloader works with all recent versions of OS X.
This app calls itself “the YouTube browser.” Like ClipGrab, there is a search function included – but it’s far more robust, and allows for far more results to appear. And yes, it does work like a browser. You enter the term you’d like to search for in the search bar, and results appear. Tubulator doesn’t just give you results either – it actually gives you a fair amount of information including thumbnails, duration, quality and more.
When it comes time to download, you won’t find many format options. Video is converted to MP4, while audio-only downloads can be converted to MP3 or OGG. You can also select a preferred video quality.
Obviously, this isn’t the best choice if format choice is your primary concern. It is, however, a good choice if you want to browse videos rather than download a specific video you’ve already viewed.
Tubulator works with all recent versions of OS X.
Of the options here, I’ve used ClipGrab the most in the past. I like the interface and the conversion options are good enough for my needs.
I’m also partial to Fastest Free YouTube Downloader, however – and 4k Video Downloader’s ability to handle playlists is great, as well. Several of my favorite YouTube channels group similar videos by playlist, making 4k the best option for grabbing a lot of content at once.
I suggest giving all of these options a shot to download YouTube videos on Mac and discover which one works best for you.
If you want more Mac apps, check out our best sites to securely download Mac apps.