The Dilemma of Downloading a YouTube Video
Should you find yourself with a spare hour in New York City over the holidays, you absolutely must pass through Bryant Park on 42nd and 6th Ave.
There’s the ice skating rink going as well as the pop-up shops and dessert kiosks. Who knew walking through a park could be so much fun?!
This year, Google has a rather large pop-up presence there, sporting a
‘Winter Wonderlab,’ featuring their Nexus 7 tablets and Chromebooks.
Play. Create. Chill.
In the center of their pop-up store is a high-speed photo studio inside a giant snow globe. In it, they shoot a slow motion video of you with a moving camera on a track. The result is a wicked cool 20-second sequence of you having fun in the globe, surrounded by fake falling snow.
(The actual elapsed recorded action is only about 2 seconds.)
Then, they download the file, and you’re invited to customize your mini movie with music and distribute it via one of their Nexus tablets, conveniently waiting for you in the pop-up store.
The whole point is to get you to say, “Mmmmmm….Nexus tablets.”
And then go buy one.
I’ve got to admit, their marketing tactic was rather compelling.
And I’m also not embarrassed to say I kind of liked my corny little video from their Winter Wonderlab.
The Google folks even provided me with my own URL to call up my cinematic moment, which conveniently lives as a YouTube video, housed in a Google Winter Wonderlab wrapper.
But you can also click on the video itself and call up the original YouTube page where the video lives.
(Remember, Google owns YouTube.)
Can You Keep your Snow Globe Joy Alive Forever?
So there I was watching my video, and I said to myself,
“Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if I could download my silly video to take a look at whenever I wanted?”
Sure I’ve got a link to forward for anyone to watch.
And the link is always there for me, right?
(I don’t think YouTube is going anywhere.)
That said, I suppose it’s an open question how long Google will keep its
Winter Wonderlab open in the digital space.
(Snow globe videos aren’t so hip in July.)
The problem is you can’t download YouTube videos.
Google understandably doesn’t offer that functionality.
(since they want you to keep giving them plenty of online clicks to feed their advertising model)
So now what?
At this point in the conversation, it’s important to share some legal realities on this point…
YouTube officially frowns on the downloading of their videos through other technologies. This would break their terms of service.
Plus, you don’t own the copyright on someone else’s content.
YouTube does suggest one exception if you are trying to download your own content.
So in this particular case I wanted to download specific imagery of Barrett juggling Styrofoam snowballs.
But I didn’t create the actual content… Google did.
Hmmmm… How gray is that?
So I’ll simply say I may have considered the following investigative mission.
Think of this as solely a theoretical exercise…
How to Download a YouTube Video
I quickly realized I wasn’t alone in this intellectual query.
There are a whole lot of players out there offering to help you out…
- Digital Trends has a good story on available options out there.
- And CNET has its own thoughts on the issue.
But I was interested in finding a quick, ‘relatively’ mainstream solution that didn’t require additional software downloads…
I asked a few friends, (a Gen X and a few Gen Ys)
and they immediately replied…
Seems I’m a little late to the party…
Keepvid.com has actually been around for years…
And after doing a little research, I saw it’s often mentioned as a major player in this space.
KeepVid’s usability is pretty straightforward.
There’s only one annoying pothole to avoid.
Don’t click on the ‘Download’ or ‘Play Now’ buttons on the top of the page.
Those misdirect you to advertisements.
A Decision for Another Day?
So there you have it.
Do proceed conscientiously…
And to repeat, this is all simply an exercise of the mind…
A noggin rumination, if you will.
If the Shoe Fits…
That there are effective ways to force video content off a webpage is not a happy reality for many multimedia-hosting websites.
But it should also give you pause…
- If you upload your own videos to share on these websites…
- Then set their permissions as non-downloadable…
- And believe that they are safely ‘not grabbable’
If you upload your own multimedia content into the universe, there are always ways for others to get it.
Now, we’ve come full circle.
All right, enough worrying for one post…
Now, go make your own snow globe video and have some fun!