- Open your browser.
- Open the appropriate developer tools (Chrome: CTRL+SHIFT+I, Firefox*: F12).
- Click on the Network or Net tab.
- May need to enable Network Monitoring (obvious if you see an explanation in the Net tab).
- Navigate to the YouTube video.
- When the video loads monitor the file list and find the one that is the flash file. On Chrome, the type will be "video/x-flv" and named something like videoplayback. On Firefox, it can be named the same "GET videoplayback?....", but you will need to click on the file to see the type, "video/x-flv." If you have trouble, just look for the file that has a long transfer time... the one that continuously transfers (See the image below).
- Right click on the file and choose either "Copy link address" or "Copy location."
- Now you have the link. However, before you can use it, make sure you close the original YouTube video webpage. YouTube has smart caching logic so that only one of your connections will be active at one time.
- You now have two choices:
- Paste your link into your browser (after closing the previous playing video), then doing a "Save As" to save it to your computer. This will download the video a second time, which is why I recommend...
- Create a link, right clicking it, and choosing "Save link as..." How do you do this? Use this tool to create an HTML Link for you.
So you want to save a YouTube video? You've probably used a search engine and found tools like KeepVid, Keep-Tube, and a plethora of browser extensions for Chome and Firefox. You probably thought twice about using those tools because adding an extension to your browser or running a Java Applet inside it can be a security risk. It makes you wonder why you can't simply obtain a link to the flash file to download. It's saved (cached) on your computer when you watch a video anyway... Well, you can get a link to the flash file (.flv) on a YouTube video without needing anything but your browser if you are using Chrome. If you are using Firefox, you can use the FireBug developer tool extension. Here's how you do it. I'll keep it short and sweet, but keep in mind the method is similar for both Chrome and Firefox. Overview: Use developer tools to see which files are being sent from the server, identify the video flash file, then obtain a link to it. Steps to obtain a Flash link to a YouTube video:
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