Some time ago I posted “How to locally download a streaming video with Edge browser (e.g. the Verdi’s grandest opera AIDA)” showing how can be downloaded an mp4 video, even a very long one, finding the video URL in the Developing Tools section available in the Edge browser.
However very often we would like to download locally on our PC a video or an mp3 from YouTube, Vimeo or other sites that use specific ways to let more difficult to identify the direct URL of the media, in order to avoid people can easily download them and do not need to see them only through their site (and see advertisings, that are the main profit for them!). … but this let the download more difficult but not impossible! 😉
In fact there are a lot of ways, for example the use of a specific browser plug-in (e.g. DownloadHelper Extension) or the installation of a specific program/app … even though you must be careful not to install also some spyware together! BUT there are also simpler ways that do not need to install nothing more, as using the two following methods I describe in the following.
Use of the free VLC Media Player desktop application and a browser (e.g. Edge).
You probably have already installed this popular and useful player, so you can use it also to identify the URL that will allow you to access the actual video file on YouTube’s servers – the one YouTube tries to hide – allowing you to download it to your computer. Note that VLC by default downloads the video in the highest possible quality. So, you can follows the following steps and possibly see the step-by-step video, clicking in the following figure:
a) Copy the complete address of the YouTube video you want to download (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTofEF-_Cnk);
b) Launch VLC Media Player and, from the menu Media, select “Open Network Stream” (IT: “Apri periferica di acquisizione“) and then, going to the “Network” tab (IT: “Rete“), insert into the input fields the previously copied YouTube video URL. Finally press “Play” (IT: “Riproduci“);
c) While the video is playing, from the menu “Tools” (“IT: “Strumenti“) select “Codec Information” (IT: “Informazioni codificatore“) and at the bottom of the popup page you can find, in the “Location” field (IT: “Posizione“), the searched URL.
d) Copy that URL (e.g. right click -> Select all) and then paste it in a new browser tab: this will load the video directly in your browser;
e) Right click into the played video and select “Save video as” to save locally the file.
Use of the yout.com site.
Another even easiest way (that it also allows to decide if downloading the video or only the mp3 audio) is to use the free online service offered by the yout.com site: you only have to past the YouTube video URL into the input field available in the homepage of that site to see that video and press the Record MP4 button to start the download (or the Record MP3 button, if you want only the audio). Before copying the URL, be careful to select, in the YouTube page, the video/audio quality you want, possibly the highest one, in order to get the URL specific for that quality type file.
Be careful, that in the case of a YouTube play list, the URL to be copied is not the one of the list but of each single video, so you need to right click on each video displayed on the right list: