How to choose YouTube Video Downloader Software

Darun Smith

Most – if not all – of you must have tried saving YouTube videos with the help of either software or a web-service. You probably figured out that having a downloader tool is a better way to save YouTube video, since using a web-service requires you to be connected to Internet. You even might have tried a few apps, but are not really sure which one suits your needs best. They all do the basic job of saving YouTube video to computer, but apart from it there are plenty of other factors and options to consider. Here we will try to define those parameters that matter most when choosing the best software to save a YouTube video.

Here is what, we think, singles out a good downloader:

  • Functionality
  • Output Formats
  • Usability
  • Help & Support

Functionality

The least all video downloaders should do well is to save YouTube video to your hard drive – in a quick and efficient manner.

What other software features you might appreciate in your downloader?

Perhaps the first thing to be mentioned is eliminating intrusive ads. Some apps are capable of downloading only the video content, while others download ads in a separate folder you can send to trash later on.

Another thing to pay attention to is the way the downloaded content is stored and organized. Your downloads can be kept right in the app, thus saving you time spent on searching for the files. The software should allow you to organize your files and view their metadata to manage them in a better way.

A web-browser built in the app enables you to surf Internet and watch online videos directly in the app. Based on your viewing history some apps might suggest you videos to download. If the app is equipped with an internal media player, you can watch the videos you downloaded right in the app’s window.

Output Formats

Media formats are plenty - some are common and some are rare. It is nearly impossible for a player or device to support all of them. If you want to playback your downloaded videos on your media player without having to download additional codecs, third-party software, etc., make sure that the app allows you to choose a format of download, i.e. convert your video into a format that suits you best.

The more formats the app supports, the wider is your choice, and some of the best software tools group the format options by device, so you always choose the right one. Some apps allow you to convert videos into a different format before saving a YouTube video, some – after, and the best apps enable you to do both.

See if the software can remember your settings or you will have to tell the app what formats you prefer each and every time you perform a download. Check if the software can handle a task of downloading and converting multiple videos in one go.

Usability

Usability or ease of use is a big thing nowadays. How many steps does it take to accomplish a task? How long does it take to save video from YouTube? Are the features self-explanatory or it takes forever to figure out why you need a particular feature and how it works? Do you find the software UI visually appealing or a mere glance at it makes you feel tired? Trust your instincts to choose the most usable software.

Another thing to consider here is whether you want your software to automatically detect and download videos you watch in a web-browser. Some might like it – no need to copy-paste links the browser’s address bar to the app, while some would prefer to do just that, i.e. manual copy pasting, to save videos from YouTube.

Help & Support Issues

We hope you choose the software using which does not require any help or assistance. However it is always good to know that the developer will provide help and guidance whenever it is needed. Most developers do it through Help menu in the app or by providing a link to take you to Online Help.

If you can’t find an answer to your question there, you should be able to e-mail to Support Team or open a ticket. See if there is a FAQs page or user forum for the product so you can browse through discussions and possibly find a solution to your problem. If the product is popular, it usually has an Online user guide and step-by-step tutorials on how to accomplish specific tasks.

Equipped with all the info above, we will now have a look at some of YouTube downloaders and compare them based on the criteria.

Airy YouTube Downloader

Airy YouTube Downloader is a popular application by Eltima Software. Its popularity is not surprising if you check it against the criteria mentioned above – the app meets all of them.

Pros:

  • Supports multiple formats – MP4, WebM, FLV, 3GP, MP3, etc.
  • Features an integrated web-browser
  • Powerful enough to download HD resolution videos
  • Very usable – any action requires a minimal number of clicks

Here is how Airy looks:

Cons:

  • Not equipped with internal media player

Verdict

A compact YouTube downloader designed for Mac features great functionality. Supports a number of formats – MP4, WebM, FLV and 3GP, can extract audio tracks from videos. Handles well a resource-intensive task of downloading HD videos. Eltima provides excellent support service, there is absolutely no issue with Help & Support.

FlashLynx

Pros:

  • Enables search on a number of websites by artist’s name or video/ album/ song title
  • Suggest videos to download based on the category & genre you might like

Cons:

  • Does not convert files into a different format after downloading

Verdict

FlashLynx features an intuitive interface and all-in-all would have been a good solution for downloading videos had the developers added more of the essential downloading features.

MovieBox

Pros:

  • This tool features a built-in web-browser that allows you to watch videos and listen to online radio without leaving the apps’ window.

Cons:

  • Does not have an option to automatically detect and download videos watched in your Internet browser

Verdict

Moviebox has its own strong sides, but all-in-all lacks on the usability front and downloading features.

In future pay attention at the feature parameters and choose the best app which will help you to download favorite videos from YouTube.

Airy for Windows

Requirements: Windows XP/2003/2008/Vista/7(32-bit & 64-bit), Windows server 2012 , 13.69MB free space
Version 2.1.190 () Release notes