Getting your fix of this year’s epic fails and funny cat compilations on your Android device is great when you are connected to an unmetered network. Yet, since most of the time you are on the go, and thus using an often soul-destroyingly slow and data-precious mobile connection, laser-chasing cats and face-palming have to wait till you get home for some good ol’ Wi-Fi. The answer to the problem is downloading your favourite videos while you are connected to a fast, reliable and limit-free network and then not even the most 3G-blocking tunnel can stop your viewing pleasure. And the best way to download videos is by using a free YouTube downloader for Android.
How to Download YouTube videos on your Android device
Before you use external apps to grab your favourite videos, keep in mind that according to YouTube’s terms of service, you are not allowed to download videos. Although, if you are doing so for personal use, it’s not illegal, but still forbidden by YouTube. The videos are intended to be viewed in real-time using the website and apps owned by Google and not be watched offline on your personal devices using third-party software. Perhaps these terms don’t seem surprising when you consider that if you download a clip, YouTube, together with the owner of the video, won’t earn any money from the advertising. Still, many people do it…and here’s a ways it can be done.
TubeMate – the app that could
There are many apps and web-based solutions to downloading online music and videos quickly; they differ among themselves in options and reliability. One of the most popular is TubeMate; sadly not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Its biggest inconvenience is the installation. Since Google really doesn’t want you to download any videos, you won’t be able to find TubeMate on Google Play (and this will force you to look for updates manually, what can be very uncomfortable in the long run, especially since the app can stop working with YouTube from time to time).
Similarly, you’ll have to learn how to run a third-party software installation manually (unless you’ve already done it). This allows installation of apps from unknown sources other than Google Play so make sure you turn this option off immediately after installation of TubeMate; otherwise, you are risking the security of your phone. The app also has a few gimmicks, which can be related to its “unofficial” character when it comes to Android devices and YouTube video downloading. A lot of users grumble about a blank screen error, which forces them to clean their cookies in the browser, and in doing so, logs them out of their Google accounts.
Sometimes, it’s also relatively slow compared to other options, and even its “fast download mode” seems inefficient. Moreover, it’s not suitable for those who want to download YouTube music, as it doesn’t provide MP3 converting feature (the files that you download as MP3 aren’t real MP3s and thus may not be playable on your other devices).
Tube Video Downloader – for videos other than YouTube
Another popular app is Tube Video Downloader, which, unlike TubeMate is available from Google Play. There’s one condition that has made it possible and that is that you can’t download videos and music from YouTube using that app. Other than that, it’s pretty cool, quick and reliable, but considering the popularity of Google’s very own video sharing site, it can be useless for some users. But for those who are looking to download video or music from other sites, it can be a very handy choice considering its ease of use.
ClipConverter – no apps needed, just download
The last solution is a web app called ClipConverter. Similarly to TubeMate, you can’t download it from Google Play, but on the other hand, you don’t have to download it from what your Android device would deem an “unknown source” either. All you have to do is visit the official website clipconverter.cc and follow the steps below to enjoy unfettered content offline:
- Open the web browser on your Android device and go to clipconverter.cc.
- Paste the URL of your chosen file into the black rectangular area and click continue.
- If the website video player from which you are copying the file offers different quality options, you will be able to choose one of them to download.
- After you choose the quality, decide on whether you want your chosen file to be a movie or audio file and select one of the available formats. You can choose MP3, M4A or AAC for audio and MP4, 3GP, AVI and MOV for movie files respectively. If you don’t want any conversion, simply leave the “download” option highlighted.
- Some of the audio options allow you to enhance audio volume, change audio bitrate and channels (mono or stereo). It’s best to leave the option “detect best settings automatically” enabled.
- You can also select if you want to convert the whole file, or you can set time when to start or finish. This is the perfect option if your chosen file contains ads, a long introduction or ending, which is not suitable for the way you want to use it (for example, some music videos are much longer than audio tracks due to an in-video story).
- For audio files, you can select the option to use ID3 v2 tags. It’s a pretty handy option that lets you specify the artist and album name together with the audio title, making the file pretty easy to find in audio apps on your Android device.
- When you are ready, hit “start” – the site will start recording the file, and once done, it will convert it according to your settings. It shouldn’t take too long, depending on the file that you chose.
- That’s all! Click “download” to get your file.
Saving videos to your device can be quick and easy. You don’t even have to download any apps! Imagine having access to all your favourite videos while on the go without having to pay extra for data. Getting around Google’s terms of access is just the sweet cherry on top.
If you know any other good ways of downloading YouTube videos on Android, please let everyone know in the comments!