I just tried another tip for Safari on the Mac, and that one still seems to work:
• Open Window > Activity
and Window > Downloads
• Open the Youtube video you want in the Safari browser window and select its desired resolution (see below).
• In the Activity
window, identify the video file among the files on the current page. It will generally be the large file that's still loading while you're looking at the list. Select it and press CMD-C
to copy its address.
• Paste the copied Link into the Downloads
window with CMD-V
The actual video file will then download to your local disk.
In general, the lower-resolution videos on Youtube (240p..480p) will be in the older .flv
format which can be played with the VLC
player on either Mac or PC
On the Mac you may want to install the Perian
codec package which makes QuickTime support .flv
as well, among many other formats.
videos on Youtube (720p, 1080p) will generally be in the new .mp4
format which can be played natively on either platform.
When you're switching resolutions in a Youtube video, the embedded player will switch "mid flight". It will only load the rest
of the video in the new resolution, and the download link may thus be missing the initial part (there are parameters in the link identifying the portion to be loaded).
To still get the whole video even after switching resolutions, simply let the video play in full in the browser window, then re-start it again (just click on the "play" icon). At that point the whole video will be loaded anew, and you just grab the fresh link from the Activity
window during that second playback to get the entire file.
That seems to do it with the current version of Safari. I've just tested it with Safari 5.0.4 under Mac OS
X "Snow Leopard" 10.6.6.
[Edited 2011-03-21 11:33:31]