YouTube Goes Downloadable

By  |  Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm

youtubelogo1Some observant folks noticed last month that YouTube was dabbling with letting users download videos from the site to their hard drives. The YouTube blog just made it official: The company is permitting content providers to allow their videos to be downloaded, either for a fee (via Google Checkout) or for free.

It still sounds fairly experimental: YouTube is only working with a few content sources, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Khan Academy, HouseholdHacker, and PogoBat. And even with them, the download option isn’t universally available–actually, I’m not seeing it on any of the first half-dozen videos I’ve checked.

This isn’t earthshaking news–for one thing, tools like KeepVid have allowed YouTube fans to snag videos and save them for a long time. The YouTube videos are in unprotected MPEG4 format: I assume this means that YouTube isn’t going to enable downloading on the massive amount of stuff it offers that consists of short, unauthorized clips of copyrighted material. And while YouTube is also experimenting with streaming official versions of Hollywood content, it seems unlikely that the entertainment industry is ready to allow DRM-free downloads of current shows. At least right now.



4 Comments For This Post

  1. Dave Zatz Says:

    Hm, has anyone tried KeepVid or similar on the downloadable videos? I wonder if YouTube is adding any sort of protection. If not, what stops folks from swiping and re-uploading. Well I guess their video or audio fingerprinting might flag you for removal. Hm.

  2. kathy criss Says:

    i like music

  3. Business Brainiac Says:

    Correct. There are already sites like Keepvid (and formerly TechCrunch, I think) that allow users to download video. However, if they attach some content with a fee then that may serve as yet another revenue stream for Google–or, it may just alienate users and not get enough attention.

  4. detoxmimi Says:

    Youtube is my favorite website and i am so addicted in watching music videos in it.

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