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Playing YouTube Videos on Your iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV

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Watching your favorite YouTube videos is fun. But how do you take them with you to watch on your iPod or iPhone? In this article, "YouTube 4 You" author Michael Miller explains how.

There’s nothing more entertaining that watching your favorite YouTube videos. But how do you watch YouTube when you’re on the go and don’t have a computer handy? Well, if you have a video iPod, you can download YouTube videos from the web to your iPod, to watch wherever you happen to be, at your own convenience.

How do you get a video from the YouTube site to your iPod—or to your iPhone or Apple TV device? It’s not necessarily intuitive, but it can be done. Read on to learn how.

Downloading YouTube Videos to Your iPod

If you have a fifth-generation video iPod, you’re probably looking for new (and low-cost) videos to play on your iPod. YouTube videos are ideal for iPod playback—after they’ve been properly converted, that is.

You see, the videos on the YouTube site are normally streamed to your web browser in .FLV format, using the Adobe Flash Player. To play a YouTube video on your iPod, you first need to download the .FLV format file to your computer’s hard drive and then convert the file to the MPEG-4 file format (with.MP4 or .MPV file extensions) used by the iPod. Once saved and converted, you can import the file into the iTunes software, and then transfer the file from iTunes to your iPod for mobile viewing.

There are several programs that perform this download-and-convert process. The most popular of these programs include the following:

Online, the vixy.net Online FLV Converter website downloads and converts any YouTube video to iPod video format, with no software necessary. The service is free.

Of all these iPod conversion tools, my favorite is iTube, a free program that offers some nice features, chief among them the ability to perform both the download and the conversion process in a single step. (That is, you don’t have to download the videos first, outside the program.) When you launch iTube, the program displays a dialog box. Enter the YouTube video URL into the Page URL box; then click Go. iTube downloads the video, automatically converts it to iPod format, and then imports it into your iTunes video library. The next time you connect your iPod to your computer, the video is transferred to your iPod for viewing on the go. It’s the easiest way I know to download YouTube videos to your iPod.

To watch YouTube videos on your iPod, simply open the Movies menu. That’s where all the saved and converted videos are stored. Choose from the videos listed, and then click the Play button.

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