Downloading and Playing YouTube Videos with RealPlayer
There’s a new way to download, save, and play YouTube videos—and it’s an all-in-one solution. The latest version of RealPlayer, currently in beta testing, enables one-button downloading of any video from the YouTube site, and also functions as a player for .FLV-format videos (among others).
When you install the new RealPlayer, you also install a special add-in for Internet Explorer. This add-in automatically displays a Download This Video button above the top right corner of any video you view on the YouTube site. (It displays the same button on any video streaming site, so you can download videos from any website that offers streaming videos, such as CNN.com or ESPN.) To display the Download This Video button, simply hover your cursor over the video you want to download; the button should appear automatically.
Note that you don’t have to have the RealPlayer program running to display the Download This Video button in your web browser. The button is an add-in program that launches automatically whenever you launch your web browser.
To download a video, just click the Download This Video button. RealPlayer displays the Download & Recording Manager window and automatically saves the video to your hard drive. You don’t have to do anything; the file is automatically named and saved.
To play back a saved video, launch the RealPlayer program and select the My Library tab. The videos you’ve downloaded in this fashion should be listed here; double-click a video to start playback. If you’ve downloaded a video using another download website, select File, Open to locate the file on your hard drive, and then load the video for playback.
Playback takes place within the RealPlayer window, at whatever size the window appears. To view the video full-screen, click the Full-Screen Theater button; to view the video at its original size, regardless of how big the RealPlayer window is, click the 1X button. You can use RealPlayer’s transport controls to pause, stop, rewind, and fast-forward the video; you can even play back in slow motion, by clicking Pause and then using the Slow Reverse and Slow Forward buttons.
All in all, the new RealPlayer is an elegant solution for downloading and playing YouTube and other streaming videos. And the best thing is, it’s totally free—which means it’s worth your consideration.