YouTube is a free and continually evolving video streaming service. With their recent venture into the market of original content, YouTube is offering more media than ever for your viewing pleasure. But what happens when you need all that entertainment to go, or you need it available without internet connection? Enter video conversion tools, available for free. Here you’ll find our top picks for downloading and converting YouTube content. Did we miss one? Tell us below in our comments section.
1. aTube Catcher
For quick installation and ease of use, choose aTube Catcher. Multiple formats are available (including MP4, AVI, MPG, MOV, FLV and WMV), all neatly arranged into a grid. It may hold special appeal for gamers, with Catcher’s option to convert to PSP format, compatible with Sony’s gaming console. Additionally, aTube Catcher offers conversion of video files into MP3, useful if you’re looking only for an audio playback.
After choosing your format, simply drag and drop the files and hit the Start button to get things moving. Prioritization of files is available, or they can simply be converted in the order they appear to be in your queue.
2. Free YouTube to MP3 Converter
Similar to aTube Catcher, Free YouTube to MP3 Converter offers popular formats from WMV to AVI, along with audio MP3 files. The converter allows you to organize and queue numerous files at a time, organizing it all into a tidy interface clearly displaying the files in line for conversion.
Musicians especially will appreciate the ability to download instrumental backing tracks to accompany your strumming. If you find yourself more vocally inclined, karaoke can also be downloaded and converted.
3. Freemake Video Converter
For users requiring a larger library of available formats, Freemake is at the top of its class. With over 200 formats to choose from, such as DV, QT, AVI, MTS and RM, Freemake is equipped to meet all your converting needs. Similar to the other programs, the option to rip and convert audio files is offered here too. Unique to Freemake is their integration of DXVA and CUDA technology, which allegedly provides faster conversion of video content with less taxation on your CPU. While Freemake is definitely among the speediest programs on our list, it will essentially depend upon your computer.
4. Free YouTube Downloader
Frequent visitors of websites such as CollegeHumor, Facebook and Daily Motion (as well as YouTube) may prefer this bit of freeware. Free YouTube Downloader is equipped to convert content from these and similar websites into popular formats such as AVI, MOV, WNV, MP3, FLV and 3GP. Recent updates to the program have the creators claiming greater speed and stability, as well as the added feature of automatically pausing and resuming downloads, should your internet connection go down.
5. Free Studio
From DVDVideoSoft comes Free Studio, boasting an impressive list of 25 conversion formats. Free Studio features automatic conversion of files upon being downloaded and will enable you to view the content on multiple types of devices. Bundling several converters into one handy program will save you the time that might otherwise be spent searching. For the discerning viewer, the program offers top quality and flexibility in their HD and MP4 file options. Free Studio also features a tool for screen capturing, which allows you to record screen sections, flip and rotate them, then save the output to your hard drive.