YouTube grabber

Download YouTube videos quickly and easily with this free app.

Most freeware YouTube downloaders share the ability to download and save YouTube videos so that you can play them back whenever you like. Some are little more than a button and bar; others load up on the bells and whistles. Winish YouTube Downloader falls somewhere in the middle, with an emphasis on convenience. It downloads multiple videos simultaneously and saves files in a variety of formats. It includes a simple but effective video converter, too, but it doesn't try to be an FTP client or split files or tweak your Internet connection. It just grabs videos from YouTube and saves them in a folder and format of your choice so you can watch them later.

Winish YouTube Downloader's compact interface is tabbed for Search and Download, Create a Download List, and Video Converter. We entered a title to search and a destination folder for downloaded videos and clicked Search. Winish displayed a list of results in a scroll-enabled page view, with check boxes for selecting videos to download, a preview button that displayed a frame of the selected video in a small window, and an arrow for each and every entry linked to the software's Facebook page. Clicking on any of the entries didn't open the YouTube page but instead accessed a variety of Web advertisements, which we did not appreciate. Nevertheless, we were able to select several videos based on their titles and preview images. We chose MPEG from a list of six output formats and clicked download. A progress bar and numerical display tracked our download, and our videos played normally when we opened them in our usual media player. Next we tried the download list tab, which involves pasting URLs into a list view. The Video Converter tool proved handy for quickly changing formats; it's just Source and Output selector fields and a choice of output formats, but that's all you need most of the time.

Winish YouTube Downloader proved quick and easy to use, offering a nice middle ground between primitive and complex in performing its duty. We didn't like the tricky ad views, but the program did its job and didn't cost anything, so that's not much of a gripe. It's well worth a look.

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