Videos for keeps

Save videos from YouTube and other sites with this free Firefox add-on's Web app.

We've seen a lot of programs designed to make it easy to save videos from YouTube and other sites. Keep Tube for Firefox is a free, Web-hosted, Java-based applet that saves videos from a number of sites, usually in several formats and quality levels. Keep Tube supports not only YouTube but also Break, College Humor, Daily Motion, Spike, Metacafe, MySpace, Facebook, and others.

We downloaded and installed Keep Tube for Firefox and restarted Firefox. The first thing we noticed was the Keep Tube icon in the lower right corner of our browser's frame among the other Firefox add-ons. This icon changes color to indicate a supported site, such as when we browsed to YouTube. We searched for and selected a short video. Keep Tube added a Download button among the Share and Embed buttons on the YouTube interface; clicking it browsed us away from YouTube to the Keep Tube download page. A pop-up asked us to allow the site to run its Java applet. We clicked Run, and then selected one of seven download options in several formats (3GP, FLV, MP4) and quality levels. We selected the highest quality Flash video option and received a Play or Save dialog. We chose Save and also checked the box to automatically save files in the future, since Keep Tube for Firefox will save videos to your Firefox download destination, wherever that happens to be. We also clicked the link on the Keep Tube interface to watch the video in YouTube while it was downloading. When the download was completed, we opened the saved file in our media player, and it played perfectly. The Keep Tube icon has quick links to its own page as well as its Facebook and Twitter pages and a list of supported sites. This took us to a Web page listing the video sharing sites supported by Keep Tube with sample downloads.

Keep Tube's Internet-based service is an interesting alternative to other video downloading apps. While some users will have issues with Web-based software, there's no doubt that Keep Tube makes it easy to save videos from YouTube and other sites.

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