While video clip sites continue to attract more traffic than the M25 on a Bank Holiday weekend, one feature remains consistently absent. You can’t download files to your local machine. There are browser plug-ins for Firefox that scan target pages and extract direct video links – but what if you’re not a Firefox user? Even if you are, some of the extensions in the wild connect to sites with obtrusive advertising; the kind that pop-up blockers struggle to compete with.
Seatubes is a more straightforward proposition. Running locally as a multi-window application, you can drag and drop YouTube links – from anywhere and any site – to its main window, building up a list of videos to download and save. You can also click a button that will add the current URL from the YouTube page you’re looking at. When you’re happy with the list of clips, hit the download button to transfer videos to your chosen destination.
Videos are acquired in Flash Video (FLV) format. To view them locally you’ll need to either convert the file to QuickTime or use a Flash Video player. Limit Point, makers of Seatubes, are also the creators of AddMovie, a tool for converting FLV to other formats.
In fact, Limit Point makes a whole bunch of utilities for the Mac, many of them for manipulating video clips. The best part is that if you register Seatubes, you get access to all of them for free. The program is donationware – so you choose to pay what you think is a reasonable price – from $10 (about five quid) upwards. That single donation unlocks more than 30 additional utilities.
If you’re the kind of person who can easily waste an evening watching YouTube video, Seatubes gives you a way to save your favourite clips so you can convert them for local viewing or burn them to DVD.
You can download Seatubes from http://www.limit-point.com/Utilities/Seatubes.html.