There are numerous tools and approaches to (local(ly-storing)) saving/downloading/capturing a copy of a video that is playing in a web browser. These range from: browser extensions ; StreamTransport for Windows and other native apps like proxies ; as well as rtmpdump and other command-line tools.

Background[edit | edit source]

See the "Background" (child page) for an explanation of how video is implemented by Macromedia/Adobe's (Shockwave-)Flash stack/platform of technologies. That page provides important information that will help you better understand the technical underpinnings/workings behind flash video that is embedded in a webpage (and viewed by a web browser).

web Inspector tool[edit | edit source]

The Developer Tools that are bundled with web browsers (such as Chrome's Inspector) can be helpful in detecting any video files that are transferred from the host/server to the client/web-browser. In particular, use the Network activity pane(l)/window/box: this logs transfer events that take place between the server/host and client (browser/visitor). For Mozilla-based browsers, Firefox has its own built-in tools (which are analogous to the one built into Chrome/Chromium). Also, there is the Firebug extension.

copy as curl[edit | edit source]

WebKit/Blink!-based Inspector (Developer) tools (that are bundled with Chrome and Safari web browsers) offer an option to "copy as cURL". To use this, go to the "Network" of the Inspector/ Developer Tool and find a video file among the list. Right-click on its entry among the list of transfer events. Among the items presented by the context menu, choose "copy as cURL". This will copy, to the clipboard, a fully-formed cURL command line that replicates (including all HTTP headers) the same request that the GUI browser made to the server to first obtain (download) that video file. Open a "terminal" window and paste that command line into the terminal (command-line interpreter / console). Running cURL with that command line that the Inspector tool provided, will simulate as if that request originated from the full graphical web browser (user agent). This is a thorough simulation that includes replicating the browsing context (referrer URLs, e-tags, tokens, etc.). Again, though, this will not (work) be much use for YouTube videos.

proxies[edit | edit source]

native-apps / web Proxies provide (all?) the same functionality that the "Network" feature of a web browser's Developer/Inspector Tool provides. It allows the examination of all transfers (traffic) between client and server in an HTTP(S) connection.

There is a .NET app for Windows called Fiddler2. See wikipedia:Fiddler (software) ; also, the official homepage.

There are numerous open-source apps such as HTTP Ripper by Jonas Wagner. See its homepage.

Note however, that all the above tools only are capable of detecting transfers/activity that take place using the HTTP protocol. Any video that is sent over another protocol, such as RTMP, will not be detected by these tools/methods/means.
Also, those tools will not be able to identify a .mp4 (or webm or .flv) file that originates from YouTube (even though those transfers do take place in the HTTP application transport layer, and not R.T.M.P.).

Websites[edit | edit source]

There are several websites on the internet that make it easy to download the actual video files that play from YouTube (and possibly other websites/domains as well, such as Vimeo, and DailyMotion).

N.B. Warning: Please be wary of visiting these websites with a computer that runs Microsoft Windows. Who knows what adware, spyware, or other malicious and questionable software may infect you.

SaveFrom[edit | edit source]


It offers alternate domain names:


?This doesn't use any Java, right ?

I discovered this website because a FF extension that I downloaded, [1], which provides a button (when it detects a yt video) that , when clicked, simply opens up an AdFly URL (like, for example:

browser extensions[edit | edit source]

The makers of SaveFrom offer official web-browser extensions, to help use their website.

Mozilla add-ons homepage latest 2.36.

I am not including this in the below section "XUL" because all it really does is merely redirect (when clicking on the button that it provides) to the website.

There is also an extension for Chrome and Chromium-based web browsers.

see all-available including Opera (legacy, and "Next" (which is based upon Chromium and Blink!)), Safari, Chrome [2].

Save Media[edit | edit source]

this one is less trust-worthy. Its usage requires a Java applet to run within your web browser. It advertises: Try adding "save" to the left of any YouTube video URL (e.g. --> or

The website instructs: allow Java plugin to run in browser, instructional screen shot/capture

XUL extensions[edit | edit source]

These extensions can be added to Mozilla software such as Firefox. Some may also work with SeaMonkey.

N.B.!: Often, YouTube makes changes that renders some of these browser extensions useless for downloading YouTube videos. This is undoubtedly an effort by YouTube to enforce their end-user terms-of-service that says, among other conditions, that video files hosted by YT should not be downloaded!

InBasic[edit | edit source]

see profile on Mozilla Add-ons directory, which lists the developer's homepage (website) as: Also: official homepage on GitHub

make of this great wonderfully-designed add-on: "Youtube Video and Audio Downloader" No Restart required to install!

add latest stable edition to Firefox

0.3.3 is the latest

It offers a nice Metro-style UI look. It offers downloads of "true" HD, including versions of the video that have no audio streams. <-- Does anyone understand this? Fleetwoodta (talk) 22:29, February 25, 2014 (UTC)

FVD[edit | edit source]

Flash Video Downloader from FVD (username: pos1t1ve on the Mozilla repo). Download the latest .xpi.

Windows build from[edit | edit source]

This extension is also featured on "Flash Video Downloader Youtube Downloader for Firefox"

one reviewer, brianc123981 wrote: "full of spyware" (on 2011 apr 9). distributes this software using a "Safe Download" .exe.

as well as the actual .xpi file (5.4.3).

I examined the contents of the .xpi file (which is a .ZIP (PKzip WinZIP container/archive/package file), essentially) and I see, within its folder/directory tree/structure, a folder: "modules/ffmpeg/" which contains Windows (win32) -only compiled binaries: .dlls and an .exe. However this is true only for the "FFmpeg" component of this software, it seems. The rest of the contents of the package/archive/extension should work with any Firefox browser, regardless of which OS (underlying platform) that it is running on (environment that the Firefox browser is running within).

Download Flash and Video[edit | edit source]

Download Flash and Video Get the latest .xpi here. developer profile on Mozilla. website is not updated. Fleetwoodta (talk) 17:17, March 12, 2014 (UTC) Changelog: versions. Official website: downloads has not been updated since October 26, 2013. The latest release, on Mozilla's repo website is 1.51.

In my experience, this particular extension will (sometimes, under certain conditions, in certain cases) identify and allow downloading of the .swf files, but not the video files!

Yes, this add-on/extension is good at/for identifying and downloading (any/all) embedded .swf (Shockwave-flash) animation files (usually media PLAYERs) that are embedded in a currently-visited (viewable) webpage.

To use it, make sure that the Add-on/extensions toolbar is made visible in Firefox. A keyboard shortcut for doing this is Ctrl + / (forward slash).

The little (down-pointing arrow) icon should be visible on the right edge (end) of the add-ons toolbar. In other words, look for an icon in the bottom-right of your Firefox browser window. Once Firefox loads a webpage that has any detectable .swf embedded flash animations (whether ads or actual media/movie players), that icon will become red-coloured, which indicates that it recognised files that it can offer to download. Clicking on that down-pointing arrow button will present a list of any .swf files that it detected. However, it has not detected video files that play through flash animations. In order for the video file to be downloaded, it is necessary to first click play (in the .swf animation that serves as a player / transport control for the video playback) to start playing any flash video, and THEN, the video files should be visible , listed by this extension.

Video Download Helper[edit | edit source]

official homepage (website)

Firefox extension page on

FlashGot[edit | edit source]

The FlashGot extension features FlashGot Media section/feature/aspect.

on InformAction, also makes NoScript, another popular and featured FF add-on. flashgot_mass_downloader- (XPI package/installer)

Graugon also featured XUL XPIs like Firefox Video Download Helper

SoftPedia offers a more up-to-date (in fact, perfectly up-to-date from upstream developer, latest stable release): [3] changelog flashgot-

UnPlug[edit | edit source]

UnPlug saves video and audio which is embedded on a webpage. This extension is provided by h2g2bob, who has a website of his own. Download the latest verson, which is 2.054. Is this based upon a PHP script?

Adobe HDS[edit | edit source]

If, the browser's web inspector (web Debugger/Developer tool) (see above) lists files that bear a filename suffix/extension of ".f4f", which are between 1 and 2 MiBs in size -- that is a sign that ?DASH? Adobe HDS technology is being used for serving the video that is playing. These .f4f files are NOT playable (in VLC, Mplayer, etc.), as they are. These files need to be converted. Fortunately, there is a tool for that ...

PHP script for [4]

Additionally, the developer (K.S.V.) has benevolently also authored and released a wonderful Firefox (XUL) extension called "HDS Link Detector." This extension helps with the use of his PHP script for downloading and converting video that is embedded in a webpage using Adobe's H.D.S. technology. It detects any HDS (.f4f) video that is on the webpage and formulates a command line that can be copied and pasted into the command-line invocation of the PHP script. This is much easier than trying to figure out and plug in the right arguments / values (switches) when formulating the PHP script's command line.

This extension was discovered when reading this thread by [5].

HDS is Adobe's newer technology for deploying video on the web. Is it the same as DASH wikipedia:Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP ?

more[edit | edit source]

Additional XUL .xpis can be found via this search for "video download" in the official Mozilla extensions repository website.

Chrome[edit | edit source]

Google's Chrome browser does not allow any web browser extension that enables the direct downloading (capture) of the video files (.mp4, .flv, .webm) from YouTube (video postings). This is because doing so (by the end-user) violates YouTube's Terms of Service.

Find and install extensions for Chrome-based web-browsers from The "Chrome Store" (official online repository of browser extensions).

You can't use this to install (add) Chrome browser extensions to the Opera (15+) browser (unless the user-agent string of your Opera browser is spoofed to fool Google's servers into thinking that the browser that you are using is in fact Chromium-based.)

FVD[edit | edit source]

FVD offers an extension for the Firefox browser, as well as one for Chrome.

mirror of .crx download on SoftPedia ver. 5.6.5. [6] developer's profile page on Softpedia [7]

Opera[edit | edit source]

In 2013, Opera switched from using their own in-house, closed-source technologies like Presto (layout/rendering engine) to basing the development of their web browser on the open-source Chromium codebase.

Opera maintains their own website (online repository) of web browser extensions.

search for "youtube download"

How many of those browser extensions (Only?) work for (or haven't been updated since the Presto-based generation 12) Opera browser (12, before the move to Chromium-base)? Fleetwoodta (talk) 17:46, March 12, 2014 (UTC)

Torch[edit | edit source]

Torch is a web browser that is derived from the open-source codebase of the Chromium project. In other words, it's mostly the same as Google's Chrome browser. It has many nice features built-in, including a BitTorrent client, as well as "Download Media" [8]. When a page is loaded in the Torch browser that has video playing (whether through the Adobe Flash plugin (or not?)) and it detects this, the "Download Media" button on the toolbar will come to colour (life) and activate and allow the video file to be downloaded. I don't see options to choose which video file to download from YouTube postings -- only an .mp4 file seems to be

This browser is only available for Windows, right? Fleetwoodta (talk) 16:41, March 12, 2014 (UTC)

AvantBrowser[edit | edit source]

"Avant Browser" (not spelled with an 'e': "Avante")

AvantBrowser features/has a "Video Sniffer" tool/feature/capability built-in/bundled. "Avant Browser can detect the videos in the web page you are browsing, and let you download them with just one click." includes md5 checksum/hash/digest, and links to older releases (builds / installation packages)

maker: Avant Force official homepage ; lists their apps/products

including "Avant Browser Ultimate Portable 2014 Build 2"

another mirror:

Official download page mentions that the main basic release/edition/branch/version uses I.E.'s Trident engine, but the "Ultimate" edition actually uses 3: Trident, Gecko (Mozilla Firefox), and Blink! (Chromium). hmm, is that a good approach?

Avant Downloader[edit | edit source]

Off-shot (app)? (separate from the web browser?)

also features the Video Sniffer

"Inspired by FlashGot, not only does Avant Downloader come with full-featured built-in Download Manager / Accelerator, but also it gives users options to utilized other downloaders designed for IE/Firefox: BitComet, Internet Download Manager, Download Accelerator Plus, Download Master, FlashGet, Free Download Manager, Get Right, GigaGet, HiDownload, InstantGet, Internet Download Accelerator, Mass Downloader, Net Ants, NetTransport, Orbit Downloader, Star Downloader, Thunder Downloader, WellGet, WestByte etc."

see "Download Managers"

command-line[edit | edit source]

Free open-source software:

This software does not require Adobe flash to be running in the browser. It is command line, which offers all of the benefits of cmdln, as opposed to GUI, including piping, scripting, etc. These are especially useful with GNU/Linux distros (open-source operating systems, Unix-like). The following programs can be found in your distros software repositories.

quvi[edit | edit source]


documentation[edit | edit source]

man page (manual, or online documentation reference, includes description of each switch)


more resources[edit | edit source]

homepage on SourceForge includes a library libQuvi

on Arch wiki

available for Debian Wheezy (current stable release/branch of the Debian GNU/Linux distro)

cclive[edit | edit source]


available for Debian Wheezy (current stable release/branch of the Debian GNU/Linux distro)

Does cclive depend upon quvi to run? "clive Doesn't work with new quvi" bug report for ArchLinux package.

yt-downloader[edit | edit source]

"yt-downloader" is a Python script by Ricardo Garcia Gonzalez. It works for videos on YouTube and many other websites, as well.

official page on GitHub, download it.

is available in the Sid branch of Debian (and not the current Stable, Wheezy, nor testing: Jessie) (I guess, because it is so new "(2013.12.04-1)".)

guide to running on Windows.

not HTTP[edit | edit source]

If the video content is being transmitted over the HTTP protocol, one of the above browser extensions is likely to succeed in identifying (and allowing to save/capture) the video content (file). For the most part, those web browser extensions will only work if the Adobe Flash plugin is installed and the video is ?streaming? (playing) through it. This means that playback has started and has been triggered by clicking the play button on the .swf flash animation.

Additionally, FVD and Download Flash and Video will work for YouTube video postings even when no Adobe FlashPlugin is present. 

RTMP[edit | edit source]

Real-Time Media Protocol video that uses Adobe Flash technology sends the video content, not over HTTP, but instead over another port, using wikipedia:Real Time Messaging Protocol. (N.B. Don't confuse RTMP with RTSP which is a Real Media technology.).

rtmpdump[edit | edit source]

There is an open-source software package called rtmpdump, which is actually a suite of several software apps (tools/utilities) including the namesake, as well as rtmpsuck.

Hint: search for (query:) rtmpsuck iptables. (another hint)

Windows[edit | edit source]

For the Microsoft Windows platform: /RTMP#Stream Transport.

more Windows software from

See Also[edit | edit source]

Enhance Firefox Printing (and Print on ArchWiki)

Firefox Add-ons on Arch wiki.

Related[edit | edit source]

wikipedia: Streaming media#Protocols

In WikiPedia's article on "HDS", under its heading, <h1>"Technology"</h1>, there is mention of "HTTP Dynamic Streaming, Adobe's HTTP Live Streaming", yet there is no article to link to, yet.

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