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How to Download YouTube Videos using RealPlayer SP

Downloading YouTube video usually means trying to look for the video file in the Temporary Internet Files folder. Alternatively, a third party program is required for downloading this Flash file (file format used by YouTube and most online video sharing sites). The current version of RealPlayer SP (12.0.0.297) streamlines the process of downloading, categorizing and sharing the download to other devices such as iPod, Blackberry etc. This article goes through the process on how to install just RealPlayer (without the third party options that come with RealPlayer), download and convert YouTube videos to other format.

Download and Installation

It is a bit difficult to find the free version of RealPlayer SP at real.com as the paid version is heavily promoted. One of the easiest ways is to download via third party download sites such as download.com. At the time of review, the direct download link from Download.com/Cnet.com is http://download.cnet.com/RealPlayer-SP/3000-13632_4-10073040.html

The small installation file (524 KB) acts as a download manager to get the actual installation file. After agreeing to the End User License Agreement, the Options screen is displayed. In the Option screen, Desktop shortcut and Free Movies and Games offer option can be removed. Download this Video option for the browser can be left on as it provides easy access for downloading video from the Internet browser. One final thing that can be excluded is the Google Toolbar installation. During the installation progress, a window displays Real Super Pass advertisement.

At the end of the installation, there is an offer to install either the full version of Real Player (14 days free trial available) or Basic Real Player. The full version supports burning movie files into DVD and CD, ability to share video on Facebook and Twitter and 5 movies or TV shows per month using the SuperPass. Finally, personal details (e.g. email address and full name) are optional and they can be bypassed using the Cancel button.

Download YouTube Videos

With RealPlayer installed, downloading video from online video sharing sites is easy. There are two way to download the video. One way is to move the mouse over the video. A blue Download This Video box appears at the top right corner of the video’s screen. Alternatively, right click on the video and select Download This Video to RealPlayer. These options appear in both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. In RealPlayer Downloader there are options to share the video on Facebook, Twitter or via e-mail. The default location (which can not be changed) for downloaded videos is in the My Documents\My Videos\RealPlayer Downloads (for Windows XP).

The downloaded video can be copied directly to portable player devices (e.g. Apple iPod, Sony PSP, etc.) and smartphones (e.g. Blackberry, Palm, iPhone, etc.) by selecting the Copy to … button. Custom conversion and more video settings are available from Convert To … button. In both options, multiple devices can be selected as the target of the conversion.

It took 4 minutes 22 seconds to convert 3.2 MB downloaded video downloaded from YouTube to the Blackberry Bold format using the default settings. The file size after the conversion is 6 MB. It then can be transferred directly to the device.

Conclusion

RealPlayer SP is a nice alternative way to download videos from online video sharing site. It is supported by minimal advertisement. Minor annoyance is the inclusion of third party software (e.g. Google toolbar) can be easily excluded during the installation. It is also offers easy way to convert and transfer the video file to media players, smartphones, etc.

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