Tools

Gearhead Toolbox: A tool for ripping video and audio from online hosting sites

youtube-dl, a free, open source Python program for extracting audio and video

film 96862 1280
Credit: geralt / Pixabay

Sometimes you need … well, “want” might be more accurate … a local copy of a video from YouTube or some other video hosting site. While there is any number of browser plugins and standalone tools that purport to be able to rip videos, most come with huge bugginess, lousy UX, and or malware and adware.

If you’ve been looking for a tool that can rip videos and you’re not a tech n00b then check out youttube-dl, a command line program written in Python that’s free and open source.

Installation is a snap and it’s configurable for a ridiculous number of hosting sites. Another feature, and the thing that brought the tool to my attention, is that it can rip just the audio and not copy the video content. 

Very impressive and a great tool to keep in your toolkit.

Let me know if you've found anything better.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.