The Best YouTube Downloader Software for MacOS in 2019
Multimedia • Updated on Nov 20, 2018
We have to admit that we watch tons of YouTube videos on a daily basis! But we were always chained to the Internet connection.
If our internet connection drops so does the fun, and there is also the danger that videos will be taken offline in the future and we won’t be able to access them at all.
Well, guess what? We are not anymore.
By saving your favorite YouTube videos for later, you’re ensuring you can watch YouTube videos start-to-finish anywhere without any pesky obstacles like wifi or restricted data plans.
In this article, we are going to talk about the YouTube downloader for Mac.
Is it legal to download YouTube videos?
Before we dive into the specifics of what is the best Mac YouTube downloader, we first have to figure out whether it’s legal or not.
Taking video from YouTube is a big no-no. YouTube expressly forbids any downloading in its terms of service below:
“You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content.You shall not copy, reproduce, make available online or electronically transmit, publish, adapt, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service and the Content.”
Technically, it’s illegal and you may say that it’s a ‘crime’. But really, it’s not. It’s like jaywalking.
Because the whole video watching eco-system benefits from this solution. What YouTube does is broadcast its content through the internet. And what YouTube Downloaders doing is simply allowing users to watch YouTube content later (a.k.a time-shifting) when broadcasting is not available.
So when it comes to copyright, as long as you’re downloading a video for your own personal offline use, and not for dissemination or make money from the download, you’re probably okay.
Now, the question is about the best ways to download YouTube videos.
YouTube Premium? Can it save video to computer?
Apparently, YouTube allows saving videos for offline viewing. Only if you are ready to pay. Google’s own YouTube Premium(formerly known as YouTube Red) is a paid subscription plan that packs a number of features such as downloading videos, ad-free playback and background playback. Currently, the package contains access to YouTube Music as well.
You can download YouTube videos and pick the quality below you want to your phone or tablet and they are available for up to 30 days to watch without a connection.
So, YouTube Premium is the official way to watch YouTube videos offline. But, it doesn’t come free. YouTube Premium is priced at $11.99 per month, forcing you to spend more than $120 a year.
Yes, you have to pay more than $120 for watching YouTube videos without ads and offline playback.
Can YouTube Premium save videos to computer?
YouTube Premium lets you save YouTube videos only to Android/iOS devices. So, you cannot save videos to your Mac or Windows PC.
And, you know the worst part? All the downloaded videos are automatically deleted after 30 days. There are also constraints over the quality of download. You may not be able to download 2K or 4K videos to Android using YouTube Premium.
For these limited functionalities, you are required to pay around $120 a year. Pretty bad, right?
Considering all these points, it makes more sense to download YouTube videos using a dedicated YouTube downloader for Mac.
What is the best YouTube downloader?
A YouTube Downloader is an app that lets you download YouTube videos to your computer. There are some online downloaders as well, but we are talking about desktop tools. You can install these programs, paste a YouTube link and start downloading the videos. Some tools let you do more too.
We wanted to choose the best YouTube downloader for Mac. In order to do that, we analysed more than 20 apps from the market. And, we’ve come down to the seven best YouTube downloaders you can get now. In order to choose the best ones, we’d followed some criteria too.
- Does the app enable you to download, convert and save videos with a single click?
- Does the app provide ready-made profiles that will take the guesswork out of converting videos?
- Does the app convert the audio from YouTube music videos to MP3 format?
- Does it work with the speed of light?
- Can you download videos/music to your Mac or iTunes library?
- Does the app help you select your best quality of download (4K or 1080p, 720p or 360p, etc)
- Is the app beautifully designed with an easy to understand interface?
- Does it help you keep up-to-date, allowing you to quickly get the latest version?
Based on our testing sessions, we’ve found the best Mac YouTube Downloaders of your dreams.
The pick: Downie (easiest to dive in)
Downie is one of the most popular YouTube video downloaders for macOS. But, the best part is that it allows you to download videos from more than 1000 websites. For now, however, we will be focusing on YouTube video downloading capability of this tool.
Shall we see what makes Downie the top pick and the easiest-to-dive-in choice of this list? Let’s address the elephant in the room.
Downloading YouTube videos using Downie
Downloading YouTube videos using Downie is the easiest task ever. Downie lets you download a video using three methods:
- You can simply drag the YouTube video thumbnail to Downie interface. It will process link and start the download.
- If you want to download multiple videos, you can press Command+O and paste all the links you want to download.
- Or, even better, Downie has an in-built Search feature. This will allow you to find top downloads and search for videos on your own. Further, you can add as many links as you want and download them.
In short, Downie offers one of the intuitive methods to download YouTube videos. You can paste URLs for downloading videos from other websites as well. As far as YouTube is concerned, however, everything is as simple as it gets.
Downloading YouTube videos as MP3
There are times when you want to extract audio from the YouTube video. Downie offers a handy option too. You can right-click on an ongoing download, choose Post-processing and click on Extract Audio. This would save the YouTube video in MP3 form.
So, if you have Downie, you don’t need another conversion tool. That having said, Downie offers integration with Permute, a software from the same developer. At the end of the day, Downie is the best choice when you want to get MP3 from YouTube.
Downie offers top-notch integration with popular browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Chromium and Opera. Downie integrates so well that you can download your favorite YouTube videos in a single click. Or, if you want something further, you can check out the Contextual Menu as well.
Downie Contextual Menu allows you to select the Post-processing mode as well. That is, you can right-click and select whether you want to download the YouTube video in MP3 or MP4. This feature can be turned off if you want.
Other features we loved in Downie
There are a number of useful features that we found in Downie. Most of them make it really intuitive to get what you want from YouTube. So, let’s have a look.
- 4K video support
Downie lets you download YouTube videos at the highest possible quality. You can get videos that perform well in your 4K displays. Regardless the quality, Downie ensures the best set of speeds, for downloading as well as format conversion.
- Advanced post-processing
Post-Processing refers to what happens after the video has been downloaded. Even while the video is being downloaded, you can select the output format — None, MP4, Extract Audio and Send to Permute. MP4 is the default choice.
- Custom quality
Downie allows you to download videos at different qualities, up to 4K. You can also automate the process. That is, you can set up Downie to choose the best possible Quality every time you download something. On the other hand, if you need more control, you can limit the quality as well.
- Subtitle support
Along with video, this YouTube downloader can download the corresponding subtitle as well. If more than one subtitle is available, Downie will ask you to choose. This is a great feature if you download YouTube videos in other languages.
- Unparalleled compatibility
Downie supports a wide variety of websites, from where you can download videos. The best part is that the team offers frequent updates, allowing you to get videos from more and more websites. Moreover, Downie is optimized for international and local websites.
Apart from these, Downie also offers miscellaneous options like Parental Control and Proxy Servers. In short, there is a lot inside Downie if you are looking for productivity.
+ Simple and intuitive interface.
+ Better control over downloading and conversion process.
+ Browser integration and feature-rich.
– A detailed Download List could have been better.
Pricing and availability
Downie is available for macOS only. If you have a device running macOS 10.11 or later, you can install, start using and enjoy this wonderful YouTube downloader. It’s currently priced at $19.99, but you can get it as a part of the Setapp subscription as well.
Wrapping up, Downie is indeed the best YouTube downloader for Mac you can get today. It packs an impressive number of features that are really helpful. We’d recommend it for common users as well as the professionals out there.
There are times when you need more than a simple YouTube downloader software. This one here is a fully-fledged YouTube converter. Softorino YouTube Converter 2, or just SYC 2, allows you to not only download videos from YouTube but also convert them to convenient formats. You can use SYC 2 for downloading videos, getting a lot of favorite music and making ringtones.
This quick promo from Softorino will showcase all its key points:
Download video from basically anywhere
While its name mentions strictly YouTube, we should point out that the program is much more capable than it lets see.
Besides YouTube, the application can download and convert videos and tracks from many other websites. This includes SoundCloud, Vimeo, BandCamp, VEVO, BREAK, CNN, DailyMotion, Facebook, Instagram, Audioboom, VK, LiveLeak, and many more.
SYC 2 can detect a YouTube video URL from your clipboard. In seconds, it would show you the basic details for downloads as well. Even before it starts downloading, you can decide the format and where the file will be saved. In this case, we are going to save the Trailer video to the Mac itself. Just hit the button and you’d see the progress along the line.
Quick download and conversions
The SYC 2 download speed is significantly faster, the developer explained it boasted a 4x improvement over the original version. In a single click, you can get music and video downloads to any computer or Apple device ever created.
This is mostly noticeable when downloading larger 4K Ultra HD videos, and YouTube Converter 2 now supports VR 360 and high frame rate videos up to 60fps as well.
Using the 1080p download option on our Mac we were able to grab YouTube videos with no difficulty. And the playback quality was quite good at 1080p.
SYC2 provides three conversion choices: video, audio, and ringtone. If you opt for video, indicating the video quality that best suits your needs is possible, with 360p, 720p HD, 1080p HD, and 2160p 4K resolution being your alternatives. As for audio, you can choose from MP3, AAC, and “original” audio. Last but not least, regarding the possibility of making a ringtone, you can either opt for full length or only the 30 seconds recordings, but sadly there’s no way to trim a specific section.
From our test, converting an hour-long YouTube video into an MP3 took fewer than two minutes. We also tried to pull a 249-track playlist from a video game soundtrack. That took under 15 minutes to convert them all to MP3 files and add them to iTunes and my iPhone X.
Besides, no matter what device you have, you can still download iPhone X default ringtone to iPhone without iTunes! You can easily put it on your phone and even prank your friends saying you got the new iPhone X (even if just for a second).
In addition to these…
You can transfer downloaded media to other devices such as iPhone, iPod or iTunes. According to the destination, Softorino YouTube Converter will optimize the final file. At the end of the day, you don’t need other tools to transfer downloaded videos, music or ringtones to your other Apple devices — all thanks to aWiFi.
Softorino YouTube Converter 2 also automatically recognizes content you download. Thanks to Automatic Content Recognition technology it will fill in all the needed meta data, genre, and even proper artwork.
Besides, speaking of handy, the app provides the user with multiple options as regards the output location. You can thus save your media to a location on your computer or push it to your iOS device via WiFi. The transfer should be smooth and quick, so you don’t need to worry at all.
To sum things up…
Considering all these, and the additional features like Subtitle Support and 4K Ultra HD support, Softorino YouTube Converter 2 is indeed an upgrade for most people. If you are a media junkie, we’d recommend this over others. It’s available for macOS and Windows, priced at $19.99.
Other YouTube video grabbers we considered
Downie and Softorino YouTube Converter weren’t the only worth-noting choices we had. Here are some of the other great YouTube downloaders for macOS.
Airy from Eltima Software is one of the simplest YouTube downloader software for Mac. There aren’t many fancy features but Airy gets the job done. You can use this tool for downloading normal YouTube videos as well as converting videos to MP3.
Airy also checks almost all the boxes for an average entertainment junkie. For instance, you can use it to get corresponding subtitles as well downloading multiple files at a time. In light of our experience, Air manages Playlist management quite effectively as well.
Browser Integration is also a strong point here. You can integrate Airy with Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Then, starting a download is a simple click away. And, did we say that Airy lets you download even 8K videos from YouTube? Well, that’s an overkill.
Airy is available for just $19.95 and you can get a Windows version as well.
Check out Airy
iTube Studio is yet another YouTube video grabber that matched our expectations. However, it’s a complete entertainment suite, which may be an overkill for some people. Basically, iTube Studio lets you download videos from not just YouTube but also other 10000+ websites.
You have standard control over when it comes to downloading videos from YouTube. iTube Studio can also convert the file to audio by default. And, you can download videos with quality up to 4K Ultra HD. This tool also lets you save the downloaded videos to Cloud Platforms as well.
Apart from quick video downloads and browser integration, iTube Studio offers dedicated sections for video recording and conversion. In other words, iTube Studio can be the perfect solution for any media junkie out there.
iTube Studio is available for macOS and Windows, comes with a price tag of $34.95.
Check out iTube Studio
4K Video Downloader
4K Video Downloader is yet another simple but elegant YouTube video downloader that you must consider. A problem that we found is that the downloading speeds are comparatively slower. But, don’t worry, it will help you download videos with maximum quality of 4K.
There are some cool features, though. For instance, the Smart Mode allows you to download videos in just a single click. Subscriptions feature, on the other hand, will download newly-uploaded videos from channels you have subscribed.
4K Video Downloader is also great when it comes to standard customization. The UI is somewhat ordinary, but it gets the job done. We’d recommend 4K Video Downloader only if you are looking for an ultra-simple YouTube downloader for macOS.
4K Video Downloader is available for just $15, which seems reasonable.
Check out 4K Video Downloader
ClipGrab for Mac
ClipGrab for Mac is one of the very few free YouTube downloaders for Mac. Of course, being a free tool, it’s some downsides, but they don’t matter much. You can use ClipGrab for Mac for downloading videos at up to full HD quality.
An integrated Search feature makes it really easy to find and download videos. You can simply enter some search terms and appropriate YouTube results would appear. Once that is done, ClipGrab for Mac would let you download the file into MPEG4 or MP3.
There aren’t many fancy features to talk about in ClipGrab for Mac. However, you can control the download and conversion process to the maximum. You can even manage the Metadata of the file. Considering that it has some advanced features, this free YouTube video downloader is worth it.
ClipGrab for Mac is completely free to use. It’s available for Windows and Linux as well.
Check out ClipGrab for Mac
Ready to download and convert your favorite YouTube videos?
As you can see from this article — there are a lot of different YouTube video downloaders for Mac out there.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to have a dedicated piece of software for downloading YouTube videos, then Downie is the great choice.
If you want to download YouTube videos to iPhone, iPad and Mac, the Softorino YouTube Converter 2 is totally universal. SYC 2 provides compelling advantages like the ability to transfer files directly to iOS devices, Vimeo support, and higher-quality M4A encoded audio.
So, we believe you can have the best YouTube download experience.