So you just upgraded your flash drive and want to find a way to download YouTube videos to view offline? It’s also great to share downloaded videos with friends and family?
Yes, there are several reasons to download YouTube and internet videos. There are ways to do that online. But often, the entire process sees many ads and possible malware that it feels disheartening. That, along with limited server speeds, has always been the problem with online video downloaders.
Now, some apps can make the process of downloading YouTube videos on Mac much more accessible.
Downie for Mac has emerged as a popular solution as it lets you download videos on your Mac from YouTube and other sites. Downie was also one of our top picks in the list of the best YouTube video downloader for Mac in 2020.
So let’s get to know Downie a bit to find out if it’s actually the video downloader that you need to get for your video downloading vows.
Developer: Charlie Monroe Software
What is Downie 4?
Downie 4 is a macOS app that easily lets you download videos from thousands of different sites, with more websites being regularly added to the list.
Unlike a lot of other YouTube video downloaders out there, it has support for YouTube videos up to 4K resolution.
Another highlighting feature of the sleek Downie 4 is Postprocessing. It’s a highly useful feature that lets you post-process your downloaded videos into different formats. All of this happens automatically with the minimum involvement of clicks.
Downie 4 also gives an excellent shape to downloading online videos on your Mac by introducing history synchronization across devices over iCloud. It’s quite convenient to find all your downloads in one place.
At first glance
Downie 4 is a cake at first glance. Decorated in the theme of how your downloaded videos look, it truly adds its bit to the entire multimedia experience that you have managed to set up around you. It’s like a pretty coffee mug, which you got to really enjoy your coffee. But that’s only how the app looks.
When you install the app by dragging the setup icon to your Applications folder, you are welcomed to a setup process, which makes you wish that all the Mac apps had a similar setup process. At least that’s what we thought!
Downie, in its latest release, has seen a significant UI redesign to provide a decluttered experience while making more options accessible in the interface. We found that the app was easy to navigate through and that we didn’t have to hunt around for features. The setup process was also great and made us instantly familiar with the interface.
You also get to control the app from the menu bar. It is pretty cool as you don’t have to keep the app open anymore. That’s some space saved on the desktop. Besides, the menu bar interface is neatly designed to include all the essential features in a small yet convenient space.
The menu bar is essentially a miniaturized version of the app and manages to fit everything just well. There’s even a button to access settings.
How it works
You are welcome with a page that shows what’s new in Downie 4. Then you quickly head to sorting out the basic preferences such as the download destination, default video quality, forcing the MP4 format, using dark mode, and more.
It gives you first-hand access to all the features that you would otherwise want to dig out after installing the app.
The setup’s easy, and you are welcomed to a page where you can just paste the video URL. Then, Downie 4 takes care of the rest. The screen flashes, and the video starts downloading based on the presets that you have chosen.
If you are downloading a YouTube playlist or a video from a playlist, Downie 4 asks you if you want to download the video or the playlist. This makes it much easier to download individual videos from a playlist.
You get to have maximum control over each of these videos in the playlist. You can pause them anytime, prioritize them, and even remove them from the download queue.
There are also browser extensions that you can install for direct access to Downie.
If you are new to downloading videos on Downie 4, then here are a few handy tips to getting you started on this cool app to download YouTube videos on Mac.
- Drag a link from any browser to Downie’s window or to the icon in the dock to start the download process.
- If you have multiple links to download, on links that are within a bunch of texts, you can just drag the entire thing to Downie and let the app scan the text for supported links.
- You can also copy and paste links to Downie — just press Command + O and paste all the links that you can find.
Downie 4 has been tuned to load YouTube videos 6 times faster compared to Downie 3. Also, it can now be configured with custom post-processing using shell scripts, custom filename formatting, and more. You can even change how the app looks.
And yes, there is a night mode.
The download interface
Downie 4 started off as a clean interface. Initially, we were confused as to where to paste the links. There didn’t seem to be any text block to serve that purpose.
But then, the Command + V worked, and the URL of our YouTube video was accepted immediately by the app. There was an option for us to choose between the different subtitles, which was quite handy. There’s an option for selecting the default subtitle language — go for it if you have a favorite language.
Once we started adding videos, the interface filled up with boxes for each of these videos. What we really liked about the appearance was the fact that the download background is the video cover. It gives the app a neat impression.
There are a few icons under each of these download boxes that can be used to perform various video and download-related operations in the app. There’s an option to pause and resume the download. On the right is the option to choose subtitles while downloading. There’s also a settings icon for selecting the priority and post-processing of the video.
The options in the quick setting icon change after the video is downloaded and becomes more file and format oriented.
At the bottom of the app window are icons that let you clear download history, search within downloads, show download history, and open user-guided extraction. User-guided extraction is a feature in Downie 4, which allows you to manually download content which Downie 4 cannot download otherwise.
The user-guided extraction feature enables Downie 4 to download videos which it otherwise would not download automatically. It works by opening a small web browser where Downie loads up the website and highlights the content it can work on.
That’s it, the more videos you add, the more the interface grows and expands. You might have to watch out. If you have an older Mac, you may face some performance issues with lots of downloads in the queue.
Postprocessing for videos
Postprocessing is one of the highlight features of Downie 4. It makes the app independent by taking away its dependency on video converter apps.
Often, the video that you download from a YouTube video downloader might not get downloaded in the desired format. You may then have to install another video convertor and go through the hassle of converting videos to the desired format. Downie 4 eliminates this problem by including an in-built video downloader.
The post-processing feature on Downie 4 lets you have the video ready in just the MP3 format in case you want to save space or have it transferred on your phone. In these streaming days, we wonder if you actually have to use this feature. However, it can really be great if you have to download individual music tracks.
You can post-process the video to MP4 and even to a custom setting. Just put a custom file format and using your own shell script and watch Downie convert the video to the desired format.
Powerful preferences menu
At TheSweetBits, we have always liked apps that have a simple Preferences menu. Having simplicity in preferences makes it much easier to navigate around the app and change settings as per your choice.
The preferences at Downie 4 is just the pitstop that you need for an app that manages to do the job of downloading YouTube videos on Mac so well.
It has all the options around appearance, download destination and history, post-processing, subtitles, proxy servers, and more.
There are also advanced settings that provide you access to features such as keeping files of failed downloads, keeping original downloads before conversion, enabling chunked downloads, disabling post-processing on chunk downloads, among others.
In case you feel that you have messed up some of the settings, you can always click on the button to reset settings.
However, the coolest part of the preferences was the ability to access the list of supported sites and change the download settings for them.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
What could go wrong with an app that’s tidy enough to get most of the video downloading done on your Mac? Well, it could get confusing and resource hungry.
When we launched that app, we were confused about where to paste the links. Maybe an option or a clear message could help. It’s not a big problem, and first-time users are most likely to find their way quickly.
Another thing that we noticed was that Downie was pretty memory consuming. We use a Macbook Air 2017 with 128GB SSD storage for the test. It doesn’t really show up when we are downloading a few videos at the same time. Things only start to slow down once we feed a playlist to the app. Our CPU usage starts shooting up. But then we processed high definition videos on another Mac with HDD storage, it works great.
So if you are on a slow machine, it is recommended that you take one step at a time.
Note that we measured the CPU usage through iStat Menus. It’s a cool menu bar system monitoring app. Here’s our take on the best Mac system monitor app.
Downie 4 comes with a 14-day trial. It should be enough for you to figure out whether you need this app or not. If you are someone who downloads online videos and playlists from sites like YouTube, then investing in a full version of Downie 4 could be worth it.
You can buy a license of Downie 4 at $19.99. There’s a free upgrade if you are upgrading after Jun 1, 2019.
Here are the upgrade discounts based on the other purchase date for all Downie versions:
- between Jan 1, 2019 – Jun 1, 2019 – 75% off
- before Jan 1, 2019 – 50% off
Several other offers can be unlocked if you are bundling Downie with other apps. If you are a student, you get to enjoy a sweet 30% discount by entering your academic email address.