By now most (if not all of you) have dabbled a little bit with Linux. Although it might look geeky and complicated at first glance, once you dip your toes into the great lake of open source it becomes a very refreshing computing experience. How do I mean ? Well : I challenge you to the following : Take a Windows Machine OR a Mac and, within 2 minutes FIND and INSTALL a free application that allows you to download a Youtube video and extract the audio to MP3. If you started off your search in Google (or in the Mac App store for that matter) you are starting to realize it is not that easy. There is a ton of ‘supposed’ freeware out there that, after installing it gives you either an app that does not completely work (unless you pay for it) or is just too complicated. Do you (as a true slider) have a Linux machine handy ? (perhaps a virtual machine or a server ) Then lets fire up the command line and give you a one line command to make that technology work for you.
Youtube-dl is a command line application that lets you download Youtube video’s and if you want to, extracts the audio from said video’s. The command is simple. On Ubuntu you can install it by hitting :
sudo apt-get install youtube-dl
After the installation is complete you need to update the app to the latest version. Also .. a couple of one liners.
sudo youtube-dl -U
You will get an error that you need to update via the GIT repositories once more. Easy peasy (copy and paste people)
sudo wget http://youtube-dl.org/downloads/2013.05.01/youtube-dl -O /usr/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/youtube-dl
Lets start Downloading.
Now surf to the Youtube video of your choice and copy the url to your clipboard.
Go back to the terminal and type :
youtube-dl <paste your url here>
Presto ! You will have the youtube video all for you ! What if you want the audio ?
youtube-dl --extract-audio <paste your url here>
Cross platform compatibility
Youtube-dl is also compatible with Macs and there is an .exe for our Windows friends. But because the command line is so easy I just leave a terminal open to my linux machine (on ANY machine i’m working on) and just copy and paste whatever cat video I would like to keep for prosperity. And youtube-dl does also support tons of other video sites like Vimeo and more !
Time to gather up a cup of coffee or whatever warm substance you drink and snuggle up with a pillow for this weeks “Storytime” edition where we reminisce about times long gone and how to give old windows 98 machines, eternal life using tools like Clonezilla, Vmware converter and Virtualbox.
If there is one open source cross platform application that I have loved like a puppy .. its Calibre. I can vividly remember coming across this little gem when I was looking for good ways to manage my eBook library after I had just purchased my Sony PRS-505 eBook reader. The original software cd that came with the device had thrown into a decaying orbit around pluto (by ME) after I swore never to trust Sony software again. We all know what happened with the majestic rootkit incident a couple of years ago. So Calibre stepped onto the scene and offered to manage and convert all of my txt, rtf, epub and mobi formats into one unified format. It then suggested to manage my library for me (if I wanted to) and gave me the added bonus of downloading RSS feeds and turning them into ePubs .. automatically. This little ball of Unicorn poo (and I mean this in the nicest way) is essential if you own some kind of eBook reader .. or even an iPad. The DRM infested locked town contraption cocked up by the late Steve Jobs refuses to read/eat anything else then ePub or Pdf files. Got some Txt’s, Mobi’s or RTF (not to confuse with RTFM) files ? Use Calibre to manage them, fetch metadata and even shove them into iTunes for you. A great must have app ( even the guys over at howto geek have written up a great post about using its advanced features HERE)
Get Calibre for Linux, Windows, Mac and the Lunar module computer … HERE.
Download of the week : Until a while ago I used an app on my Mac (I have even forgotten the name) to download any Youtube video’s I needed for the podcast or for some of my presentations. When upgrading to Lion, it decided (or rather Lion decided) it wouldn’t work anymore. Tough 🙁 I had found some alternative online sites to do it but searching for solutions like this is one of those internet ratholes like looking for free mp3 ringtones.) When twiddling around with it I had one of my favorite cross-platform download apps open in the background : Jdownloader. I use Jdownloader for multi-url links and long running downloads. Its free, its cross platform and it has this handy “url catcher” where it notices when you copy a url to your clipboard and then offers to download it. When the activity window for Jdownloader started blinking I checked out the “link grabber” window and was amazed to find that not only it had “caught” the url of the Youtube video I copied, but it offered to do something more. Jdownloader will offer to download AND CONVERT your Youtube video into several sizes like : MP3, FLV, MP4, Webm and more (depends on the video) So this tool is something that should not be missing in your application folder on ANY of your systems.
Download Jdownloader ( mac – lin – win ) here.