How many times have you watched a video on YouTube - or another video site - and wished you could save a video to watch at a later time? It might be that you want to watch it when you know you're not going to have a connection available, or it could be that your connection is so slow that you're getting frustrated by constant stuttering and buffering.
This is where ClipGrab could help you out, as it lets you download streaming videos from a wide range of sites including Vimeo, YouTube and Dailymotion, converting to key formats in the process.
You should only download videos when you have the copyright owner's permission – the terms of service for all popular video hosting sites prohibit unauthorized downloading.
There are several ways you can use ClipGrab, making it a very flexible tool that will suit many different style of working. The built-in search is the first thing you see when you fire up the program, but if you've already found the one you want, you're most likely to copy and paste specific URLs into the app.
ClipGrab quickly analyses the links you add, and asks you to specify a format for the download. As well as WMV, MPEG4 and OGG video formats, you also have the option of downloading audio-only versions of files. In the case of videos, you can also choose the quality you would like to download - great if you want to save space on your phone by downloading a lower resolution version of a video you want to watch on the move. If you opt to convert videos to MP3, ClipGrab can take care of the business of adding ID3 tags using video metadata - but this is entirely optional.
The whole experience is very approachable. Downloading videos and selecting formats could be confusing for inexperienced users but, ClipGrab does an excellent job of making it all straightforward.
One of the highlights of ClipGrab is the integrated search feature. While this might seem like quite a minor thing, it's something that other similar tools overlook, which is a shame as it provides such a quick and easy way to find a video you want to download without having to switch to your browser.
Another neat touch - particularly if you are planning to download a lot of videos - is clipboard monitoring. If you copy a video link to the clipboard, ClipGrab can automatically download the associated video, saving you the hassle of manually switching to the program time and time again.
Strangely, the highlight of ClipGrab - the built in YouTube search function - is also one of the program's slight disappointments. Unfortunately, the search feature is not quite as advanced as might be hoped and this means that after you have entered your search terms, you only see the top 12 results and there is no way to increase this. While this is not a major problem, it's something that could have very easily been addressed, transforming a useful tool into something truly indispensable.
- Operating system: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
- Processor: Not specified
- RAM: Not specified
- Disk space: Not specified