TubeSock is a stripped-down video ripper that enables you to download YouTube clips to your Mac, then rip them to an iPod via iTunes. All you need is TubeSock and the URL of a YouTube clip.
With the help of simple drop-down menus, TubeSock enables you to reformat the clips ready for video iPods as Flash files, or just strip out the audio and save that content alone as an MP3.
In the bottom right-hand corner of TubeSock's only window, next to the drop-down menu where you choose your format, is another menu for choosing where to save the file. The default locations are either your iTunes folder or Movies folder. There's also a Save As option, which you can use to select another location.
We tested the trial version, which enables you to rip the first 30 seconds of a clip, and then saved the ripped files to our iPod via iTunes. We couldn't load clips directly from TubeSock, even when we selected our video iPod as the target drive to save files. We had to go through iTunes if we wanted the clip to show in the iPod's Movie library.
TubeSock integrates with Safari in two clicks. The app then shows up as an option in Safari's menu, so when you find the clip you want, click on the YouTube button in Safari and that content appears in TubeSock, ready to reformat and rip. We found no browser integration glitches, but downloads are slow.
The quality of the final clip was superb. Alarm bells ring about copyright, so we only downloaded content that we had posted on YouTube ourselves. You could use the app to make a copy of someone else's content: TubeSock assures us that you'd be protected under YouTube's 'personal use' agreement with people who post to their servers. What you can't do is broadcast clips once you've downloaded the files. James Ellerbeck