YouTube and other video sharing sites provide endless hours of wholesome, time-wasting entertainment. But what if you want to watch movies without the browser? There's no direct or easy way to download YouTube videos from the site, but thankfully there are ways to make a local copy for personal use. A number of tools exist to save a video for playback on your computer, iPod, iPhone, PSP and even your boring old DVD player. Using Firefox The easiest solution if you're a Firefox user is to install the Download Helper add-on. Download Helper can handle much more than just YouTube -- in fact the add-on can grab just about any media file from nearly any source and download it to your machine. There are also a couple of other Firefox plugins, notably Video Downloader, though the latest YouTube site update seems to be interfering with Video Downloader's ability to grab video for some users. Using Other Desktop Software If you're not a Firefox user, don't worry, there's some other options. My Video Downloader is a Windows program that will download movies from YouTube, though it will set you back $30 (there's a free trial that allows for 10 downloads so you can test it). Mac users looking to go from YouTube straight over to your video iPod or AppleTV have a couple options. There's Podtube 2 which will download and convert files from YouTube, Daily Motion and MySpace. PodTube 2 is $5. TubeSock 2.0 offers similar features, though it only handles YouTube videos, and costs $15. The latest RealPlayer (version 11, a beta release, is $30 and supports Windows XP and Vista only) has the ability to download and burn videos clips from YouTube and other sites like Google Video and MySpace Video. The player will automatically add a "Download" link button to video pages in Firefox and Internet Explorer. Once downloaded, you can use the player to watch the videos or burn them to a DVD. Although it hasn't been released yet, there's also a lot of talk surrounding Tubular, which looks a bit like iTunes applied to YouTube. Look for Tubular to enter the public beta phase later this year. And finally, the most primitive -- but definitely free and working -- method is to use SaveTube.com. Just paste in the YouTube URL and SaveTube will find the cached file and give you a download link. Here is a collection of some other free youtube video downloader to download youtube video on your Personal Computer. What to Do With Your Downloaded Video Unless you're using one of the all-in-one solutions listed above, once you've pulled down the Flash FLV file from YouTube or another video sharing site, you'll need to convert it to another format for viewing in QuickTime (which includes iTunes and AppleTV) or Windows Media Player. You can use FLV Converter to convert the .flv file to any most popular video formats. Alternately you can just use an FLV capable media player like the excellent and free VLC (all platforms). To convert your FLV file on a Mac you can use iSquint, which is free though limited to output in MP4, or through the aforementioned TubeSock. For Windows folks there's Super, which is free, or Zillatube, which costs $30. Both support a wide range of output options. Mac and Windows users can also try MPEG Streamclip, though Windows folks will need to download the Windows version of Apple QuickTime, which is also free. Linux users can turn to ffmpeg (which also works on OS X and Windows). You'll need a little command line juice, but this conversion script should get you started: ffmpeg -i myFile.flv -ab 56 -ar 22050 -b 500 -s 320×240 myFile.mpg And there you have it, now you can watch your YouTube favorites anywhere you'd like in nearly any video format you can name.