Easy to use YouTube downloader, but less performant for the money
No one likes watching ads while watching YouTube, but judging by the marginal revenue Google has made from YouTube Red subscriptions, consumers don’t seem willing to pay for ad-free streaming or offline viewing of the content they have. they used to watch for free. But there may be another reason – it’s just too easy to download videos.
Airy ($ 20) is a small utility that makes it easy to download otherwise inaccessible YouTube content. After logging into your account, copy and paste a URL from the YouTube website, select the desired format and resolution, click download, then choose where the file is to be saved. Airy takes care of the rest.
There is also an “Open in Airy” bookmarklet, installed by selecting “Embed in browser” from the application menu, which streamlines the process for videos already open in your favorite browser. It would be nice to have proper support for Safari extensions, but this simple method gets the job done.
Most videos can be downloaded as MP4 or 3GP in a variety of resolutions, up to 4K files for the former when available. Music video fans will love the MP3 option which only extracts the audio track, but there is no way to select the bit rate you want. Everything downloads at 256Kbps.
The small print
The free version of Air has a limit of two YouTube video downloads, one at a time. Purchasing a full license allows users to queue an unlimited number of videos, or even download entire playlists at once, one at a time.
Airy is simple and easy to use, but the exact same functionality is already built into the developer’s $ 20 Folx 5 Pro download manager, making it better value for money. Softorino’s YouTube converter is also available for the same price, with compelling benefits such as the ability to transfer files directly to iOS devices, Vimeo support, and higher quality M4A encoded sound.
All of these download utilities have one problem in common: Google doesn’t want you to upload videos in the first place. YouTube’s terms of service clearly prohibit downloading most videos, and the day may come when the search giant finds a way to block Airy and competing software from working at all.
At the end of the line
Airy is a simple, easy-to-use YouTube downloader that gets the job done, but for the same price there are better-performing utilities with better features.