ViDL is a great free YouTube and video downloader for Mac

ViDL is a YouTube downloader application for Mac. It comes from Ole Moritz, developer of the amazing iOS apps Pythonista and Editorial. ViDL is a simple wrapper for the youtube-dl command line tool, so if you’re already using it, you don’t need it. But the app is much easier to use than a command line tool. Plus, it offers a built-in browser, in case you need to log into a site to access the target videos. There is even a ViDL Safari extension.

ViDL on Mac

I download YouTube videos all the time. Specifically, I grab live versions of the songs so I can see the guitarist playing and get a feel for how they played the song while I was transcribing it. A download is essential for me, as I run the clips back and forth and slow them down in a dedicated app (AudioStretch). Or I do the same, just with tutorial videos.

ViDL is just fantastic.
Photo: omz: software

On iOS, I have had limited success using shortcuts to do this. On Mac, the process should work more reliably because youtube-dl is not subject to the rules and regulations of the Apple App Store.

To use ViDL, download it and place it in your Applications folder like any other application. The app comes with youtube-dl and the ffmpeg video processing binaries that it needs to run, so you don’t need to install anything else. If you want to use ViDL’s built-in Safari extension, you need to enable it in Safari preferences. If you can’t use the Safari extension, a bookmarklet does the same.

Click and play

Then when you are on a webpage that has the video you want to download, just click the bookmark or the extension button in the Safari window. Youtube-dl, and therefore ViDL, supports a large number of sites, so you should be good wherever you go. ViDL also supports playlists.

You can also grab only audio from a video, if that’s what you prefer. Finally, you can specify a download location on your Mac.

I don’t see a way to specify the quality of the downloads. Some default to 720p, others to 360p. I asked the developer if it was possible to choose.

ViDL is awesome. It’s simple, it works, and it comes from a developer I trust. Oh, and it’s totally free.

Price: To free

To download: ViDL of omz: software (macOS)

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