There are many tools available on the Internet that will let you download YouTube videos but it seems these applications may soon become redundant as YouTube is finally experimenting with downloadable videos. ARS Technica spotted some YouTube videos now feature a "Click to download" link:
The first videos to receive the new feature appear to be from President-elect Barack Obama's ChangeDotGov Channel. A small "Click to download" link appears beneath a video's toolbar on the YouTube site, and videos download in the same high-quality MPEG4, H.264 format that can be seen by viewing YouTube through portals on the iPhone and Apple TV. These links don't appear on a user's channel page, however; you have to visit a video directly, such as Obama's latest Weekly Address on January 17, 2009.
Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford Law School processor and champion of the Creative Commons copyright system for mere mortals, noticed the feature this weekend, saying he was told that it will be offered "more generally" in due time. We checked our YouTube account and uploaded a video, but we cannot yet find the option to allow videos to be downloaded by the general public. It is worth nothing that competing services such as Vimeo have offered this option for some time, and it was a long-standing feature of Google's own Google Video property—which will soon close its doors to uploads.