During the discussion of my article on YourTube
, an excellent
plug-in for downloading videos from YouTube, I’ve been asked in a HowardForums thread
about the other two, free(!) solutions, the AppStore-based (read: no jailbreaking needed) iWoopie
and the Cydia-based MxTube
In the following, I thoroughly compare these two apps to both each other and YourTube.
Generic pros / cons of the three YouTube downloaders
Both these apps are self-standing with a separate icon – that is, they don’t integrate into the real YouTube app. In my opinion, integrated apps are far more useful – you don’t need to fire them up and re-run some searches if you run into a video you'd like to save. In addition, given the restricted number of icons you can have on SpringBoard (unfortunately, even under OS 3), you may want to prefer apps not taking up the precious icon space – unless you, of course, opt for using Cydia-based Categories
. (Of which I’ll post a tutorial some day now that I have a 3G S.)
Both these applications are free (not that YourTube would be THAT expensive) and allow for searching and in-app playback. Exactly as with YourTube, neither of them contain a built-in file server so that you can easily access the downloads. With MxTube, if you have a third-party file server (e.g., the AppServer app “Files”) or T-PoT in Total Commander, you can easily access their files. They’re standard MP4 format files and stored under Media/MxTubes. With iWoopie, you can only access these files on a jailbroken phone with an external tool as the files are under private/var/mobile/Applications/(with me, under 951A8DAC-7824-438A-B5FA-1B6A78364849) /Documents/download .
Unfortunately, neither app offers a the advanced YouTube features of iPhone OS 3 (for example, reading comments or even listing related videos) I’ve elaborated on HERE
. All you have is the standard pre-OS 3 set of features (without related videos):
With the standard YouTube app (with the integrated YouTube – see the icon in the upper right corner), you have all the goodies introduced in OS3 (comments, interactive stuff, videos of the same user):
This is a Cydia-based app; that is, it does require jailbreaking, unlike iWoopie. Unlike iWoopie (which is also compatible with Dailymotion
), it only allows for browsing YouTube and doesn’t have checkbox-based shortcuts for downloading.
The features are also summarized in the following in-app screenshot:
If you search for something (for this to happen, tap the “Search” icon at the bottom; note that “Featured” doesn’t work, unlike in the standard YouTube client) and tap on a video, you’ll be able to select from directly viewing (“Stream”) and downloading it:
Should you go for the latter, scroll down to the bottom and select the quality you need (either High (WiFi) or Low (EDGE)). Note that the FLV + Convert option doesn’t work (screenshot
– note that selecting YouTube as the search data source results in the same error
) - not that you would want it – it has lower resolution and quality than the High quality version.
You can see what’s being downloaded, what’s on the waiting list and what has been successfully downloaded if you tap “Downloads”:
Finally, you can watch the downloaded, already-local videos if you tap the “Videos” icon:
Unfortunatly, you may (also) run into problems depicted below:
This will also result in your “Downloads” list completely wiped out. This is a real pain in the back as you’ll need to search for these clips again and makes using the title pretty hard. I’ve run into this problem on my 3G S at least twice.
It’s unable to display video names with non-English characters in them. For example, the following screenshot shows the results of searching for “Värttinä”. With the first, second and fourth record, only a “V” is visible, the rest isn’t (because the letter ‘ä’ is the second). Only the names without, in this case, ‘ä’ (that is, “Varttina”) are displayed correctly:
There are no such problems with iWoopie:
The biggest advantage of this application is
unlike the other two, being AppStore-based meaning no jailbreaking is needed to install / run (except when you want to directly access the files it downloads on another computer / phone)
the support for Dailymotion
the support for multiple, quick selections for download. After running a search (unfortunately, only the lower half of the uppermost text input field / buttons are visible), you can quickly select videos for downloading (with one tap per video). To initiate download, scroll to the bottom of the search list and tap the "Download" button. In the other two solutions, you need to issue four taps to do the same:
- with MxTube
: tap the video, Download; then, either High (WiFi) or Low (EDGE) in the lowermost “Download” group and, finally, back to the list by tapping the “Search” button
- with YourTube
: tap the rightmost arrow of the video record; tap the download icon in the upper right corner; select the needed quality from the context menu and, as with MxTube, tap the “Search” button to go back to the list of searched videos.
(the list with the checkboxes on the left)
Unfortunately, it also has some problems. For example, some of the Dailymotion videos it downloads are plain incompatible:
Some examples of these videos are HERE
. Other videos like THIS
A screenshot of the finished downloads / videos being downloaded and the ones waiting to be downloaded. Unlike with MxTube (and like YourTube), you start playback from the same dialog as you watch the download progress: