Get YouTube on an iPod classic or nano
So what if you don’t have Wi-Fi? Here are three smart ways to get your favourite YouTube clips onto your iPod
The traditional iPods like the classic and nano may not be getting as much airtime these days as the hallowed iPhone, but if your needs only extend to music and video playback, then they’re still the best tools for the job.
Still, with so many video clips and music videos making their way onto YouTube, being able to tap into that goldmine would make a nice change of pace when you get bored of your existing media library. iPod touch and iPhone users can access YouTube on-the-fly via Wi-Fi or 3G, but with only a little forward planning, iPod classic and nano users can also get in on the action.
You’ll still need a desktop computer as a middleman, but the following three free programs and services save you from lots of manual fiddling and converting.
For downloading clips directly from a YouTube page or any site with an embedded YouTube clip, the MP4 YouTube Downloader add-on for Firefox will do the trick. Once it’s installed (and you’ve restarted Firefox), all you have to do is right-click and select ‘Download video as MP4’ in the context menu. Once done, just transfer it over to your iPod using iTunes.
MP4 YouTube Downloader works well for grabbing one video at a time, but what if you’re in a hurry and want to download a whole bunch of clips at once? This is where free youtube downloader comes in handy. It is a YouTube front-end that lets you browse clips by category and popularity and download them in batches. You can also search for particular videos and enter the URL of a YouTube clip embedded into another site.
Toodle downloads the clips in YouTube’s native FLV format, but it transcodes them on-the-fly to MP4 and automatically transfers them to your iTunes Movies library.
The last tool is the most powerful. RSSHandler is an online service that converts YouTube channels, playlists and standard feeds into podcasts that you can subscribe to in iTunes. Essentially, it tricks iTunes into downloading all of the videos for you.
If you’re a Pink fan, for instance, you could use the YouTube RSS Channel Converter and enter http://www.youtube.com/user/ PinkVideoVault as the Channel URL. Select the ‘MP4 (iTunes)’ format, then click Generate. This will give you an RSS URL that you can then ‘subscribe to’ as a podcast.
Copy the generated URL, then open iTunes and click on Podcasts in the left-hand pane. Go to ‘Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast’ and paste the URL in. It will now appear as a podcast in the main view. Double click on the thumbnail, and you’ll see all the videos listed in that YouTube channel. To download all of them, simply click ‘Get AN’, and make yourself a cup of coffee while they download three at a time.
The Playlist feature works the same way, but with playlists rather than channels. Find a playlist you’d like to subscribe to (we used the Family Guy ‘top 100 funniest Family Guy clips ever uploaded’ to test it). Get the playlist ID (the string of characters and numerals at the end of the URL) and paste it into RSSHandler’s YouTube Playlist video RSS podcast section. Repeat the same steps from the previous paragraph.
If you don’t have any particular videos in mind, you can create a podcast from YouTube’s standard feeds, which include Recently Featured, Most Viewed, Most Popular and Top Rated.
For any of the podcasts that you create, you can configure iTunes to check for new episodes on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, which means you can have new YouTube clips on your iPod every time you sync it.