Drag-and-Drop to Save YouTube Clips on Mac OSX

There are several reasons why you’d want to save YouTube videos on your Mac. You may want to embed a video in your offline presentation, or save it for later viewing on your smartphone or computer. Perhaps you want to extract the audio out of it. There is a wave of endless, legitimate reason to download YouTube videos.

If you haven’t downloaded video clips off YouTube before, or if the program you were using doesn’t work anymore, here’s another app to brighten up our hopes.

MPEG Streamclip is a free Mac app hugely popular for downloading and saving YouTube videos on your machine. It can download videos from sites like YouTube, convert them into standard video format, and scale the video to suit your needs.

How to use MPEG Streamclip to Download YouTube Videos

You’ll be able to download videos off YouTube only if you have the beta version of the app. You can get it from here — it’s free, and works fine on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac machine running Mac OSX Lion, or Snow Leopard.


Once you have the app installed, there are two easy ways for saving any YouTube videos. One of them being drag-and-drop while pasting the video URL into the program is the second method.

To get YouTube videos by drag-and-drop, follow this procedure: Go to YouTube, search for the video you want to grab; now drag the video thumbnail to the app’s screen (screenshot) for the video to begin streaming on your desktop.

To save the video, go to File and click on Save As. The video will be saved in .MP4 format, which seems to be the app’s default saving option. You can also export the video in other formats such as Quicktime, MPEG, AVI, DV, FLV, and so on.

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Related: Fix YouTube Video Loading Problem.

Another way to grab the video is to paste the video’s URL into the program. Copy the YouTube video URL, go to the File menu, select Open URL. A window pops up with an option to open, convert, or download the video. You can also select and download HD videos, if available.


If you are looking for something similar along the lines of YouTube video to MP3 converter, this program is also up for the challenge. To save the audio version of the video, push the video into the program, go to File and Export to Audio.

Want more? You can also delete the audio and save only the video, so that you can do a voice-over, a better voice-over, and re-upload the video back to YouTube. From my testing, this Mac app doesn’t download videos longer than an hour. However, downloading most of the videos ranging from 1- to 15-minute was easy, just like a walk in the park.