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Can anybody tell me if there is a safe Firefox add-on for downloading non-copyrighted YouTube videos?
While it's not a Firefox add-on, rather a command line tool, I can highly recommend the open source youtube-dl.

Probably the hardest part for some folks would be installing it. Instructions can be found in the README.md file. After that, it's very simple to copy the URL of the page containing the video in Firefox and paste it into a command line in Terminal. youtube-dl can even automatically download all the videos in a playlist.

You bring up the issue of copyright infringement. If YouTube plays a video without being logged-in, then youtube-dl will be able to download it as well. This does not preclude people from uploading things to YouTube that should not be there for reasons of copyright. It is up to the copyright holder to ask YouTube to remove a video if it is unauthorized.
 


Can anybody tell me if there is a safe Firefox add-on for downloading non-copyrighted YouTube videos?
youtube-dl is definitely one of the most powerful, and it supports sites beyond its namesake too, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter videos.

However, for those allergic to the command-line, they might appreciate a nice GUI experience, and I've found 4K Video Downloader to be a great experience for that. I've been using it over a number of years.
 



I use the Video DownloadHelper Firefox add-on. I keep it disabled until I need it. Firefox has an Add-ons Manager toolbar icon (which resembles a jigsaw piece). To 'install' it, go to View > Toolbars > Customize and drag the icon from the main window to the toolbar. Position it where you want it. Now, instead of reaching your add-ons through several levels of preferences, you can get to them with one click. You can turn any of the add-ons on/off with the blue toggle on the right side.

All that said, Video DownloadHelper does 'encourage' you to download their app (at least they have in the past). You don't have to.
 


I use "Download Video", a standalone app and browser extension which is part of Parallels Toolbox, a package of over 30 little tools/utilities from Parallels, a company best known for their virtualization software. Parallels Toolbox can be purchased separately but is usually bundled with the virtualization software. I've tried at least a dozen "YouTube/Facebook" downloaders in the past, and the Download Video tool often succeeds where others fail, plus it gives you options over the size/quality of the downloaded file and can convert formats like WebM to mp4. There is a free 7-day trial available.
 




VLC has always allowed downloading of YouTube videos, though the method is a bit long-winded. The latest version (3.0.8) will not, however, because YouTube have changed some things at their end, and it confuses the .lua script included with VLC that permits downloading.

If you can't wait for the next version of VLC, there is a fix.
  1. Replace the script with a newer version from https://raw.githubusercontent.com/videolan/vlc/master/share/lua/playlist/youtube.lua
  2. Select all the text and paste into TextEdit. Save as youtube.lua wherever you like; you will be moving it in the next step anyway.
  3. You have to right-click on the VLC app and select Show Package Contents. The script you replace is in VLC/Contents/MacOS/share/lua/playlist.
Once you have re-opened VLC you should find downloading from YouTube works as before.
 


Thank you, everyone, for all the excellent suggestions. I've used VLC for a long time as a player but never knew it could also download videos. Thank you, Christopher. I got it to work with little effort, but the only drawback was I couldn't figure out how to make it download from YouTube at the resolution I wanted (480p for reasonable file size). There may be a way, but I haven't yet found it. I've decided to go with Downie. It's easy to install, intuitive to use, and lets me choose the resolution to download from YouTube. Thank you, Thomas. MacInTouch people are the best!
 


4K Video Downloader has been my primary video downloader tool for YouTube, etc., for some time. However, the latest version only runs on High Sierra (macOS 10.13) or higher, and I'm still running Sierra.

This coincides with a problem where 4K Video Downloader is suddenly quitting unexpectedly when I try to download videos from YouTube.

Question: Does anyone have recommendations for an alternate video downloader app, that is still supported under Sierra? Thank you in advance!
 





Ric Ford

MacInTouch


The current version of Firefox now has a built-in preference to use encrypted DNS over HTTPS:
Note, however, that it (by default) sends all your DNS requests to a CloudFlare DNS server.

If you don't want to trust them, or if you are running your own DNS server (as I am, in order to resolve names on my home LAN), you will want to change that configuration.
 


I read the Ars Technica article yesterday. What I found most interesting was the "Promoted Comment" by Ars Technica staff writer Lee Hutchison. The comment can be found at the bottom of the article.
 


A long time ago I tried changing from the ISP's DNS server to a public server, such as provided by Google, CloudFlare, Level 3, OpenDNS, etc. I gave up and went back to the ISP DNS due to issues with CDN caching.

The usual gripe against a public DNS is that if it doesn't know where you are, it won't redirect your requests to a server that is "near" you. My problem was more severe: some websites weren't just slower, they were completely inaccessible.

The reason is that the ISP also has a local cache of certain websites. Since the ISP knows that all requests for those sites will be directed by the ISP's DNS to the ISP's local cache, the ISP doesn't have a route to the site when using a public DNS!

I'm wondering if browser DNS over HTTPS will have the same problem, where it returns host addresses that are not accessible.

If you want more information, I direct you to Google's top hit for OpenDNS CDN, which happens to be my posting about this problem from 7 years ago. I see that other pages are linking to the post as an explanation.
 


Note, however, that it (by default) sends all your DNS requests to a CloudFlare DNS server. If you don't want to trust them, or if you are running your own DNS server (as I am, in order to resolve names on my home LAN), you will want to change that configuration.
Well, at least [Cloudflare] fix their mistakes that bork the Internet in a matter of hours.
The Register said:
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Well, at least [Cloudflare] fix their mistakes that bork the Internet in a matter of hours.
For additional perspective, here's a serious Cloudflare security problem ("Cloudbleed") from 2017 that leaked private data...
Wired said:
Massive Bug May Have Leaked User Data From Millions of Sites. So … Change Your Passwords
The internet infrastructure company Cloudflare, which provides a variety of performance and security services to millions of websites, revealed late Thursday that a bug had caused it to randomly leak potentially sensitive customer data across the internet.

The flaw was first uncovered by Google vulnerability researcher Tavis Ormandy on February 17, but could have been leaking data since as long ago as September 22. In certain conditions, Cloudflare's platform inserted random data from any of its six million customers—including big names like Fitbit, Uber, and OKCupid—onto the website of a smaller subset of customers. In practice, it meant that a snippet of information about an Uber ride you took, or even your Uber password, could have ended up hidden away in the code of another site.

For the most part, the exposed data wasn't posted on well-known or high-traffic sites, and even if it had been it wasn't easily visible. But some of the leaked data included sensitive cookies, login credentials, API keys, and other important authentication tokens, including some of Cloudflare's own internal cryptography keys. And as Cloudflare's service spewed random information, that data was being recorded in caches by search engines like Google and Bing and other systems.
FixMyWP said:
Cloudbleed: How Cloudflare's Memory Leak Exposed their Customer Sensitive Data
Cloudflare, the popular Content Delivery Network (CDN) trusted by over 5.5 million websites, has warned customers of a recent bug that releases private information to standard search engines. Due to some unusual circumstances, Cloudflare edge servers would run past the end of a buffer and disclose unauthorized data back to users if that data transversed Cloudflare.

While cyber security is always in flux, the most recent bug with Cloudflare, being called Cloudbleed, is one of the worst cases of data breached over the past few years. In fact, many security experts are saying that this bug is as bad as it ever gets because companies using Cloudflare can’t prove to their customer that their private data is secure.
Cloudflare said:
 




I have noticed that the latest Firefox now stops me dragging a text clipping containing my master password onto a web form password field. I can open the clipping and drag the contained password, but no longer drag the file on. Annoying when I am testing with numerous account logins in my local development site...
 


The latest edition of Firefox (74.0) includes a new feature I like: "containers." Assuming they do what Mozilla claims, it's now possible to open new "containers" in tabs which keep their content isolated from trackers in other browser tabs. It's possible to create a "banking" container tab and then designate your banking/financial URLs to always open inside that container. Same with a "shopping" container, or a "travel" container. There's a special one for Facebook, which (supposedly) prevents FB from tracking other browser activity. And users can create whatever kinds of containers they wish.

I've been using it for a few days now, and, I have to admit, it gives me a "feeling" of security/confidence. Whether that feeling proves justified remains, of course, to be seen.
 


The latest edition of Firefox (74.0) includes a new feature I like: "containers." Assuming they do what Mozilla claims, it's now possible to open new "containers" in tabs which keep their content isolated from trackers in other browser tabs.
I did not see anything about "containers" in the release notes for Firefox version 74.0 and I've been using Firefox Containers for over a year. Development started a few years ago and works as Ralph described. For more information, see moz://a's article on Multi-Account Containers.
 


I did not see anything about "containers" in the release notes for Firefox version 74.0 and I've been using Firefox Containers for over a year. Development started a few years ago and works as Ralph described. For more information, see moz://a's article on Multi-Account Containers.
I think Ralph is talking about the new Facebook Container, which I see in the release notes you linked to:
Mozilla said:
Firefox 74.0, See All New Features, Updates and Fixes
Facebook Container prevents Facebook from tracking you around the web - Facebook logins, likes, and comments are automatically blocked on non-Facebook sites. But when you need an exception, you can now create one by adding custom sites to the Facebook Container.
 


For those of us who get annoyed when clicking a link opens Apple News or the App Store, rather than opening the link in Safari, Jeff Johnson, has a new release of his free StopTheNews utility.

After installing StopTheNews, clicking on an Apple News or App Store URL will open the URL in Safari, rather than News or the App Store.

More info about StopTheNews: Introducing StopTheNews

Jeff also developed the paid StopTheMadness, Underpass, and Link Unshortener utilities, which are worth a look, too.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
For those of us who get annoyed when clicking a link opens Apple News or the App Store, rather than opening the link in Safari, Jeff Johnson, has a new release of his free StopTheNews utility. After installing StopTheNews, clicking on an Apple News or App Store URL will open the URL in Safari, rather than News or the App Store....
If only there were a solution for iOS... ):-(
 


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