Full disclosure: I’m submitting this review for a free license key. However I feel comfortable reviewing and recommending these programs because I use them pretty regularly and the free versions meet most people’s needs.
4K Video Downloader is a tool for downloading video and audio from YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Flickr, Facebook, DailyMotion, and various other sites. You can set the type of file you want to save, the quality, (all the way up to 4K) the save location, and other things in the settings. Enabling Smart Mode lets you save your settings as well as the save location so all you have to do is copy the URL and press one button. You can even download entire YouTube playlists at once. (You’ll need a license key to download more than 25 videos in a playlist at a time, however.) I like using it as a download manager because you can set a list and come back to it later. If there was any trouble downloading it displays an error message for that specific file and you can right-click on it to copy the URL.
You can currently download a version for free on Windows, OS X, and Linux.
4K YouTube to MP3 is a variant of 4K Video Downloader specifically for saving audio as MP3, M4A, or OGG in whatever quality you choose. I use it every week to make the audio version of our podcast I post on the site. It behaves almost identically to the video counterpart and is nice to have when you’re downloading audio and video at the same time.
I suggest you look over the specifics of what these programs can do as there’s plenty of boxes to tick for things like generating .m3u playlists from downloads and automatically adding files to iTunes.
No program is perfect however these are actively being developed so when bugs do come up they tend to get fixed. There was a version this summer that kept crashing on launch for me that got really annoying. Also if you’re downloading from a site other than from the list above the titling format gets screwed up and can result in names like “http%3A%2F%2Fexample.com%2Fvids%2FName%2FNAME%2520-%252021%2520-%2520Name%2520-%2520Name%2520Name.mp4” making a file renamer worth it’s weight in gold.
My biggest problem, other than the occasional video just refusing to work, is junk files from failed downloads.
That top file was the video I was downloading. The other two are temp files as the top one comes in that are supposed to get deleted once it’s complete. Sometimes a download will fail and leave those junk files in your folder, sometimes it’ll even leave the failed download there and you have to look for it when you retry the download. A lot of this has been fixed in later versions though I still run into it once in awhile. I still recommend both products highly because they make it easy to save things in the format, size, and quality I prefer. They’re also great for bulk downloads making it easy to manage grabbing lots of files.