New York — Following the footsteps of other Google properties such as Gmail and Calendar, YouTube today announced that it is planning a pliot project to offer its visitors download videos to computers as an alternative to watching clips streamed over the Internet.
The site is formulating partnership with content providers to give users downloadable access to hosted videos under a Creative Commons license.
“We have commenced working with selected partners who want their videos shared universally, and even enjoyed away from an internet connection,” said YouTube product manager Thai Tran in a blog post.
“Many video creators on YouTube want their creation to be seen far and wide,” Tran wrote in a YouTube blog post.
“They do not mind sharing their work, provided that they get the proper credit.”
Users can download partner videos by clicking the download link in the left-hand corner of the video. YouTube is offering a “My Purchases” tab to help users keep track of purchased videos.
“Universities use YouTube to share lectures and research with an ever-expanding audience,” Tran, wrote in a blog post. “In an attempt to propagate the sharing of information, we are testing free downloads of YouTube videos from Stanford, Duke, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UCTV (broadcasting programs from throughout the UC system). YouTube users who are traveling or teachers who want to show these videos in classrooms with limited or no connectivity should find this particularly useful.”
YouTube has been searching ways to boost its income off videos shared at the popular website and address complaints from film and television studios worried that pirated material is swapped there.
YouTube channels for Khan Academy, Household Hacker and Pogobat are also participating in the test of the potential “distribution and revenue-generating tool,” according to Tran.
Nevertheless, a quick search of “how to download YouTube videos” have revealed several methods, some outdated, of how to download YouTube videos via scripts and other tools.
But according to some observers arguing that the move is pointless because they can already get the content for free through less honest means. Others pointed to the availability of software that allows users to download streaming media from web sites such as YouTube for free.
However, new government proposals soon to be unveiled will legally oblige internet service providers to take action against those who access pirated material.
The feature is currently in the testing stages. Interested parties can avail more information on the official YouTube blog.
In a related development, Sony Music Entertainment has renewed its contract with YouTube that allows the site to continue showing Sony music videos.