When thinking about watching videos on the internet the first website that comes to mind is, of course – YouTube. Established in 2005 by a group of ex PayPal workers, it was a year later bought by Google and has since then exploded in popularity and success.
Today it accounts for, by far, most video material publicly accessible on the internet.
So it is quite natural that almost all of us have at some point used their services, sometimes even binging on TV shows or instructional videos, or making music playlists for our parties.
There are a few prerequisites we need to fulfil to make it work, most importantly to have an internet connection but the question begs to be asked – can you watch YouTube videos offline?
What Do You Need To Use YouTube?
To use this popular video hosting site there are several conditions you need to fulfil first and while most of them are rather self evident, and if you are reading this text you most likely have them installed already, it is worthwhile mentioning them:
A stable internet connection is a must.
If you are to access any content online you need to be online in the first place. Google recommends that you have at least 0.5 Mbps to use the basic features of the site, while several times faster internet speeds are needed for HD videos not to buffer, or to do a quality streaming session. And considering how many 4K HD videos are being uploaded these days it is becoming almost a precondition to have at least 10 Mbps for this site.
Newest version of a popular web browser.
Even though YouTube could be opened and used on practically any web browser you can find, they specifically mention a few of the more popular ones on their site. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari etc are all good but you should have the latest updates for best possible performance.
A functional screen and loudspeakers.
This one speaks for itself but it should be noted that the higher the screen resolution and larger the speakers (and amplifiers) the better the viewing experience.
But if for whatever reason you wish to store and view the videos for later you might want to consider how it can be done offline. Having the commodity of watching that one video later when you are out of wifi range is great and only requires one easy to install program. While still online and connected you should take note of any video or music spot you might want to have ready later. Downloading and storing music as an MP3 file is a great way to make an offline playlist while not taking up a lot of Mb of hard disk space.
Take care also to choose that what you will download is not illegal. Although YT generally does not allow downloading any content unless explicitly said otherwise (but doesn’t make a big fuss out of it even if you do), some actions can be outright illegal in most countries.
Content posted under the labels Public Domain or Creative Commons are either copyright free or their owners have decided to make them publicly available to be used and shared.
Those can be, for example, conferences and lectures by educational institutions or musical pieces that have been made a part of the “public domain” because of their age (think classical music). Many YouTube users, when posting content, will write to whom the copyright belongs to and although it is a bit sketchy as a legal barrier there have not been many complaints so far, and hardly any lawsuits.
YouTube has since added the possibility of downloading and watching their videos offline, only if you are a paying Premium member. This is a great way not to have any legal nightmares for such a leisure activity, as all responsibility goes to the website, but using third-party programs is also a viable option to get more safety, from a legal viewpoint.
Sit Back And Enjoy
Make sure you have enough memory to store all the downloaded data to your device and a suitable way of viewing or listening to it.
Headphones are a great way to experience a “surround sound” system while on the move, while the better models have noise cancelation as well, if you are in a busy bus for example.
Whatever your music preferences are, it just feels great knowing you have your favourite song at your disposal whenever you want it.
Choose, download and play it offline – it is that simple, and all it requires is an easy to use program.