If you’ve ever enjoyed a YouTube video and then thought “I want to take this with me wherever I go”, then prepare to be mildly pleased. YouTube appears to be experimenting with offering downloads of videos. The first to gain this feature have been the videos on Obama’s ChangeDotGov YouTube channel.
The videos come in a decent format – MPEG4, using the H.264 codec. That’s the same as the same videos that you get on the iPhone portal. The capability to download video has been offered by competing sites like Vimeo for ages, but YouTube has avoided it – presumably to quieten the intellectual property issues involved, though anyone can download YouTube videos with a simple Google search.
It’s likely that content owners will soon see an option as to whether to allow downloads of their videos or not. I hope that many do, and that those who don’t begin to feel the pressure to allow it. Just don’t expect to be able to download a million music videos tomorrow.