How can you download YouTube.com videos and play them on your Media Player?


YouTube.com, the year old video sharing site, is making waves in the entertainment world. Nascent video producers are uploading their movies. Marketers are plugging their wares through viral clips. Kids are uploading their karaoke impressions of pop songs. Corporate Media like NBC are partnering with the site.

Maybe you find a keeper, a video that you would like to preserve for posterity before it disappears into that great bit bucket of oblivion.

So, the Immortal question is asked, how can you download YouTube.com videos and play them on your Media Player?

The first part of the question is easy, to download YouTube.com videos all you need to do is find the video you like on YouTube.com and play it. Then under the "About This Video" part on the YouTube.com page, you will find the URL link for the video, select it, and copy it, then open in a new browser window the VideoDL site and paste the URL. Hit the [Get it!] button and after a few seconds the "download link" will appear. Now you can save the video on your computer.

Now that you have the video, you need to get a video player that can play it. VideoDL does recommend a few selections, but I got used to my Windows Media Player. I only want media player as the video player on my computer.

So the challenge now is finding a codec that will allow Media Player to play YouTube downloads. I looked around and found Cole2k Codec Pack. Codec are magical pieces of software stubs that allow your media player to play new video and audio formats. Cole2K provides a whole collection of audio and video format. The one you need is the flv format used by YouTube. You can download the codec pack from here.

Everything should be ready now. You have your flv file downloaded from YouTube and you have your codec installed. Start your Windows Player and drag and drop your flv file over it. what happens? I got a warning from the media player saying it could not interpret the file, should it try playing it anyway? I answered ok and all I got was a screechnig noise coming out of my computer. A little bit of investigation and I discovered that I needed to activate the flv codec by going to the application ffdshow video decoder configuration, then look up the item in the list called flv1 and enable the decoder from disabled to libavcodec.

Once that is done, you can merrily play all the videos you downloaded.


VideoDL supports in addition to YouTube, Google Video, and Break.com.


  1. Thank you Don Veto! I've been searching forever for a way to play flv videos in media player, and yours is the only conprehensible explanation I've found. Thank you very much!

  2. My pleasure Anon, enjoy yourself.

  3. Awesome! I've been trying to get Media Player to do this for some time now. The plugin is much easier than $*%@ing around with convertors trying to get the settings right.