Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Update: movgrab seems abandoned. As an alternative, I highly recommend youtube-dl.

movgrab linux

Movgrab is a command line tool for downloading video clips from websites such as YouTube, Daily Motion, Break.com, Vimeo, Blip.tv, Liveleak and others.

Movgrab features:
  • proxy support
  • write the download to std-out so you can easily play the video in an external application
  • lets you pick the preferred video/audio formats for sites that offer more than one
  • generic downloader which means Movgrab might be able to download videos from other websites not listed as supported
  • can resume downloads (use "-r" - only works when writing a single file)
  • fork into background (use "-b" flag)
  • written in straight C so it has no dependencies

Full list of supported websites: 
  • YouTube
  • Metacafe
  • Dailymotion
  • Vimeo
  • Break.com
  • eHow
  • 5min.com
  • vbox7
  • blip.tv
  • Ted
  • MyVideo
  • ClipShack
  • MyTopClip
  • RedBalcony
  • Mobando
  • Yale University
  • Princeton University
  • Reuters
  • LiveLeak
  • Academic Earth
  • Photobucket
  • VideoEmo
  • VideosFacebook
  • Aljazeera
  • Mefeedia
  • IViewTube
  • Washington Post
  • CBS News
  • Euro News
  • MetaTube
  • MotionFeeds
  • Escapist
  • Guardian
  • RedOrbit
  • Sciive
  • Izlese
  • uctv.tv
  • royalsociety.tv
  • British Academy
  • Kitp
  • Dotsub
  • Astronomy.com
  • Teachertube.com
  • Discovery
  • Bloomberg.com

Using Movgrab

To download a video using the default options, simply run:
movgrab 'URL'

Where 'URL' is the URL of the video you want to download, e.g. "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QP-SIW6iKY". It's a good idea to use quotes for the URL, in case it contains special characters.

To specify the filename, use "-o" flag, like this:
movgrab -o VIDEONAME.mp4 'URL'

To be able to resume a video download, use "-r":
movgrab -r 'URL'

If you want to specify the video format and quality, firstly you'll need to get a list of supported video formats. Example:
movgrab -T 'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QP-SIW6iKY'

Which should return something like this:
Formats available for this Movie: webm:640x360 flv-h264:640x360 mp4:480x360 flv:400x240

Now you can specify in which format to download your video. Let's say we want to download the video in webm, with a 640x360 resolution:
movgrab -f webm:640x360 'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QP-SIW6iKY'

Now, let's say you want to watch a video using mplayer, without having to download it firstly - since Movgrab can write the download to std-out, all you have to do is run:
movgrab -o - 'URL' | mplayer -

movgrab -o - 'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QP-SIW6iKY' | mplayer -

For more options and info, run "movgrab" (without any flags) in a terminal.

Install Movgrab

Ubuntu users can install Movgrab by using the main WebUpd8 PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install movgrab

For Arch Linux, get the latest Movgrab via AUR.

And finally, for any Linux distribution, download the source from HERE, extract it and compile it:
sudo make install

application seen on UpUbuntu