Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

youtube-dl is great for downloading YouTube videos, but if you don't like the command line, you might want to give ClipGrab a try. The application is not new but I never got to cover it on WebUpd8.

ClipGrab is an open source tool to download and convert videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and more, available for Linux, Mac and Windows.


ClipGrab features:
  • download videos (in HD as well as standard definition) from: YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Youku.com, myspass.de, myvideo.de and clipfish.de as well as other websites for which it has a generic downloader;
  • integrated YouTube video search functionality;
  • automatically convert downloaded videos to mpeg4, mp3, wmv and ogg theora/vorbis;
  • automatically add metadata (ID3 tags) to the converted mp3 files;
  • supports YouTube DASH videos (automatically merges the sound and video files) so it can download 1080p videos;
  • download age-restricted YouTube videos that require login (a popup is displayed in such cases, asking for your username and password);
  • desktop notifications;
  • proxy support.

ClipGrab allows searching for videos on YouTube directly from its UI

The application also features clipboard monitoring: it monitors the clipboard and when a video link is detected, it automatically adds it to its downloads or ask if you want to download it.

Overall, ClipGrab works great, but there are 2 Unity-specific bugs which I've encountered in my test:
  • only the "Always download" clipboard feature works (but it doesn't automatically download the video - it only adds it to the downloads tab) because if you set ClipGrab to "Always ask", when a video is detected you must click on the notification to download the video, and the default Unity notifications don't support this;
  • A missing icon symbol shows up on the panel.

Install ClipGrab in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

ClipGrab has a PPA but it wasn't updated in a while so to install the latest ClipGrab in Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17, you can use GetDeb:

1. Firstly, download and install THIS deb package - it will automatically add the GetDeb repository.

2. Linux Mint (17) only: make sure "trusty" is used for the GetDeb repository source and not "qiana", by running the following command:
sudo sed -i 's/qiana/trusty/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/getdeb.list

3. Install ClipGrab:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install clipgrab libav-tools

Arch Linux users can install ClipGrab via AUR.

For other Linux distributions (as well as Ubuntu users who aren't running the latest Ubuntu 14.04), download ClipGrab from its homepage (binaries available for Linux, Windows and Mac as well as source code).