How to view & download YouTube HTML5 videos on a mac

This is not a typical post on this blog, but I spent considerable amount of time searching for the easiest way to enjoy HTML5 videos on YouTube without Flash and an easy way to download the videos I really liked without performing any converting later. Chances are you'll find it useful, just like some of you did with my last Time Machine blog post, too.
The Idea - enjoy videos without ads, online and offline

This is the idea:
1) Use Safari without Flash installed (no crazy ads on portals, better performance and battery life)
2) Watch YouTube Videos in HTML5 (better quality, speed and no ads in YouTube videos)
3) Download YouTube Videos without any external program and play them back in Quicktime

The solution - thanks to John Gruber and others

Step 1 - remove Flash from your Mac

Flash is located in: /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/
Just move: “Flash Player.plugin”, “flashplayer.xpt”, and “NP-PPC-Dir-Shockwave” to a different folder.
Restart Mac and you don't have Flash in all of your browsers… except for Chrome which comes with Flash embedded anyway.

What I do is I browse the Internet in Safari without Chrome, but if I want to launch a specific web site in Flash, I use this AppleScript from TJ Luoma to open the current web site in Chrome.

This will tell Youtube to show HTML5 videos instead of flash ones. It also has great player which later lets you download the videos to your hard drive easily.

Step 3 - (bonus) to download a YouTube video that you like, click on the "i" icon in the video (right top corner) and you'll have the links to different versions of the video (see picture above) - right click and choose "Download Linked File As…" and put the name of the file and you have the video on your disk! It will be an MP4 file that you can simply watch in Quicktime.

No additional apps, no conversion, no fuss

It took me a while to figure this out so hopefully this saves you some time. I love it how my Mac runs so nicely in Safari without flash and how my YouTube videos play and can get downloaded so easily. Enjoy YouTube watching and make sure to check out my Productive! Show Episodes :-)

I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 (internet)

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