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6/24/2011
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How To Download Online Videos with Safari

Download public domain movies and other videos in Apples Safari web browser.

BYTE -- One of my favorite movies of all time happens to be Night of the Living Dead, George Romero's 1968 classic. It defined zombies as we know them.

This movie is in public domain, which is why it's available for free on sites like YouTube and Hulu. Zero piracy issues. That's why it's the perfect example to show how to download FLV files from the Mac. Careful. You can do the same with unprotected non public domain movies--and end up in jail.

NOTE: BYTE in no way encourages piracy, digital theft, or any other crime punishable by state or federal law. This is a tech journal. Not your tech prison companion.

Back to my favorite zombie movie, here's how to grab your own free copy of a FLV file or movie using Safari on a Mac.


First, head to YouTube via Safari. Search for Night of the Living Dead. Hit Enter.


Here were my results. See the full-length feature I'm looking for? It's right there.


It's possible to stream the movie on the spot.


To download it for later watching, open your Safari Activity Monitor with Option+Command+A.


Scroll down to your FLV file. This should be the largest file you see. Full movies can be hundreds of megabytes or even gigabytes, if in high definition.


Double-click on the file to automatically start a download. Now hang and wait a bit. In this case, it'll be about 30 minutes.

NOTE: Not all video websites allow this. At this writing, YouTube does, as I've shown.

Now that you have your FLV movie on your computer, you still need software to allow you to view FLV files and movies. Let's remedy that. I like the open source programPerian; it's a free Quicktime plug-in and it plays back just about anything I throw at it.


Hit Download. The software takes fewer than a few seconds to download on most connections.


After you install the software, you can watch Night of the Living Dead or any other public-domain movie on your computer, just by following these steps to download it to your Mac via Safari.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: BYTE reminds you it is illegal to download commercial, non pubic-domain content. This article purely focuses on how to download public domain material. Piracy is a federal crime.


Whoa. Picture this on an iPad. Remember, public domain stuff only. Have fun.

Based in McAllen, TX, Jacob Lopez is a founding senior editor at BYTE. Follow him @8bitjay and email him with news tips at jacob.lopez@BYTE.com .

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