Downie is a powerful downloader to save online videos in any formats

6 min read

As kids, when we had questions about various topics, our parents would point us to encyclopedias. Now, when our children have questions, one of the first places we turn to is YouTube. However, it's not always possible to stream YouTube channels during trips.

That's why we're excited to use Downie, an online video downloader for Mac, to solve this problem. 

Mac computers are getting mightier and can store much more stuff than before, which means more space for videos! So, let's take a look at when you might need to use Downie.

Grab videos from the internet with Downie

his is a massive perk for those who always remember they haven't downloaded any videos to watch on a plane at the last minute. With Downie, you can use those last few minutes to download hours of video to your Mac

Pre-download videos when you go on a trip 

Downie works fast. Drop a link onto it, and it will download your video faster than any other tool.

This is a massive perk for those who always remember they haven't downloaded any videos to watch on a plane at the last minute. With Downie, you can use those last few minutes to download hours of video to your Mac!

Save memories beyond social media

Instagram and Facebook are great tools to curate your memories, but they are not 100% reliable. Downie can help save your precious videos from socials to Mac. 

This method also works great for stealing your friends’ Instagram memes — just make sure they are aware! 

Download videos to edit them on your Mac

Downie is a fantastic addition to a video-making toolkit. It's easy and quick to save your video from Vimeo or any similar platform. Downie has some post-processing features built-in — for example, you can extract audio from video. Other than that, you can use Downie as an easy way to import your videos from the internet to your Mac video editing software.  

The app helps you download videos from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, and other video sites. It even supports 4K videos. And if you love music videos and concert films, Downie can even save just the audio. It's crazy fast, too — if you have a decent internet connection, videos download and convert in no time at all.

It’s not hard to think of all the ways Downie could come in handy. For example, you can:

  • Save how-to videos for working on your model of car or troubleshooting your smartphone or tablet, so you don't have to go hunting again when something breaks.
  • Search for full episodes of old TV shows that aren't streaming anywhere else.
  • Keep a local copy of your favorite hair and makeup tutorials — they're easier to pause and rewind using native players than they are on
  • Save the audio from one of those absurdly long white noise videos. 
  • Download motivational speeches — or maybe you prefer standup comedy specials — and listen to them on your morning commute to get pumped for the day.
  • Or spend a really long flight binge-watching TED talks. (The TED site is supported.)
  • Download online videos your kids watch over and over and over again so you aren't using your capped internet bandwidth to stream them every single time.
  • You could even save videos that you suspect might be taken offline soon, like full-length movies.

Here is a wrap-up video of how it works:

That’s it. Yes, it’s really that easy.

How to use this video downloader

Downloading videos shouldn't be a complicated process, and Downie keeps things nice and simple. For starters, you have multiple ways to download video from URL or via the browser extension:

  1. Drag and drop a URL from your browser's URL bar onto Downie's app window or dock icon.
  2. Use the browser extension, which is the easiest method. If you have Safari, you don't even have to download it — it comes with the app. Just restart Safari, open Safari > Settings > Extensions, and check the box to enable it. Then, when you're on a webpage with video, just click the Downie button in Safari's toolbar and watch it go.
  3. If you have a link in the clipboard, just switch over to Downie and choose Command + O to open it.
  4. Drag in a text file, and Downie will scan it for links, even multiple links.

The app allows you to dive into all corners — grab online videos from over 1,000 different sites like Vimeo, YouTube, Youku, and Bilibili. 

What else can you do with Downie?

Downie is a flexible download manager. Not only is the app easy to use in terms of default settings, it also has tons of perks you can tweak. Download video from a website in any way that suits your workflow, convert, postprocess, and extract audio only. Here's a bit more detail. 

Get in on good music

In Preferences, you can set up Downie based on your workflow. For example, if you love listening to music on YouTube, you can set up Downie to download just the audio. That way you can listen offline, saving bandwidth. But when you want to download full videos again, just go back to Preferences > Postprocessing and change the preset from Extract Audio Only back to None.

Have it in different formats

In Preferences > Postprocessing, you can also have Downie auto-convert everything to MP4, if, for example, you plan to send your downloaded videos along to a phone or tablet. You can also have videos automatically open in Permute if you want to convert for specific devices — more about that in a minute.

Customize search settings

Downie lets you search for videos to download free on the big sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and TED, right from the search field at the bottom-right of the main window. That Search popup also has a Top Downloads tab, too. But if you're worried about your kids searching for adult content, or finding it in Top Downloads, you can filter searches and disable Top Downloads in Preferences > Privacy.

Small improvements making a big change

Here are a few more cool little features you can find in Downie's Preferences.

  • Delayed queue start, so you can download stuff in the middle of the night.
  • Group downloaded videos by site or playlist, inside your Downloads folder or whatever destination you set.
  • Download subtitles or not, or only when the subtitle track has a keyword (say, a language) in its name.
  • Use a proxy server to find videos that normally wouldn't be available in your country or geographical area.
  • If you want to download video online in batch, get all of them into one file and let Downie scan it.

Try it with Permute

Permute, which is also part of Setapp, is a media converter created by the same developer, so it seamlessly integrates with Downie. While Downie can automatically grab just the audio, or convert all videos to MP4, for anything beyond that you can have downloaded videos open automatically in Permute. 

Permute has presets for every device, can convert videos to audio files, supports subtitles, and can even crop videos or rotate them 90 degrees, in case you were holding the camera wrong. It also stitches back together videos that are downloaded in multiple parts.

And since both Downie and Permute are part of the Setapp family (240+ Mac, iOS, and web apps for almost any task), there's no reason not to try them together!

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