September 23, 2021 5:02:07 pm
YouTube is adding a new experimental feature to desktop users – the ability to save videos offline and view them later. The experimental feature, first spotted by Android Police, is reportedly coming to YouTube Premium users in India and France.
The new feature however, isn’t here to stay yet, and YouTube’s experimental features page tells us it is only available until October 19. The feature is also “only available on computers with the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, or Opera browsers.”
It will reportedly work by adding a ‘Download’ button below a video, similar to the implementation on the smartphone apps. Clicking on this should let you save the video offline and you can later watch the saved videos from youtube.com/feed/downloads. Similar to how it works on phones, the saved files will only be accessible on YouTube and not via third-party file managers or media players.
It is also noteworthy that the feature will allow users to select a default download quality, but this will max out at 1080p. This means even videos of higher resolution like a 4K clip will only be saved in 1080p maximum.
Why the addition is important
One of the important features that the YouTube mobile app has had for a while but the website had been missing was the ability to download videos to view them later when users are not connected to the web.
With no native functionality to mimic this on web like YouTube’s smartphone apps, users would often resort to third-party sites which would turn YouTube URLs into downloadable videos in multiple file formats.
However, the safety of these third party tools and websites could never be guaranteed, not to mention the cumbersome process. That changes with the new feature now natively available to select YouTube users.
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