While most web service companies work day and night to lock you in, Google has always maintained funding to its Data Liberation Front to help you do the exact opposite. One of the principles that have always made us admire Google is their commitment to making it as easy to leave a web service as it was to join, and today they are adding an important new expansion. As of now, YouTube users can download the original (non-transcoded) version of any clip they have uploaded to the service in the past, or in the future.
This officially makes YouTube one of the most affordable ways to archive large video clips, with absolutely no danger of lock in. Wondering how it works? Well, according to the Data Liberation Blog: “With Google Takeout, you can download all of the original videos that you have uploaded in a few simple clicks. No transcoding or transformation -- you’ll get exactly the same videos that you first uploaded. Your videos in. Your videos out.”
Just visit the YouTube site as usual, click your name / “Video Manager”, then click “Download MP4” using the drop down arrow next to the edit button for each video. If you have hundreds of uploads this might take some time, however it’s still an amazingly selfless service for the company to offer considering they have nothing to gain.