Safari comes with an incredibly powerful tool called the “Activity” window, which can be used to download YouTube (or any other video site) videos, files from websites, MP3s from Last.fm or any other type of file present that can’t be directly downloaded, right to your desktop. There are many third party applications and services that allow users to download YouTube videos directly, but many people do not realize that this functionality is built right into Safari.
To illustrate this, I’m going to use YouTube videos as an example (.flv file format), but as stated previously this works with any online file.
Simply go to the YouTube video page where the video plays, click Window -> Activity and a window will appear similar to the one pictured below.
We’re shown a range of different files in this list, but we’re looking for the flv video file, which will most likely be the largest file of the list (highlighted below).
Select that file, hit copy and paste it into the Downloads window (Window -> Downloads), and the video will start downloading to your desktop. Note: With YouTube videos, the downloaded file will be called “get_video” with no file extension, you’ll need to rename it to “something.flv”, in order to be able to play it.
Peggle is a simple puzzle game from PopCap that seems to possess some sort of mystic time-sucking power, where once you start playing, the next glance at the clock will have you shocked at the length of time you’ve been entranced. Check it out, unless you don’t want your day to be wasted 🙂
Here’s my idea for a little OS X application, Twitter in the Finder Bar (of course, I would call it something better than that :P). As I’ve illustrated in the following image, this application would display the most recent Twitter post from your friends (vertically scrolling when a new one comes in) in the OS X Finder Bar.
Twitter is a service that is a perfect candidate to be condensed down into the Finder Bar’s small horizontal UI area. It’s out of the way enough to not add to clutter, but sitting right there for when you need it. Since Twitter’s content is made up of text no more than 140 characters in length, there’s really no need for an expansive UI.
To provide some interactivity, if the user clicks in the text area it turns into an input box, that is used to write a new Twitter update. For example, in this case I might click it and write a response to Todd: “@Todd Iron Man is great. Have fun!” hitting enter to post.
I came about this little idea since I really have no need for the relatively bulky Twitter GUIs that exist today. My Twitter needs are limited to seeing the latest update and being able to reply or add my own in a snap. The current available solutions have user interfaces that are far too involved for these simple operations, and take up too much screen real estate.
If anyone is, or knows anyone with the knowledge to bring this to life, and is interested in developing this small freeware app. Let me know.
I highly recommend checking out the beautiful new motion graphics showcase site, FWA Theater. It features some of the best and most inspiring work in advertising, viral video, motion and the like.
The site itself is powered by Fantasy Interactive‘s new platform, FiV, which seems to trump sites like YouTube in every way, and it’s pretty too.