A report at iLounge reveals that YouTube is planning to switch video formats in order to integrate more seamlessly with Apple TV. YouTube has been using the Flash Video format (FLV), which some believe sacrifices streaming efficiency for security. Starting later this month, YouTube will encoding videos in the H.264 format, which is an advanced, highly stream-efficient format based on the MP4 standard.
One consequence of this switch may be changes to the way people download YouTube videos. Currently, in order to download videos from YouTube (rather than just linking to them) one needs to either manually find the FLV file in their browser’s cache, or use one of many software or web-based utilities to do the trick. One site I’ve used in the past is KissYouTube, but there are many sites out there that provide similar services. Given the AppleTV-YouTube announcement of a few days ago, I suspect that in the future, YouTube video grabbing will be easier on the Mac than on Windows or Linux.