I write a lot about video games. And I’m almost always playing a video game podcast in the background while I work. The big ones from IGN. The small ones that you might’ve never heard of, like Tandem Legends (a podcast about the Legend of Zelda series). I do this primarily on my iPad, because occasionally, I’ll watch the video version of a podcast. And more often than not, those videos live on YouTube.
But here’s the rub. YouTube doesn’t support background video sound without paying for something called YouTube Premium. If I switch apps on my iPad, playback stops. I could go on and on about why I hate this, but the truth is, I already found a way around it — and a way to basically recreate the YouTube Premium experience without having to pay YouTube a single cent.
The task Airy performs is simple yet immensely valuable. It downloads videos from YouTube, and it does it in a variety of formats. Do you want to pull a video down as a high-quality 1080p MP4 file? Airy can do it. Do you just need a low-bitrate 3GP file? Airy’s got you covered.
Airy can even download a YouTube video as an MP3, should you just want the sound without all of that fancy shmancy video.
And the process is entirely simple. Airy doesn’t have a whole lot of options or settings bogging things down. There’s a drop-down box for you to choose the file type you want for your download, an empty box for you to paste a YouTube URL into, and a “Download” button.
It’ll be awfully hard for someone to get confused using Airy.
The app’s usefulness comes with a cost, though. While watching YouTube videos is free — thanks to ads that appear far too often — Airy is not. You can purchase a single-use personal license for $19.95, though that doesn’t guarantee you access to new versions of the app. For that, you’ll have to pay $9.95 for the lifetime upgrades guarantee.
Considering that YouTube Premium costs $11.99 per month (at present time), both fees seem like solid investments that will pay for themselves in less than three months’ time.
All in all, I like Airy. There’s not a whole not to knock, because what the app does is easy to understand, and using the app to accomplish that task is simple. If you’re not hot on paying YouTube a monthly fee for features that it should have in its own app, Airy is a worthy workaround that helps break YouTube videos free.