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Downloading the MPEG4 version of a YouTube video

(These will play in QuickTime, iTunes, and usually on the iPod and iPad, these may require an additional conversion)
There are many ways of downloading YouTube videos. We are currently using these solutions.

1. KeepVid (Copy the URL of the YouTube video, NOT from the top of the web page. Click on Share button under video, and use this URL, and paste in KeepVid. Click on Download. It will show you the available files, select the MP4 most appropriate for you use. There is usually a normal and an HD version available.

2. KickYouTube This downloads the same files as above, the interface is a bit more confusing.

3. youtubemp is a Firefox Add-On, and makes the "Save as mp4" link visible again in your browser, as the old directions below did. Once installed, it's probably the easiest solution. If there are several versions of the MP4, it will download the largest and best.

4. We also tried vixy, but the files were of lower quality. They are transcoded from the FLV, while the above download the MP4.

Other ways of downloading videos described here

Downloading some Flash VLV movies
This often works using Safari on the Mac.
1. Quit Safari and reopen it, this will clear the Activity window.
2. Go to the web page with your video, best bet is to only have one video per page.
3. Start playing your video. Now go to the Safari>Window>Activity menu.
4. You will see many files, each one is part of the web page. Look for the largest file, and you will see it downloading. If a Flash movie, it will have the .flv extension.

Finding YouTube videos

HTML5 and other codecs: OGG containter, Theora video codec, Vorbis audio codec.

From Archive

Pedagogical Reasons for using On-Line Video

A good source of the history and applications is at http://web.mac.com/kathyama59/YouTube_and_Ed/Part_1.html

General Web 2.0 info, with some uses of YouTube, at http://www.ksu.edu/sasw/anthro/wesch.htm

Examples at Connecticut College

(to be confirmed, more to be added)

  • Stuart Vyse
  • Frida Morelli
  • Eugene Gallagher
  • Frida Morelli
  • Andrea Lanoux
  • Sufia Uddin
  • Charles Hartman
Video Sources
  1. http://youtube.com (click on Advanced Search)
  2. http://video.google.com (Google owns YouTube, their videos are also listed here, but Google has its own separate collection)
  3. Open Culture, http://www.oculture.com/
    1. Open Culture list of YouTube Channels, http://www.oculture.com/2008/03/youtubesmartvideos.html
    2. Open Culture list of University Collections, http://www.oculture.com/2007/02/university_vide.html
  4. The Open Video Project, http://www.open-video.org/
  5. Internet Archive, http://www.archive.org/index.php
  6. Library of Congress American Memory video collections, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/browse/ListSome.php?format=Motion+Picture
  7. Gateway to 3 MIT separate online video collections, http://watch.mit.edu/
  8. Search for media at dedicated sites, such as Frida Morelli's Rai.tv Podcasts, http://www.rai.tv/mptuttipodcast. From here, she went to Un Posto al Sole. Individual episodes were downloaded from the podcast.
  9. Search in Google Search, key words "video + ....", consider using Advanced Search

Technologies for Using Video

1. Web Link to the Video Page

Advantages: Easiest
Disadvantages: Page may be cluttered with other files, file may be removed someday

2. Embed Link to the video itself

Advantages: Easy
Disadvantages: file may be removed someday, there may not be embed code

3. Download and Serve

Advantages: you will always have your video
Disadvantages: More difficult
Video Formats and Players

A. Flash

  • The most popular video format on the web. However, it is harder to play when downloaded and not embedded in a web page. Flash does not play on most portable devices.
  • Extensions are .flv or .swf, for the two types of Flash files: The basic FLV video, which is usually "wrapped" in a SWF flash file.
  • On the web, Flash files are in SWF format, and play using Flash Player, available here http://www.adobe.com/
  • When downloaded, only the FLV portion is downloaded, Flash Player will not play these, other software is needed, which most computers do not have.
  • On Windows, Right-click on the video to see if it is Flash. On a Mac, Control-click on the video.

On the web, YouTube videos are presented in Flash SWF format. When downloaded, only the FLV portion is downloaded, this is harder to play. Some YouTube videos are available in both normal and high quality SWF/FLV versions.

Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA4z2sd3fOI (Click on "watch in high quality")

Some YouTube and Google videos are available for download to computer in higher-quality MPEG4/H.264 format. If you access YouTube through an iPod touch or iPhone, you are linked to the MPEG4 version, but it is not downloadable to the devices.

Playing FLV Videos: On OSX, play with Adobe Media Player or Real Player Beta 11. On Windows, play with Real Player 11, Adobe Media Player, or Applian FLV Player.

B. QuickTime and MPEG4

  • Most popular format for downloading
  • Plays in web pages, as downloaded files, and on portable devices (may need simple conversion)
  • Extensions are .mov, mp4, m4v, m4a
  • Plays using QT Player in web pages and downloaded files, plays in iTunes in downloaded files.
  • When you install iTunes, QuickTime Player is also installed. Or you can just install QuickTime Player.

To save a QuickTime movie in a web page, you need to use QuickTime Player Pro. This is installed in the ATL, DCC, Neff Lab, and PCEC (?).

C. Real Media

  • Once very popular, now out of favor, but still many videos out there
  • Extension is .rm, .ra, .rv
  • Play files using RealPlayer, Version 11. Download here: http://www.real.com/player/

Sample at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1952/schweitzer-docu.html

Many Real Media files stream from servers, and can't be downloaded or saved.

Downloading Videos

1. Use Safari on Mac or Windows. While the video is playing, go to Window, Activity. The biggest file is the FLV. Double-click to save to the desktop. It will save with the name "get_video", change the name and add the .flv extension. You usually cannot download the high quality versions.

This video downloads in high quality in Safari on Win.


This video downloads as garbage text


2. Use the Google YouTube downloader, to download the high-quality mpeg4 file, explained here http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/04/download-youtube-videos-as-mp4-files.html Question: if the high quality version is not available for viewing in YouTube, can the high-quality mpeg4 still be downloaded?

Can't seem to be able to download this video in Mac Safari or Firefox http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK9XYipmGzA&feature=dir

3. Use RealPlayer 11. On Windows, the Downloader is displayed above the video. On Macs, it is a separate application, RealPlayer Downloader. If the YouTube video is available in both normal and high quality, it will be downloaded in the FLV quality that is playing.

4. Use a Firefox extension

a. Video Download Helper https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3006, This downloads both the low and high quality FLV file (when available). You may have to wait until the file is fully downloaded in YouTube before saving it. Also found at http://www.downloadhelper.net/

b. Fast Video Download (v1.6). This only downloads the lower quality version on Windows and OSX. http://www.applian.com/fast-video-download/

c. Video Downloader http://javimoya.com/blog/youtube_en.php (not tested, rel. 4/06)

d. KeepVid, http://keepvid.com/, works both as extension and web downloader

e. More ideas here: http://www.google.com/search?q=download+youtube

5. Video downloading sites (enter video URL in form, file will be downloaded). Sometimes hard to determine the video URL, as it is hidden.



Distribution of Downloaded Videos

1. Upload to video server, example: http://video.conncoll.edu/c/fmor/itl102/

2. Upload to Moodle server

3. Distribute as podcasts

4. Distribute to iPods, as podcasts or as file transfers

Video Conversion

Sometimes it is necessary to convert a Flash FLV video to MPEG4 or QuickTime. Here are some tools:

On-line: MediaConverter http://www.mediaconverter.org/

Mac Application: iSquint http://www.isquint.org/

Windows Application:


Does a nice job, but limited presets:
  1. iPod Touch High Quality, 1.93 mbps
  2. iPod Touch Standard Quality, 1.38 mbps
  3. iPod Classic High Quality, 1.37 mbps
  4. iPod Classic Standard Quality, 900 kbps


http://www.videora.com/en-us/Converter/iPod/guide/youtube-to-ipod/ Videora iPod Converter

http://www.cucusoft.com/ Cucusoft, recommended by Newell

For PC, look at KLite http://www.k-litecodecpack.com/, http://www.free-codecs.com/download/K_lite_codec_pack.htm

Comparison tests: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l60bW7lhRNc&feature=user (Sili, The Slap)

  1. Downloaded FLV movie, 480x324, 29.97 fps, 580 kbps total, audio 96 kbps, 12.98 MB
  2. Google mp4 download, 480x324, 29.97 fps, 520 kbps total, audio 128 kbps, 11.22 MB (Google quality very slightly better)
  3. dvdvideosoft mp4 conversion ipthq, 480x320, 29.97 fps, 1 mbps total, audio 98 kbps, 21.83 MB (Google quality slightly better)
  4. dvdvideosoft mp4 conversion iptsq, 480x320, 24 fps, 886 kbps total, audio 93 kbps, 19.6 MB (Google quality better, but good enough)

Uploading videos to YouTube

Compressing for higher quality versions: http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/you_tube_redux_gary.html

Subpages (1): Embed Tests