During the past week I have had a a few different reasons for needing to download flash movies (YouTube and TeacherTube) to my computer. One of my students wanted to add a great YouTube video to his element report. One of my coworkers needed help downloading a MRSA video for a presentation she was giving in a room without an Internet connection. In the past I have tried to download these videos, but I have always encountered some hiccup. Either the site I was using to download the video would time out or the file would somehow become corrupted. This week I found a few solutions that worked flawlessly. I thought I would share them. Feel free to give them a whirl on the video above.
- KeepVid: I used to always use Vixy.net to download movies because it would take a YouTube video and download it into a variety of formats. However, Vixy always seems to time out now (it must be too popular) and I never get my file. John shared KeepVid on the Sylvan Technology Blog a few months ago. I started using it last week, have downloaded about a dozen videos and it has worked flawlessly every time. The only downside to KeepVid is that the file you download is a .flv file. These don’t automatically play in most video players already installed on your computer. However, Real Player (free download) plays them perfectly.
- Real Player: When I downloaded Real Player to play my newly acquired .flv files I noticed on their website an advertisement for the “Download this Video” button. Sure enough whenever you got a website with with a Flash video a Real Player Download this Video button will pop up. Click on the button and the video will be downloaded to your computer. This seems to occur on my PC using Firefox or Internet Explorer. On my Mac the RealPlayer download feature still works, but it occurs automatically using RealPlayer Downloader.
- Visual Hub: The main downside to the two downloaders I listed above is that they save the file as a Flash movie file. If you are going to add the video clip to a presentation you might find that the file needs to be converted into a different format. I have been using Visual Hub to accomplish that task. This Mac-only program (I am sure there is some equivalent for PC folks) is simple, works beautifully, and is cheap ($23.32). Choose the file format you want, drop in the Flash file you downloaded, and magically you have a perfectly converted file.
Now, as I write this I am thinking of a few of you who I know have other solutions to downloading and saving Flash video files. However, I am not sure what they are. Post a comment here and share you genius-ness with the rest of us.