Archive for June 2012

Save Streaming Videos and Audio   2 comments

You can save a lot of time and bandwidth by downloading and storing your favourite streaming videos which you would like to watch repeatedly. You can use various utilities and websites to snag your own copy of videos or audio. Show you how to convert flash videos for iPhone, iPads and other devices.

Online videos are unreliable: Most popular video sharing sites like YouTube, Dailymotion, Metacafe and Vevo
you need an internet connection to view their streaming videos. You will need a reliable broadband connection with speeds of at least 512 kbps to make these sites usable. Even if you have an ultra-fast connection, there is no guarantee your favourite  videos will always be available online. Videos may be removed due to takedown notices, URLs may change, or the poster might decide to stop sharing  the video.

Benefits of Offline Videos: If you can download streaming videos, you’ll be able to view them even if you have no internet connection. You can also “pre-download” important videos if you are planning to work or vacation in locations where internet access is unreliable or very expensive. And of course, if the original video should disappear from video sharing sites, you would still have your own copy safely stored in your hard drive. If you are planning to use a video from the internet for a demo or presentation, it would be better to have your own copy stored on your computer instead of relying on an internet connection.

 Easy YouTube Downloader: Firefox users who mainly go to YouTube for your videos, then the aptly named Easy YouTube Downloader (http://tinyurl.com/ezyoutubedl) might be all you need. After you install this add-on, you will see a direct download button within YouTube pages. Click on it, and you will get a selection of video and audio formats  for that particular clip which you can download.

Chrome YouTube Downloader: If you use Google’s Chrome, try the Chrome YouTube Downloader (http://tinyurl.com/chromeyoutubedl) extension which works similarly. After you install this extension, you will see a direct download button within YouTube pages. Click on it, and you will get a selection of video and audio formats  for that particular clip which you can download.

Video Download Helper:  The Video Download Helper (http://tinyurl.com/45w8438) is aFirefox add-on which allows you to save videos from most of the other popular video sites, in addition to YouTube. When you install Video Download Helper, Firefox will restart and you will be taken to an “installation successful” webpage. All you will see is a in your browser is a greyed-out button with three circles in it, near the navigational toolbar. Once you surf  to a webpage with a  video, the button changes colour and animates, and you will see a small arrow next to it. Click on the arrow, and you will see the filename for the video. Click on that, and you will see a menu with various options. Click on download and save the video to a location.

Clip Converter: is a free online media download and conversion website allows you to save web videos. You do not need to install add-ons or extensions, and you can use any web browser. You will first nedd to copy the URL of the webpage which contains the video. Go to your browser’s address bar, click on the URL, press Ctrl A (select all) and Ctrl C to copy. Now surf to clipconverter.cc, and under Media URL to Record, paste the URL (Ctrl V). Then click on the download button under Conversion format. Now click the continue button. You should now see the conversion window. When the process is finished, you will see another download button which you can click on. Save the file to a location.

Playing Downloaded Videos: Many online videos these days use MP4 file format. The latest versions of  Windows Media Player should be able to handle this format. WMP may try to update itself by downloading a codec from the Net. If that fails, try installing the codecs manually by downloading the Codec Installation Package from Microsoft (http://tinyurl.com/msoftcodec). If you find that you have downloaded Flash video (.flv) files and can’t play them, get a copy of the KMPlayer (kmplayer.en.softonic.com) or VLC Media Player. The KMPlayer is only available for Windows, while the VLC Media Player is cross-platform and also available for Mac OS X and Linux and Ubuntu.

Convert Flash Videos for Apple Devices  (A): New owners of iPads, iPhones and ipod Touch will quickly discover their devices will not handle Flash. Apple is unlikely to support Flash in their devices. Luckily,  most of the popular YouTube videos are available in both Flash and H.264/MP4 formats; YouTube should detect if your computer can’t play Flash and will usually stream MP4 instead. But some of the less popular videos on YouTube are still available only as Flash video. If you try to play them on iPhone or iPad, you might get an error message “server malfunction”. You can get around this by using the Clip Converter website which can convert online Flash video to MP4 video format playable on Apple’s devices. However, you cannot download the converted file directly on your iPad / iPhone, because its file system is not directly accessible. Everything on these devices has to be associated with a app.

Convert Flash Videos for Apple Devices  (B):  On your computer, surf to clipconverter.cc and under Media URL to Record, paste the URL of the online video. Click on the MP4 button under Conversion Format. Set the Audio Bitrate to 128 kbps and the Video Bitrate to 256 kbps, and leave the other settings to their defaults. Click on Continue button. You should now see the conversion window. When it has finished, you will see a download button which you can click on. Save the file  to a location of your choice.

Convert Flash Videos for Apple Devices  (C): You can now transfer saved video to your Apple device. Plug in your iPad, iPhone, or  iPod Touch, the launch iTunes on your computer. In the Devices section, select your device, then click on the Movies button on iTunes’ top pane. Next, drag the newly converted video files to the library window. The new window should be automatically transferred to your device. If it is not automatically transferred, you can do a manual sync by checking the box next to the video.

Commercial Options: Sometimes, downloading web video can be difficult. For YouTube, Easy YouTube Downloader works well, while Video DownloaderHelper and Clip Converter can probably handle other major video sites. Some  streaming videos require commercial programs which capture anything playing on your PC screen, including web videos, webinars and Skype or live chats.

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