Downloading and Converting Videos

Have you ever done a presentation where you have an embedded link in a PPT to a YouTube video, you click to play the video, then you have trouble getting back to your PPT?  Or have you found the perfect video to show for a lesson, only to find that the network can’t connect when you want to show it, or the video won’t play?

 What you need is to actually download the video, then embed it into your PPT.  This is not all that straightforward however, especially when some videos are particularly large in size, so you need to compress the video or reduce its size before using it.  Click here for Mashable’s list of 23  different ways to download YouTube videos – just check first the copyright details on the videos before you download them.

One of the easiest ways I’ve found for downloading videos is to use ZAMZAR, an online file conversion site, free for files up to 100MB. Not only will it convert video files for you, but also music files, images and documents.   Watch a video from the Zamzar website showing some of their great features.  I usually choose to convert  videos to avi format, but all of the following formats are avaialbale:

Output formats: 3gp, 3g2, avi, gvi, iphone, ipod, wmv,  flv, mov, m4v, mp4, mpg,  ogg, rm, rmvb, vob


If, on the other hand, you don’t want to use an online conversion site, you can download Any Video Converter, a free open source software program, and convert your videos using that instead:

“Any Video Converter Freeware- the Free Video Converter – is the most renowned free video converter for converting video files between various formats, with fast converting speed and excellent video quality. This powerful free video converter application makes video conversion quick and easy.

This FREE video converter software can clip any segments and optionally merge and sort them to make a creative movie. And even more, Any Video Converter Freeware can crop frame size to remove any unwanted area in the frame just like a pair of smart scissors.” (from the website)

Input formats:  avi, asf, mov, rm, rmvb, flv, mkv, mpg, 3gp, m4v, vob, YouTube videos


Output formats:  avi, mp4, wmv, swf, flv, mkv, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, mpg (PAL or NTSC), mp3, wma, ogg, aac, wave, m4a

Main screen of Any Video Converter Freeware