Let’s face it, there is a TON of stuff on the Internet.
You might see a funny video one day, and 3 weeks later someone says something that reminds you of that video. Wouldn’t it be great if you had that video downloaded to your machine, so you didn’t have to scour YouTube again trying to remember the exact title?
Or say a new hit song is out and you love it so much you want to listen to it over and over? Songs that are stuck in my head seem to only leave if I listen to the song in question 5-10x in a row. Then I’m sick of it for awhile and don’t catch myself humming it for a couple weeks.
Just maybe a friend of yours with a camera was recording pedestrians slipping on ice outside your dorm building, and he grabbed your likeness and posted it online (true story). He might not leave it up forever, and you’d love to add it to your Facebook for all your loved ones to see.
Well these are all possible. There are a ton of tools out there that’ll download videos from YouTube and YouTube-like sites. When this idea first popped in my head to try, I found an extension to Firefox that does the job. Firefox has since taken a second fiddle to my new main web browser, but that’s for another post entirely. The extension is called Video DownloadHelper. All you do is go to the URL of the video in
question, and the icon starts spinning. Click on it, and it shows you alist of videos it can grab from that page. You click on it and tell it where to download to, and away it goes. This works on YouTube, Vimeo, and numerous other video sites.
But wait, that doesn’t fix everything. YouTube videos are typically stored in FLV file format. My computer doesn’t like that format. Most of my videos are WMV or AVI. Well along comes a program called Format Factory. You select one video, a bunch of videos, or an entire folder,and it’ll convert all of them to your video format of choice.
I did say something about listening to songs, didn’t I? Music groups have the darndest time with YouTube. Any fan can play their song from the CD or radio and lip sync to it and throw it out there. If their managers aren’t searching regularly for it, their music gets out there and out of their control very quickly. Format Factory comes in handy yet again. It can convert that same video (or group of videos, or folder of videos) to MP3s or numerous other audio formats. So if you just like the
song in the background of a video, grab it and listen at your own discretion without worrying about having an Internet connection and finding the video again.
Let me state it this way: I found out that I have the capability to do this, but I don’t do it very often. I have a couple other ways I use to hold videos for a period of time to share with others, and this isn’t always my cup of tea. Plus, it’s always better if you like what a particular artist is making to go ahead and invest in their continued music-making. I’m not advocating piracy or short-changing talented people. I’m just saying, with a process like the one here, you can watch and share that cool video at your leisure. And saving it to your Desktop might just remind you to visit their site and see if they have anything new.
Pleasant web-watching days to all.

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