Downloading online videos

Twice this week I’ve answered questions about capturing online videos for research purposes. Scholars who are doing research based on clips of historical commercials are worried that their source materials may become unavailable and that their research will be more difficult to complete or share if this happens. This is the step-by-step how-to that will allow you to capture video from sources like Youtube, GoogleVideo, YahooVideo, and other online video hosts for educational purposes.

These instructions are for users on the Windows operating system.

Before you start it will simplify things if you create a project folder somewhere on your computer where you will store the videos you capture. For example, right click on the desktop and create a new folder. Call it something meaningful like youtubeVideos. There are 3 stages to the entire process: downloading, converting, and burning a disc.

Part 1: downloading the .flv file

  1. Download and install the YoutubeDownloader from http://youtubedownload.altervista.org/
  2. Start the new application by double clicking the new icon that should have just appeared on your desktop.
  3. In your browser find the video you’d like to capture. Copy its url (highlight and ctrl+C or right click > copy) from the address bar at the top of your browser. (starts with http://www. )
  4. Paste the url in the first empty box of the downloader where it says “Enter video url.” (ctrl+V or right click > paste)
  5. Select Download video from Youtube and then click Ok.
  6. Locate the file that you just downloaded. It will either be on your desktop or in your default save folder. Drag and drop it into the folder you created for this project.

You’re already halfway there.

Part 2: converting the file to something playable

  1. In the same YoutubeDownloader box you’ll see a browse button to the right of the first blank box. Click on it and navigate to the file you just downloaded. If you moved it to the project folder it should be easy to find. If you can’t find it you can do a system search for media > videos > .flv
  2. Select the file to be converted. Check “Convert video previously downloaded.” Click on Ok.
  3. When it’s done processing a .mov file should now be in the folder.

Part 3: Burning a disc of the .mov files

  1. Open your burning software (Nero/NTI/etc). Select create new data disc.
  2. Browse to your project folder.
  3. Select the .mov files you’d like to burn.
  4. Burninate!

Getting Your Daughter or Son a Computer? Think about the Asus Eee

It looks like a Nintendo DS only slightly larger. In five fashion colours too:

white green pink blue black laptops

At TigerDirect.ca yesterday I saw that the Asus Eee is priced at 365.99. My daughter’s starting to save for a laptop since she’ll be taking some computer science courses in high school next year and she finds the disparity between computers at home and at her dad’s frustrating. We’ve been talking about what she could get for cheap and this might be the one. I like that it runs Linux (which will save me from having to reinstall the OS and pay for a copy of Windows that nobody wants). The 3 usb ports should be sufficient for her needs which at the moment will likely be a mouse, her mp3 player, and a flash drive. There’s always the option of a hub if she needed more. Or the devices take turns. Should be manageable. I wonder how long 2G of hard drive space will last but since 4GB flash drives are easy to come by these days she should just concentrate on saving her work externally. I love that it’s only 2 pounds. She’s already hauling around so many books that I don’t want her adding much more to that. The 512MB of RAM doesn’t sound like much either. Can that be upgraded?

Her birthday’s coming up and she’s told grandparents that this is what she’s saving for. Fun for me was searching flickr.com for all the photos people have uploaded of their Eees.

flickr.com photo by hsufehmi

Windows x64 is teh suckage

I hate Windows x64. I wanted to try out something new, I had marvellous intentions. My computer had been stolen (along with every other thing in the house that had a cord) and I had the opportunity to get a legit copy of Windows via the insurance. This was August 2005. I was getting a spiffy new AMD 64-bit processor and of course wanted to get full use out of it so of course I wanted the 64-bit Windows. Of course!!

I read a bit beforehand and saw that some people were experiencing driver issues (as in not having any) but I had a friend with x64 and he assured me he had no issues. I was getting brand new everything so was certain I’d have no issues either because surely my peripherals would be supported. Uggh.

No printer, no scanner, and many of my favourite apps didn’t run in x64. I had to do searches for new tools (more…)