Sunday, November 25, 2007

How to download videos from YouTube

There's a video on YouTube - maybe it is produced by a relative, or has someone talking about a relative. You'd like to save the video to your computer so you can listen to it later, and you have no idea how long the video will actually be on YouTube. (Sometimes it shouldn't even be there due to copyright issues, and if you don't download it quickly, it will be gone tomorrow.)

YouTube doesn't tell you anywhere how to download a video, because doing so would be encouraging you to do it, and would get those whose copyrights are being violated even more upset. However, you only want to download the video for genealogical purposes, so it's OK.

1) Go to YouTube and copy the URL for the YouTube video.
This is what the URL for a YouTube video looks like:

2) if you go to KeepVid, and paste the URL into the input box, and then click on 'download', a "download link" will appear on the page below the input box. (see image at bottom of entry)

3) The file downloaded will be called get_video. You will need to rename it 'filename.flv'.

FLV stands for 'Flash Video" and you need a flash video player to play it. Wimpy Player is a free flash video player, and there is both a Mac and a Windows version. (There are others out there. There are also programs that will convert flash video to more common video filetypes such as .avi .wmv and .mov. Information is on the KeepVid site.)

You will notice at KeepVid that in the dropdown menu next to the input box there is a long list of video sites. YouTube is one of many sites that KeepVid is able to download videos from.


Jasia said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! There's a video on YouTube I've been wanting to download. Now I can do it! Yeah!

Miriam Robbins said...

My husband and teenaged daughter--neither of whom are into genealogy--were just thrilled when I showed them your post, John! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a whole lot.I was looking for a way to download a video i wanted and you ansewred my prayers.