Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Capturing YouTube Video to Your Desktop

From time to time, we receive requests from faculty regarding capturing video from the web (typically YouTube or TeacherTube clips) to their desktop for use in class. The reasons include:
  • Slow web access times
  • Insurance that the video clip will be available for class use and not disappear or be withdrawn
  • The need to extract a segment and not use the entire video.

There are many tools available to capture video from the web (your students probably know about more tools than you and I ever will) and it’s important to review each use to be sure it complies with educational fair use (use the "Four Factor Analysis"). If the usage is appropriate and does not infringe on copyright, you can go to, enter the URL for the video and click the Get Video button to start the download. The download frequently takes less time than playing the video over the web. Just be sure you save the file using the .flv (Flash video) file extension.

By the way, some YouTube videos, such as President Elect Obama’s weekly addresses, now have a download option (just under the left lower corner of the video image space). It provides access to a H.264 encoded version that can be downloaded and played later offline.

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