Monday, March 02, 2009

YouTube Videos as MP4 Files

YouTube recent push to make their videos higher quality has a great side-effect for educators.  Now, most can be directly downloaded to your computer as MP4 files which you can then show to your students from your local machine using Quicktime, iTunes, etc.

This can be done using the format:

http://www.youtube.com/get_video?video_id=ID&t=SIGNATURE&fmt=18

ID is the video's identification value, SIGNATURE is a value that prevents you from downloading the file just by knowing the ID. You could create this URL by looking at the source code of a YouTube page, but it's much easier to automatically generate it.

For example save this link as a bookmarklet (drag it to your Links bar in Firefox or Safari; right-clicking and add it to your favorites in Internet Explorer or Opera):



This Google post has more details if you have trouble.  When you are on a YouTube page with a video, just click the link and paste the embed code into the popup box. 




It will then download to your computer (you may wish to give it an appropriate name).  Personally, I wonder about the YouTube policy stating you cannot acccess through any means other than the website.  You may wish to read this policy.

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6 comments:

Mrtee073 said...

Wow! That's a pretty nifty tool. It works well. I always wondered about being able to download videos from YouTube.
Thanks Sharon!

skoelker said...

Nice find, Sharon. Beats vixy, zamzar et al in my book. Glad YT is continuing to move forward. Now if only the district would open the world's greatest video resource...we wouldn't have to do this in the dead of night.
Thanks for sharing.
spk
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Helen said...

Thanks Sharon
i'll give it a try !
bye for now
Helen in Nice
baw09

MIcalet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MIcalet said...

Great stuff - will be v useful!

btw - am I Chelmsford Essex? I've never set foot in the place . . .

Regards,

Michael

Carla Arena said...

Great tip, Sharon! I'll give it a try.