Thursday, September 18, 2008

Can't Use YouTube? - Try This

Update February 2021: This post was originally published in 2008. The techniques and tools mentioned here are no longer relevant. 

If you have ever wanted to use a YouTube video in your classroom, but couldn't because YouTube is blocked by your school's filter, then you should read this blog post. Just to be clear, this blog post is not about how to bypass your school district's web filter. The following resources are all tools for saving YouTube videos to your computer. Some of these tools also work with other video sharing websites. In all cases these methods require you convert and save videos to a laptop that you use at home and school or save videos to a flash drive that you can use at school and home. 

File Conversion Tools These three tools are web-based resources that can be used to convert videos to variety of formats to download and play on your local hard drive. All three services work on the same basic process, enter the url of the video you want converted, select the file format you want to save the video in, then download the converted file. Vixy.net and Media Converter both let you download converted files directly from their website to your computer. Zamzar requires that you enter your email address and they send you the converted files. 

Download and Play Miro is an open source media player available for Mac and Windows. Miro is kind of like iTunes for user generated video websites. After you install Miro you can download videos from YouTube and other video sharing sites directly from Miro. If there is a particular video producer that you like you can subscribe to the video channel. Each video is saved in your media player until you decide to delete it.