Collecting Cool Clips

Someone at work asked me a question today about how to do something, and I thought it was a good question. Sometimes, the definition of a good question is a question I happen to know the answer to, and in this case I did. 🙂 Although I’ve written about this topic before, it was a while ago and since the answer might be of use to others I thought I’d respond here in my blog. That way I can just direct my colleague Bernie to the blog to get the answer, plus it might benefit a few others as well.

The question was this… “If I see a video on YouTube that would be useful to me, how can I get my own standalone copy?”

This would be useful if you needed to show that video somewhere you weren’t connected to the Net, or to embed it into a slideshow for example. The videos on YouTube are in Flash Video format, (.flv) and don’t play nicely with most other programs such as PowerPoint or Keynote files. (The notable exception is SmartNotebook, which works really well with them).

So, here’s a solution…

  1. Go to YouTube and load up the video you wish to view.
  2. Select the URL of that page and copy it to the clipboard.
  3. Go to and paste the URL link from YouTube into the empty URL field.
  4. Select your choice of output video format from the dropdown list.
  5. Click the Start button.

Just be a bit patient, as Vixy goes over to YouTube, finds the video, converts it, and then downloads it to your computer in the format you’ve selected. Too easy! Hope that helps you out Bernie…

Now, if you’re the more geeky type (like me) and you use Firefox or Flock or Camino or any other Gecko-powered browser, you might like to try another method using the free Mozilla add-on called UnPlug… it’s one of my favourite add-ons for the Gecko engine… Unplug let’s you, well, unplug any embedded media from a webpage and save it to your computer. Of course, this means it is still in .flv format, but I then just drop it into the wonderful VisualHub application and it spits it out in whatever format I want. Noice!

BTW, this is the video we were trying to convert…

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Tags: , , ,

CC BY-SA 4.0 Collecting Cool Clips by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

0 Replies to “Collecting Cool Clips”

  1. Thanks Paul. Glad you found it useful, Judy O’Connell put me onto Vixy and it’s been really useful. I think I find the Unplug/VisualHub combination a little quicker with greater choice of output formats (iPod, PSP, etc), but Vixy is certainly easier.

  2. Excellent Chris, just what I was looking for. Hadn’t seen Vixy before! Then again hadn’t spent much time looking, been busy trying to get my head around wikispaces.

  3. Ah, that’s why I love VisualHub so much. It converts all the following formats – iPod, PSP, MPEG, WMV, DV, DVD, AVI, MP4 and Flash… from any of those formats to any of those formats. So taking the .flv file to a Windows Media or MPEG file? No trouble. Converting a DVD file to an iPod movie? Easy. Make a Quicktime file into a playable DVD? Done. Anything to anything. With one button click… literally. It has one of the most elegant interfaces I’ve ever used, and the programmer has a great sense of humour as evidenced in the tooltips and dialog boxes.
    It is only for the Mac however… I have no idea what the Windows equivalent would be. I know when I used Windows I managed to find lots of converters for specific conversions (Google is your friend), but nothing like VisualHub that did it all in one place. If anyone knows of one, I’d like to hear about it because I do get asked by my Windows using friends.

  4. Yeah that’s pretty cool too. Does a nice easy one-step download of the .flv file, then offers to convert it. I had heard of Keepvid, but not really looked at it.
    Thanks for sharing Paul!

  5. Hi Paul and Chris,

    I was following this thread on OzTeachers and looked at this a couple of days ago. I came back here looking to see if had a post Chris about how you insert the clip such as the one above into your edublog.

    It is probably pretty basic but sometimes asking here in quicker than searching for the answer.



  6. Hey Chris,

    That was great! I have that and will try it out right now with that great teachertube video that I wrote about on my blog.
    It really has to be a flat world when a bloke in Hong Kong asks a bloke in Australia who he connected with when he was in Canada, how to do something on some servers in the US operated by someone from the UK who lives in Melbourne!
    P.S. did you get my email about the IWB conference on the Gold Coast?

That's all well and good, but what do YOU think?