Download from Youtube & conversion tools

7 09 2008

There are quite a few among you looking for ways to download films from Youtube and other flash based video sites. Well, there are a couple of ways you can try.

Before you get started it may be interesting to know that Youtube works with Flash video (extension .flv). This does not necessarily make it harder to download or so, but if you plan to edit the video yourself, then flash video files present you with more problems than you probably want. Therefore, you’ll find in this blog not only ways to download flash films, but also to convert them to more easy file formats, such as quicktime, avi, mpeg, and the likes.

If you have a lot of time, then maybe you can give some of the many plugins for Firefox a try: DownloadthemAll or Downloadhelper are only a few random suggestions. If your only objective is to get the videofilms to your hard drive so that you can watch them any time, then these plugins may already suffice for you: they give you what you want, i.e. the video flash files in flv-format. You can watch these files with this excellent FLV-player. Although this is is maybe already what you were looking for in the first place, fact is and remains that flv-files are not all that practical -not every pc has its native flv-player, for instance. Quicktime or avi is in that context a much more workable and popular format. But how on earth do you convert an flv-file to a Quicktime, avi or mpeg? Well, the good news is: even if you don’t know anything about bitrates, resolution, or pixel aspect ratio’s, even then it is fairly easy to convert flv to avi: the web is there to help you. There are a couple of online resources that can not only download films from youtube but convert them at the same time for you -how handy is that! We’ll have a quick glance at MediaConvert, youconvertit and zamzar

mediaconvert

MediaConvert is a free webservice that converts not only audio & video, but also textfiles to other file formats. The only thing you need is a browser -no extra software is required, you don’t even have to register on their site. MediaConvert is fairly simple and easy: navigate to a file on your harddrive or enter the internet location of the doc you want to convert, select the in- and output format and click on submit. When the conversion is ready, you’ll get a mail in your mailbox containing a download link. And that’s it!

MediaConvert can handle files up to 150 Mb, and that is probably the only limit. This service can handle practically any file format, going from popular video file formats (3G2, 3GP, AMV, ASF, AVI, DPG, DV, FLI, FLV, GIF, GVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPG, NSV, OGM, RM, SWF, VOB, WMV), audio formats (WAV, WMA, 3GP, MP3, OGG, AAC, AMR, FLAC, MPC, MMF, AU, AIFF, QCP), more than 60 graphical file formats, compression formats (7Z, BZ2, BZA, CAB, GZ, LHA, LZH, RAR, TAR, TGZ, YZ1, ZIP) and documents from such suites as Office, OpenOffice, Lotus 123, html, qhtml and what have you. Do you want to convert pdf to swf? No problem. An Access database to an Excel sheet? Piece of cake man!

YouConvertIt and Zamzar are very similar one stop-services where you upload a document (or enter its URL), choose the desired file format and where you receive a downloadlink in your mailbox. Both services are completely free and do a good job in converting the most popular file formats. Let’s start with Youconvertit.

youconvertit

Youconvertit.com can tackle audio, video, pictures or other file formats. The procedure is extremely simple: select the file on your pc, choose a file format, and click the button “convert it”. Once everything’s ready, you’ll receive a mail with a download link that will last for about 7 days. Youconvertit can work with 8 audio formats (AAC, MP3, WAV,..) 72 image formats (JPG, GIF, PNG, …), 13 video formats (AVI, WMV, 3GP, MP4, …) and 46 other file formats (DOC, PDF, …). You can convert up to 5 files simultaneously. What sets Youconvertit.com apart from MediaConvert or Zamzar is that here, there’s no ceiling to the file size. If you want to download films from Youtube, Metacafe or Google, click on “Convert online video” at the top of your screen, enter the URL of the film and choose the target file format.

Zamzar

Just like the others, Zamzar is a free conversion service that can convert video, audio, pictures or other documents to other file formats. Here too, you can convert up to 5 files simultaneously. The procedure is identical to the others, except for the fact that Zamzar only keeps the converted file 24 hours on their hard drive, so you’ll have to be quick! Another disadvantage, if you ask me, is Zamzar cannot handle files larger than 100 Mb. If you register, however, you can upload files up to 1 Gb -and that’s a lot of bandwith if you ask me, but still, it is possible. Zamzar too can handle the most frequently used file formats. If you want to convert films from Youtube, then, in “Step 1”, you’ll first have to click on URL and paste the URL of the youtube film. Steps 2, 3 & 4 are foolproof.

If you want to download Youtubefilms, or if you have a quicktime movie that you’ll have to convert to mp4, then these web services are perfect for you. Forget the Firefox plugins -these conversion services are not only much faster and easier, they also offer qualitative output. If you ask me, MediaConvert gets bronze; Zamzar & Youconvertit have much more eye candy and are a close match. Because they keep the converted files a bit longer, and because there’s not limit to the file size, my personal gold medal goes to Youconvertit. But let’s face it, Zamzar, how cool a name is that!

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5 responses

15 09 2008
philip

Download youtube videos direct to your PC, iPod, PSP, iPhone, Mobile, Mac..etc for free.. Its fast

Check http://youtubevideoconvert.com/

Convert to more popular format like .WMV .MOV, .MP4, .3GP, .MP3 etc

26 09 2008
Downloading from Youtube with Free Download Manager « Faculty of Arts & Philosophy

[…] came to the surface that not only download youtube films for you, but also download them -in this blog post you can find more information on Zamzar & youconvertit. This time I want to point your […]

17 11 2008
Abhijith

Here is a simple way to download from YouTube without tha help of any grabber. check this too.

Download Youtube Video

15 04 2009
wendy

ghent as in the ghent in belgium?

i’ve visited ur university before! very beautiful.

10 07 2010
DVD to AVI Converter

It is exact

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