Monday, January 08, 2007

Downloading from YouTube

During the weekend I did some further research into the download possibilities of YouTube video content. As the father of two teenage kids the challenge was if we could get a YouTube video on a Pocket PC or iPod. Our first step was to find out if YouTube videos can be downloaded. This was not very difficult to find. There is an easy to use webpage on which you can simply enter the URL which is provided by YouTube. The selected video will be downloaded as a Flash Video file (FLV format). To play the file on your local computer it requires a Flash videoplayer, which can also be downloaded and installed from the same webpage.
The next step would be to install a converter which can create e.g. mp4 or avi output-videofiles from an FLV inputfile. I've tried a free demo version of Replay Converter which enables you to make 90sec. conversions. The full version of the program costs $29,95. The quality of the output file can be selected, but of course the filesize grows quickly when you require a high quality video. The mp4 output can be played with Windows Media Player and simply synchronized with a Pocket Pc running Windows Mobile. So the end of the experiment was that we were able to play a YouTube video on a Pocket PC. The mp4 also runs on iTunes, which makes it simple to Synchronize it with an iPod. A quick search on shows a lot of FLV converters. However, only very few of them are available as freeware. Next thing to do is to try one of these programs. I'll let you know what I found out, next time I write on my weblog.

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