Thursday, November 13, 2008

Free software to save movies

A friend of mine is a film maker.  He actually hosts his own independent film festival and graduated from an esteemed film program.  However, he was equally befuddled as myself when we were trying to put something from YouTube on to a DVD.  It can't be done was the explanation I got from other so-called "experts" in the film/video field.  

However, a co-worker of mine just opened my eyes to the fix:  free software, and it's easy to use. 

TubeTV ( ) is a program that is free and essentially lets you save any video to your computer.  Even videos from YouTube.  Basically, once you download TubeTV, you open it and paste the URL for the video you want to save, and then save the video.  It's very easy.  There are also options about what type of file you want it saved to (flash or qucktime).

Perian is another program that you can download for free .  Perian lets you watch flash videos in quicktime formats.

Lastly, there is Visual Hub-which is great, but sadly not openly available to the masses anymore.  Visual Hub lets you convert videos or other files from flash, to wmv to mov to avi, etc.  Although Visual Hub went out of business, if you or a friend had already purchased it, then you can still access it and download it to any computer.  All you need is the name, e-mail and confirmation code to download it on a computer.  So if you don't have Visual Hub, try to find a kind soul who is willing to share.

I'm assuming that if you are interested in using any of the software mentioned above, then it should be safe to assume that you know the difference between quicktime and flash.  However, I am going to explain the brief differences for the novices reading:  Flash is smaller in install size, it's faster to download and faster in it's initialization time.  This is great when you are putting a video on your computer, or you're saving it somewhere and you don't want it to take up a whole bunch of memory.  Quicktime (MP4) is free, and is the international standard for videos online.  If you post a video, you should post it as a quicktime file, because flash can be displayed wrong resulting in dropped frames and skipped audio.  

So good luck any fledgling online video makers.  I hope this helps!

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