Frequently in the course of my multimedia work, both personal, and professional, I encounter the need to download (or rip) media elements from the web. This activity has increased exponentially in recent years, as shown by the emergence of a slew of sites devoted to ripping and converting video and audio in a variety of formats. Youtube even added a “download MP4” button to its interface. I’ve even had to download my own videos from youtube when I’ve lost the originals.
Of course, using your own original, copyright free, and creative commons material is usually preferable, but it is not always an option. At the Digital Union, we always recommend using copyright free images from resources like Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/
For creative commons music, my favorite is jamendo: http://www.jamendo.com/en/
For sound effects, The Freesound Project can’t be beat: http://www.freesound.org/index.php (requires free registering to download)
…And finally for video clips, Archive.org is the best: http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger
A full list of resources for creative commons material and copyright information can be found on the Digital Storytelling website here: http://digitalstory.osu.edu/resources/
However, say you want to reference a news video clip by embedding it in your powerpoint presentation. Your choices are either to minimize powerpoint and play it from youtube, OR you can rip the video from youtube, edit it, and then play just the part you want seamlessly in your ppt presentation. Here’s how:
1.) Copy the URL (web address) of the youtube video. Make sure you’re on the video itself and not the channel page. It will look something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkGxkZVauOs
3.) Click the chainlink icon that says “enter a link”
4.) Paste the URL and click ok.
5.) Click the arrow icon that says “Go to the next step”
6.) When prompted to select an output file type, choose mov (quicktime). You may also want to choose avi if you don’t have quicktime, or preferably download and install quicktime for free from apple here: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
Mediaconverter.org has the best selection of video formats of any free site that I’ve seen. You can also upload a file from your computer of up to 100 mb and convert it into 13 different video formats and 4 audio types. You get 5 conversions per computer per day. For $4, you can sign up for a week and get unlimited usage and higher file size limits.
7.) Click the “start” button to begin the conversion
8.) A blue status bar will go across and when it’s done, a download link will appear. Click it to download.
Sometimes, the process fails and the status bar will not turn blue or it won’t finish. If this occurs, simply refresh and try again.
9.) Use the insert > Movie from File icon in powerpoint to embed the video into your slide
The video will play when the slide appears after you click the mouse.
It is wise to keep the video file in the same folder as your .ppt file, possibly on a flash drive, and do not move it around after inserting it into your slide as Powerpoint will reference it from where it is when you insert it, just like video editors do.
Note: Mediaconverter does not always work, it might not work with sites other than youtube.
As an alternative, you can use http://keepvid.com/ which also uses a very simple java applet interface. You have to click “Allow” when prompted by your browser. You can then choose from FLV, MP4, WebM, 3GP, or MP3 formats.
http://snipmp3.com/ is a good one for pulling mp3’s from youtube to use as background music.
Warning: These are the best, freest, and most reliable sites in my experience. Some sites require payment or installation. Some just don’t work, and some may even attach an .exe file with malware or viruses! So, be careful if you explore other third party sites.
Remember, creating your own material is best, and be sure you’re abiding by all copyright rules and regulations when using these tools! Enjoy your media!