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Old 02-20-2008, 11:46 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 31
Default Video Download Tutorial

Although I am not an expert at many things relating to audio/video downloads, I thought I might offer some basic information...

The words "download" and "upload" have become part of the international lexicon, however are often misunderstood. In a nutshell, "upload" means transferring information from your computer to another computer (usually somewhere in cyberspace); "download" means copying information from a computer (again usually in cyberspace) to your own computer.

What is a download?

Every time you access the internet, digital information is transferred from some web server on the internet grid to your computer. It is temporarily stored by your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc.) for quick access, should you wish to return to a page. This is done seamlessly and many people are unaware it is being done. The information goes into a "cache", where it is saved for awhile, then periodically purged by the browser software, depending on the size of the cache (usually in Mb and configurable in your browser options.)

The situation is a little different when talking about deliberately downloading a video, photo or anything else from the internet to your computer. In this case, you choose what information to save and where to save it. This will stay on your computer until you decide to delete it.

Being able to play a video/audio file does not mean that it has been saved to your computer. Many programs available today (e.g., iTunes, Yahoo! Music Jukebox) act as a kind of browser, allowing you to view video or listen to music, but it is acutally "streaming" the information from the internet. This is a temporary download and you must have access to the internet to view/listen to it again. For people with broadband, this is not an issue, but for dial-up users it means that you must log onto the internet every time.

What is an upload?

When you post a picture or video that you have in your collection to the Gordon Lightfoot Forum (aka The Gord Board), you are uploading. Information is transferred from your computer to the Corfid server, where it resides until deleted. Posting a link is not uploading...a link is an indicator to direct the web browser to another location.

To download a video file

Once you find a video you want to have in your collection, the challenge is how to download it. Video files come in various formats, which have been discussed at length on this forum. The most common are:

* Windows Video (videoname.wma)
* Adobe Flash Video (videoname.avi or videoname.flv)

Depending on which browser you use, you have some choices:

For Windows Internet Explorer

Download Option 1
You can get a plug-in for Internet Explorer to let you download video/audio files (Internet Explorer does not provide downloading these kinds of files as part of the basic program.) Unfortunately, there are not very many plug-ins available...and most are not free. Microsoft does offer a trial version of their plug-in (at But, it costs money and there are a few negative comments about using it, so it may not be the best choice or easiest to use.

Download Option 2
Use another program. DVDVideoSoft offers a free YouTube downloader program ( which seems easy to use. The page also includes instructions, so read them and see if it might be something you would like to use.

[N.B. WindowsXP displays the files on the computer as icons/thumbnails by default. Only by changing the view - Tools>Folder Options>View, uncheck "Hide File Extensions for known file types" - will you be able to see the extensions.]

For Firefox/Netscape

Foxfire is a free, cross-platform, internet browser which offers a large number of helpful (also free) plug-ins/extensions, including Video Download Helper (, which is very easy to use from within Firefox. It works with a large number of audio and video formats and is configurable to your needs. Video Download Helper puts an icon in the top menu bar which indicates when there is something "downloadable" on a page; click on the arrow to the right of the icon, select the file name, choose the "save" location and you're done!

Other Browsers

The Opera web browser also has a plug-in available to allow downloading of videos (, however, the latest version does not work with YouTube. It now requires using an outside source for video downloads such as the KeepVid website (

If you use a Mac, and the Safari web browser is your browser of choice, there is a tutorial for downloading YouTube videos (


If none of these suggestions work for you and you are computer-savvy, it still may be possible to download a video by accessing the browser cache, finding the video file (usually a large one), copying it somewhere on your hard drive, then rename it. You would have to know the file extension for it to play correctly in your video player, but...if you are using this method, you probably already know that!

Any additions/corrections are gratefully acknowledged!

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Old 02-20-2008, 12:58 PM   #2
Jesse Joe
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Default Re: Video Download Tutorial

Junior Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 18

Video Download Tutorial
"Although I am not an expert at many things relating to audio/video downloads, I thought I might offer some basic information"... catrinka.

Thanks for the info cousin. Id say your pretty much an expert in my book. WOW ! ~ Jesse Joe ~

Last edited by Jesse Joe; 02-20-2008 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:28 PM   #3
Rainbow Trout
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Default Re: Video Download Tutorial

Thanks for the info Cat, very helpful!
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:59 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 31
Default Re: Video Download Tutorial

Thanks Jesse Joe and Rainbow...if it helps just one person with a video download, I've done my job!

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Old 02-23-2008, 09:14 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2000
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Default Re: Video Download Tutorial

I'm still tryin' -- I'm still tryin Cathy..
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Video Download Tutorial

Originally Posted by charlene View Post
I'm still tryin' -- I'm still tryin Cathy..
Oh no she still ain't got it
Originally Posted by catrinka View Post
To download a video file
Once you find a video you want to have in your collection, the challenge is how to download it.
If none of these suggestions work for you and you are computer-savvy, it still may be possible to download a video by accessing the browser cache, finding the video file (usually a large one), copying it somewhere on your hard drive, then rename it. You would have to know the file extension for it to play correctly in your video player, but...if you are using this method, you probably already know that!
Any additions/corrections are gratefully acknowledged!
Great Cathy, and I can add a few points based on my own success in getting copies of streaming videos.
It is a complicated subject that I have attempted to describe myself before but with no obvious all can do result as evidenced by the CHarlady's continuing inability to accomplish this simple task!!!
I gave a pretty full set of instructions as recently as 1 February at:-
in that posting I referred to a website whose URL I had mislaid:
it is at:-
I will try to be brief!!!
I have previously espoused my own tutorial at this very catchy link:-
(I refuse to use as they provide meaningless links as shown by cathy like for her short/tiny kink to the DVDvideosoft downloader
I therefore use where you can use whatever snappy name you wish , providing nobody else had the same bright idea first!!
In my introduction I wrote:-
"The intention of youtube,probably for copyright reasons is obviously to not encourage the saving of their video files, as stated on the youtube site in answer to a simple question at:-
Help Center Home > Getting Started > Saving, Collecting, and Sharing Videos
Can I download videos to watch later?
YouTube's video player is designed to be used within your browser as an Internet experience.
While you can't download videos to your computer, you can temporarily save videos to watch later
by adding them to your QuickList. If you'd like to save them more permanently, login and click
"Save to Favorites" under the videos you'd like to keep.
this is patent rubbish as a simple google for saving youtube videos produces a staggering 10,700,000 results
including many freeware programs
And whilst that denial; might satisfy those with a fast internet connection
As a dial upper I am intimidated and brassed off by the prospect of watching videos in 1 or 2 second chunks.
I realised that,as Bruna had done before me, it was preferable to let the stoopid downloading carry on until its conclusion because it seemed to me to be patently obvious that the video file that very slowly downloads when using a dial-up connection, which was meanwhile viewable in "fits and starts", must be somewhere on ones hard drive because as soon as it has downloaded you are immediately invited to "replay" so that you can watch it again
Taking as an example the recently posted link to the rather wobbly video taken at the Tampa concert (no doubt by one of the front row jokers who had insisted on bringing back a paper beaker of beer to their seats after the interval)

screenshot taken after a total download time of around 40 minutes
And to save it follow these steps
  1. right click on the video's title line
  2. select "properties"
[*]make a note of the URL on youtube in this case it contains the unique address part:- Bcvvy5ZBnS8 so remember "nS8[*]then in Internet Exploder go to the tools menu
[*]select "Internet Options"

[*]select view files

[*]scroll down to the temporary files from today looking for a largish file with a file name looking a lot like this at the beginning:-
Note that in this case the filename includes the part of the full youtube URL (Bcvvy5ZBnS8) that I told you to make a note of above. However it will be listed in this temporary listing as simply "file" as it has no file extension.[*]right click and copy it to a suitable folder on say your desktop It will copy as something like get_video[1] again with no file extension
rename with a suitable filename including the flash video extension flv as shown here:-
NOTE Sometimes I find that no amount of searching will reveal where that file actually is, despite the unarguable fact that it must be on my computer somewhere (If it wasn't then the replay facility would certainly not function. In the case of the Sundown video FLV above I could only find it by rebooting )
Incidentally more than one of those 10,700,000 results are to actual videos providing a tutorial on the above lines for example try:-

which relies on another site where I was told "Online download is down until further notice. Here's a temporary tool for you to download YouTube video. (Tested on Windows XP SP2 + IE7 only)" where the hyperlink takes you to which should then download a 1.35MB setup zipfile that program is useless. Try searching on youtube for "saving tutorial videos youtube" amongst a large number of results results is and one gent has even written a whole series of saving videos tutorials covering a range of video formats. see for example:- How to Save Google videos with IE6
Finally at last I think it is well worth repeating here my notes at the end of my previous 1 February posting:-
  1. Why would you want to save them anyway?
  2. Is it legal??
I found this summary on one site:-
Why would I want to save video from the Internet on my computer?
It is always a good idea to save web content that you like on your computer, as it may not always be available in the future. This includes flash videos. Below are some of the reasons why you may consider saving the video:-
  • So you can access it later at any time, even if you are not connected to the Internet.
  • The video might be removed from the web in the future.
  • The video might be edited, with the content you liked taken out.
  • You may want to use the video material for purposes other than watching: such as using it in presentation.
  • You would like to make the video accessible on your mobile phone, player, or PDA, in this case you need to save it as avi file.
  • You may want to convert the video to another format.
  • Many other reasons!
Or more simply as I see it so that you can then watch the video "on demand" .
BUT the original flv has to be either viewed in one of the free but to me poor looking flv viewers or converted to a different format that you can then play on the vastly more satisfactory Windoze Media Player, or if you are so bold and adventurous burnt to either a Video CD or a DVD to play through a standard television set, for which the video must be in MPEG-1 and -2 format respectively
the answer to 2 is more complex as the issue of copyright rears its head again as it does with all mp3 and copying activity of course.
Basically as I see it it could be argued that the crime is in uploading a copyrighted item not downloading it and as in the case of video tapes per se the argument is that as the courts agreed copying something that you own purely for ones own use is legal.
What is obviously a crime and very much against the artists' interests is to try to profit by selling illegal copies.
If you simply google for "download youtube videos"
you should get a staggering 7 million plus results
including an online download tool that refused to do anything for me at:-
search within those 7 million for "Is this legal"
reduces the total to just over one million including the above referenced techcrunch site again under the google banner
Huh? YouTube Sends TechCrunch A Cease & Desist
there you can read the interesting cease and desist attorney's correspondence with that website from 2006
this was also reported on at:-WeatherID=571
OK that is some food for thought and reading over the next few days.
Having tried to research yet again to try to make it easy I think that when I get time I WILL rewrite my tutorial to emphasize the above method better
"Sir" John Fowles Bt
Honorary Curator Bootleg Museum

(where Sir does not signify that I am a fully benighted Knight just a Bt which signifies a humble Baronet -?? read the wiki!)
I meant no one no harm
Once inside we found a curious moonbeam
Doing dances on the floor

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Video Download Tutorial

Sir John...thank you...and for pointing out that you have already posted comprehensively on this subject. The intention of my post was to cover the basics - the actual concept of downloading - with additional browser-specific suggestions. When writing the "tutorial," I tried to keep in mind that not everyone uses Windows (myself, for example ) and focused on the browser, rather than the operating system.

There is usually more than one way to do things. I subscribe to "the easier, the better" (aka the KISS Principle) and have tried to tailor my tutorial for simplicity. Using the tools at hand is often easier than installing additional programs; understanding how to use those tools makes Life easier.

Oh yes...TinyURL is available as a plug-in for my browser which copies the link to the clipboard automatically, so it is easy for me to use; Notlong addresses are a good idea, but require typing in an appropriate name and a manual "copy and paste." Meaningless or not, they get you to the same place!

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Old 02-28-2008, 05:34 PM   #8
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John, I'm glad you were able to to state it so succinctly
Doug "When love is true.....there is no truer occupation"
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