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Downloading Video Online: The Definitive Guide

You stayed up all last night planning a wonderful lecture, complete with all the fantastic YouTube videos to illustrate the concept for the students. Course starts all of the pupils arrive and listen in listen to your opening comments. As you start your browser to play the video… NOTHING!

Your online connection is outside, your lecture is currently a “fiddle with the computer” series, and all learning has shrunk into a screeching stop.

The reason so many educators would like to understand how to Save Any Video Online For Free (in spite of how it’s against the conditions of service) is due to the scenario over. While YouTube doesn’t want you downloading their own videos for offline usage, they also don’t have a good answer for what you are supposed to do in this circumstance. I’ve chosen to take the small risk of violating the conditions of service on specific events so that I will make sure my course meetings go as intended. If you are prepared to take that danger also, this post is for you.

(Anti-Douche bag Clause: Do not forget that the videos you download do not belong to you, you are not free to talk about with them, and basically do not participate in any dumb douche baggery that will get you in trouble, OK?)
So What Can I Do?

If you search Google for “Download YouTube Videos” you may find out about 2.8 Billion strikes on the subject, and a lot of these approaches are veiled methods to send you advertisements, malware, or they simply plain don’t get the job done.

I have been using Miro ever because it had been called Democracy Player, and for years it has always been a free, strong, malware-free, adware-free method of downloading and playing video from just about any resource online.
Miro enables you to search YouTube (or even Vimeo, or a number of different sources of internet video) from inside the application, and as soon as you discover the video you’re looking for, there is an easy “download” button which will download the video to your hard disk. It is going to then add that video into a Video Library playlist from Miro so it is possible to use the built-in player to show your video.

But What About…?

You may have your own tool (or bookmarklet, or website, or anything…) to Save Any Video Online For Free. If this works for you, good! I have tried a number of different techniques, and Miro is the only one which is totally open source, malware-free, ad-free, and only works all of the time.

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