There is a lot of interesting material on YouTube these days, since it has moved on from being the home of dodgy student home videos to being the near-universal place for all sorts of video material. (See St John’s theology stream here.)
But how can I use these clips in a church or teaching context? If you have reliable internet access where you want to use it, the simplest thing is probably to play the clip from YouTube direct. But what if this is not possible? Or you want to keep the video clip for the longer term?
Well, it is quite straightforward, and doesn’t take much time. (There used to be an application called GetTube which did it all for you, but this does not appear to work any more.)
- QuickTime video player. If you are running a Mac on 10.6 (Snow Leopard), it is built in. If you are on an earlier Mac OS or a PC, you can download it here.
- Perian plug-in for QuickTime. Download it here and install. It is very quick, and on a Mac creates its own panel within your System Preferences panes.
Then do the following:
- In Safari, go to the YouTube page with your clip.
- Open the activity window either through the menu Window/Activity or Alt-Command-A.
- In the browser window, click on the YouTube clip to play. As the video loads, you will see in the activity window the video file growing in size. You might need to look quite carefully, as the window lists all the elements that have been downloaded for the page. The file will have extension .flv
- Once you have identified the video file, Alt-click on it to download it separately. (You control where downloads go through Safari preferences. The default option on a Mac is User/[your name]/Downloads, which is visible from the dock.)
- Go to the file in the finder and rename it. (It will have some generic name on YouTube, and you need to identify it by the subject.)
- Double click to open it. The extension .flv tells you it is a flash video file, not QuickTime, but Perian allows you to open flash video in a QuickTime player.
- In QuickTime, save it as either a .mov or .mpg file, which should enable it to be played across all platforms.
You might then want to embed it in a PowerPoint display, but note that usually PowerPoint only adds a marker, not the whole video file. So if you are transferring onto another computer, you will need to copy over the QuickTime/MPEG video file with the PowerPoint presentation. It is usually safer to use your own laptop, if you have one, and plug this into the projection system.
Et viola! Find, play, download, rename, open, save. It’s as simple as that!