Originally Published: December 7, 2014 6 a.m.
Q: I often give presentations before groups using my laptop computer, and they sometimes contain links to videos I find on YouTube and other internet sites. But sometimes the internet connection is slow or loses connection. How can I download videos from YouTube to insert into my presentations?
A. There is a Firefox browser add-on called Video DownloadHelper (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/video-downloadhelper/). This works for just about every video you might find, and frequently works for YouTube as well. When you install this add-on, it places a small icon on the screen, typically on the same line as the Address (URL) field. When your video starts playing, right-click on that icon and select the version of the video you want to download (sometimes there is just one quality of video available, sometime several). Google owns YouTube, so they prevent you from downloading those videos using an add-on with their Chrome browser. So if you use Chrome or Internet Explorer, you can't use the Video DownloadHelper. There is a DownloadHelper for IE, but as far as I can see, it does not download from YouTube.
However, there is a program that makes it easy to capture YouTube videos. It's called Freemake Video Downloader, and can be found here: (www.freemake.com/free_video_downloader/). After you download and install the program, double-click on the icon to start it. It will show you a simple screen that has a "Paste URL" button. Next, find the YouTube video you'd like to download, and copy the URL (the http address) from your browser's address line at the top of the screen. Then go to the Freemake program and click on that "Paste URL" button. Your YouTube video address will be pasted there. Freemake will then open a window giving you a list of choices for download quality (various qualities of MP4, such as 1080p, 720p, etc.). You can also request Freemake to convert the downloaded video to AVI, WMV or several other formats. This is a very convenient and easy way to get the videos you need for a successful presentation.
The Prescott Computer Society (PCS) is a PC-based users group founded in Prescott more than 25 years ago. Our monthly Saturday meetings help you get more out of your computer while keeping it safe from virus attacks. For further information, visit www.PCS4me.com. Email questions for future columns to PCSquestions@gmail.com.