Does your institution block YouTube? Many do but there are a lot of excellent educational videos on there. If you’ve got access elsewhere to view YouTube videos and want to show them in class one way to do it would be to download and convert it to a convenient video format for local playback. One way to do this (out of many) is to head over to www.mediaconverter.org,  a free online media converter.

Select Your File

1. Copy and paste the address of your chosen YouTube video and

2. Click on NEXT STEP

Choose Your File Type

1. Choose your file format. If you’re playing back the video on a PC or Windows Mobile Device a good choice is wmv, windows native video format. You can also embed wmv files into Microsoft PowerPoint. If want to play it on iPods, MP4 players or some mobile phones a good choice is mp4.

2. Give your file a name (no spaces allowed, underscores ok). If you leave the field blank your file will automatically be named using digits. Not very user-friendly!

3. Click NEXT STEP

Change Various Video Settings (optional)

For most purposes you don’t really need to change anything here. One useful setting that may be of use is the resolution. If you’ve got a high resolution file and you wanted to play it on a mobile phone then you could bump the resolution down. It would make it smaller and faster to load.

File Starts to Download

Download File

Step 1. Click on the DOWNLOAD NOW icon and save the file.

That’s it! It probably took longer to read this than to actually do it. One advantage of using an online media converter is that there is no software to install. Good if you don’t have admin rights to your PC. As well as converting YouTube videos you can also convert your own video files. Looking at the first screen there is an option to upload and convert your own videos, for example from your digital camera or mobile phone.

If you do have admin rights on your PC and can install software this site also offers a free standalone version of the software.