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Download, convert, and edit an online video:

Untitled Document

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  • The Copyright Advisory Office of Columbia University Libraries has an extensive website covering "Fair Use" and copyright concerns for scholars.
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Untitled Document Disclaimer: The workflows here are offered as guides for further experimentation and learning. The technological landscape for Audio/Visual editing changes rapidly; the products and methods mentioned are for illustrative purposes only.


In this example, we will use Realplayer to download and convert an online video.

Note: Most online video is presented in Flash format, including videos on Youtube, Google Video, Yahoo! Video, Metacafe, and others. Powerpoint slides however can only accept certain video formats (such as AVI, MPG, and WMV). So first we will download a clip and convert it to Microsoft's WMV format, which is commonly used on Windows PCs.

  1. If you have not already done so, go to and download and install Realplayer SP.
  2. When you move your mouse over a video that is playing in your browser, you will see the Realplayer popup message("Download this Video") appear. Click the pop up message.

  3. Realplayer begins downloading your video. When it has completed, click the Convert all button.

  4. If this is your first time using Realplayer, you will want to create a custom conversion format. If you have already done so, skip to Step 8.

  5. If you see the Select a Device window, click More Devices.

  6. In the More Devices window, click Add Custom.

  7. In the Add Custom Device Profile window, give your format selections a name, and select Windows Media for the video format, and WAV for the audio format. These will work well with Powerpoint. Click OK.

    In the future, you can select your custom profile from the Realplayer "More Devices" list.

  8. Select your format name in the More Devices list. Make sure the other choices are de-selected, and click OK.

  9. Realplayer presents you with the Select a Device window. Select your format and click OK.

  10. If you wish, select the destination folder for your converted clip by clicking on the pulldown arrow in the Save In section. Then click Start. Realplayer will process the conversion. The resulting clip will be ready to insert into Powerpoint.

  11. To insert the resulting clip into Powerpoint, see here.
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Last Updated 10/10/09

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