Unless you live under a rock, you know by now that online video represents the hottest thing to hit the Internet since the invention of the modem.
YouTube.com reportedly receives over 65,000 video submissions every day.
Video sites crowd the TOP 10 most popular destinations online and web video frequently appears on national TV while sometimes breaking the news before the networks even know a story exists.
Despite the popularity of online video, most video sites feel like the early days of radio when it comes to user- friendly features (or obvious lack thereof).
But, have not fear, the following tools will help you drastically improve both the flexibility and enjoyment you get from online videos.
** YouTube.com In Your iPod **
Most people would agree that YouTube.com carries the largest selection of free online videos available anywhere on the Net.
Once you get past the skateboard crashes and bike wrecks, some very interesting videos can be found with a little digging.
However, unlike Google Video, YouTube.com does not offer video downloads.
Google Video enables you to download almost any video in popular formats for your Apple iPod, Sony PSP, and other compatible portable video devices.
YouTube.com requires you to stay on their site to watch the videos or view them on a site with embedded code which streams the content.
Either way, YouTube.com wants your eyeballs on a web page when you watch their videos so they can make money from advertising.
So, if you want to start watching YouTube.com videos on your desktop, iPod, PSP (or other compatible portable video device), you need a little help.
These two tools will do just that!
** DVDVideoSoft.com **
Virtually all online video sites stream their videos in FLV (Flash Video) format, a format that works very well on both PC and Mac computers over the Web.
Unfortunately, the FLV file format does not work on most portable video players, so you need a way to convert them to a file format that will work.
DVDVideoSoft.com offers a free PC software program that will convert YouTube.com videos to MP4 format for use on your iPod or other portable devices, including mobile phones.
Log onto the site, look for the link that says “FLV to iPod” (currently in the lower right corner of the front page) and follow the instructions.
I found the software simple, easy-to-use and straight to the point with an intuitive interface (that means you can figure out how to use it without reading the instructions).
** Vixy.net – Online Conversions **
Vixy.net is an online service (currently in beta) offering online video conversion for both PC and Mac since it works through a standard web browser.
Just give the site the URL of the FLV video you want to convert, choose the format you want (AVI, MP4, 3GP, MOV, or MP3 audio-only) and click the button.
Once Vixy.net finishes converting, they give you a link to download the file.
My only complaint with Vixy.net is that they “throttle” their bandwidth, so it took forever to download the converted file.
Other than that, it worked like a charm!