Don's Home Web Downloading Video
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You can right click an image on a web page and usually get a menu with a "save as" option which will download the picture from the web server to your computer. This won't work with most videos on streaming servers like YouTube and Vimeo.

There are three basic ways to get videos:
1. Get desktop software like YouTube Downloader (Win only) or MacTubes (Mac)
2. Use a web site that will download it to you like keepvid.
3. Get a browser add-on or extension which will do it. (e.g. YouTube Downloader
or NetVideoHunter (Firefox). This Firefox browser add-on also works with many popular video sites, including Facebook. Once you install the extension from the add-on site, a button will be added to your status or add-on bar.

Many movies on YouTube and Vimeo have a download MP3 button.
This only downloads the sound.

There are several considerations:

  • The format of the video on the website (e.g. Flash (.flv), H.264 MPEG (.mp4), H.264 QuickTime (.mov), HTML5, ... See YouTube codecs
  • The format which your computer and the software you have will play.
    Windows computers use Windows Media Player (WMP) - supporting .asf, .wma, .wmv, .wm
    Mac computers default to QuickTime supporting .mov, mp4, 3gpp, avi, dv
    Most web browsers will support flash (.flv), however the iPhone and iPad do not.
    You can download a program like VLC media player from which plays a variety of formats.
    Other formats MPEG, 3GP, MP3, WAV, MKV, TS, WebM
  • Compression/Decompression algorithm (e.g. H.264). Formats like MP4 and .mov which are frequently listed as synonymous with H.264 are actually actually formats for containers which can contain videos compressed with different codecs. Some older systems may not have the required codec.  See and Codec Guide
  • Legal issues:
    Most videos have an entry under License saying "standard youtube license", which under their terms of service gives them the right to broadcast it but the originator retains the copyright.
    Downloading a commercial product without paying for it is illegal.
    Downloading non-commercial products for personal use is probably OK, but sharing it is a sticky issue.
HTML5 is an upgrade to the HTML document format used by web browsers, which will support video. YouTube has a trial of HTML5 underway using WebM video files.

How to download videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and more | How To - CNET Mar. 2012

How to Download YouTube Videos | PCWorld Nov. 2011

YouTube Downloader - Windows only Link to section of a video 10 Youtube URL Tricks You Should Know About

How to use KEEPVID
I've used keepvid because it works on both  Mac and Windows, Chrome and Firefox,
Youtube and Vimeo. 
Method 1 (YouTube only)
 Go to the web page with the video
 Change the url in the address bar from to saveyoutube (no ".")
 Hit enter
Method 2 (Youtube, vimeo, Not Viddler)

 Drag their bookmarklet to the bookmark bar
 Go to the web page for the video you want to download
Go to bookmark toolbar and select the "Keep It!" bookmarklet
It will go to with link to movie and give you download options

Other software:
Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate for Mac
HandBrake - DVD to MPEG-4 ripper/converter for Mac and Linux

AVC - Advanced video coding
codec -  video compression and/or decompression  device or software
DMCA - Digital Millennium Copyright Act 
EULA called the end-user license agreement 
H.264 - Most common video compression format, used by.MP4, .mov, Blu-ray, ...
HTML5 - An upgrade to the HTML document format used by web browsers,
        which will support video.
MPEG - Moving Picture Experts Group
RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America
VCEG - ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group
VfW - Video for Windows
WebM - Web Media Project video file format for HTML5

Internet TV
YouTube at Wikipedia
Video formats in the camcorder page
Flash Video Downloader for Google Chrome -
How to rip Netflix DVD to common video formats.
Uploading to youtube
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
DMCA Notifications and Counter-Notification Process on Vimeo
AVCWare - Professional And Free Video Converter, Free YouTube, mp3 tools, Free Ringtone Maker Software.

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last updated 9 Apr 2012