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How to download YouTube videos

PowerPoint videos have more options and work better if they aren’t streamed from an online source like YouTube.  How can you copy an online video to a separate video file, saved on your computer?

To download or ‘rip’ a YouTube video, you have to enter the world of YouTube downloading.  It’s possible to save a video file to your computer from a YouTube link.

Warning, achtung, ¡Advertencia! – this violates of Google’s Terms of Service Section 5b “You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content. “

Here’s another quote “… it is a custom More honored in the breach than the observance.”  (Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 4)

There are many tools available to convert YouTube videos into a separate video file. The video you get will be a MPEG4 .MP4 file compatible with PowerPoint. Long gone are the days of YouTube being all Adobe Flash videos (thank heavens).

Some of the download tools come with unwanted ‘extras’ that clutter your machine or change defaults. Others offer free trials with ads embedded into the video.

YouTube download tools

Here’s just two YouTube download tools that we’ve tried ourselves.

4K Video Downloader

4K Video Downloader is a well regarded and (mostly*) free tool for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu.

* There’s an Activate button asking for a licence key to enable some additional features.  But there’s no way to buy a licence key and the web site says the software is free.

Paste in the YouTube link then select a video resolution.  Choose a quality that’s enough for your presentation but not so large as to become a problem.  Usually the 480p or 720p choices are enough.  It’s good that the approx. file size is shown.

Click download and wait for the program to do its stuff.

Any Video Converter

Any Video Converter is a tool that has used for many years.  Available for Windows and Mac.

We mostly use it to convert between video formats or ‘downsize’ a large video into a smaller file size (to play on a phone or tablet).

It also downloads YouTube and other online videos to a local file.

After downloading …

Once the download has completed, we suggest testing the video by opening in a media player like the ever-dependable VLC.

If it’s OK, you can Insert | Media the video to your PowerPoint slide.

As a stand-alone video you get more options in PowerPoint like custom video border (the circle works well in this case), automatic start and looping.

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