Go to the Safari browser bar and select "Window". Then go to "Activity". This opens up a long list of file names that the computer is busy with. Look for a large one that will probably contain "watch?" or "flv".
Once you have the URL, you can use any of a number of sites to convert the file into an mp4 video or even an mp3 audio file. Since audio files are much smaller than video files, conversion into mp3 is often quicker than into mp4. I actually often like to go for a sound bite accompanied by a film still - a very nice media combination for teaching.
So: To convert online video to mp4 or mp3 I use Safari in combination with iTunes. The online sites I use for this are www.convertdirect.com for mp4 (video), and www.flv2mp3.com for mp3 (audio).
Option 1: video to audio
Let's start with coversion of Flash video into an audio file using www.flv2mp3.com:
Copy and paste the URL into the flv2mp3 URL window (see illustrations) and click "I accept the terms: OK".
The site then uploads the file and says "upload complete". Don't enter your email or the output file name. Just select "convert".
Once the file is converted (after a few seconds), your iTunes will automatically detect a new file to play and open up. In iTunes, rename your file and put it in a folder where you can find it. Mp3 - Bingo!
Option 2: video to video
Now for conversion of Flash videos into an mp4 video file using www.convertdirect.com:
- Copy the URL into the URL window at www.convertdirect.com (this works with any FLV file, not just YouTube)
- Select the output format MPEG4 + AAC.
- Type in your email address. You can also download the converted file directly, but I find the process takes quite some time and don't want to wait. Leave your browser open: If you close it while the file is being processed, you can't be sure that the process will be completed.
If any of this doesn't work for you, or if you have any tips on finding the URL for videos using a different browser than Safari, we would love to hear from you.