There may be times when you want to keep a copy of a streamed video from a website such as YouTube. "Right-clicking" on the video normally won't work but it is always worth checking to see if the site has provided a "Download video" link. Some do, so it is always worth checking first.

Things You Will Need

Download streaming video
There are three main ways to save streaming video to your computer. These are:

1. Use a specialized web service.
2. Try a Firefox extension
3. Buy a screen capture program.

Step 1

Using a specialized web service

A really simple-to-use service is KeepVid. Just enter the URL (the domain name and folder extension etcin the bar at the top of your browser) into the box provided and the site will download the video for you. You may find that the site asks you to change the file extension in the saved file (typically from .htm to .flv) but this is normal. This will provide you with an .flv (or Flash video file) that you can then playback on your computer.

If you don't have a program that can play .flv, you can download the cross-platform VLC player for free. It will play .flv files and more! If you need it in a different format then you may need to download some video encoding software such as Sorenson.

Step 2

If you don't already have Firefox installed on your computer you can download it for free by visiting the Mozilla site. Personally, I have always found Firefox to be a superior browser simply because of the all the available third-party extensions that are available.

It is one of these extensions that you can use to download streaming video. Just open Firefox and do a search for "Firefox VideoDownloader" or follow this link: You then just need to click on the link to "Add to Firefox."

Once installed, a new icon will appear at the bottom right of your browser window. Go to the page with the streaming video you want to download and click on this new icon. The "pop up" window will present itself with a download link. This will result in the program saving it as a .flv file. Again, you may wish to convert it by using a some video encoding software such as iSquint (for Mac users) or Sorenson (mentioned above).

Step 3

Screen capture software

This is a set up that has some advantages over the two above. The main ones are that you have more control over the format you can use to save the file (i.e. you're not restricted to .flv) and that you can also use the software to capture anything you can see on screen in a video. (Which is great for doing things like online presentations.

The downside is that these programs generally aren't free. Although I would say they are worth the money.

There are various programs on the market but a couple to try are SnagIt (Windows) or SnapZPro (Mac). You shouldn't need to spend more than $70.

They all work in pretty much the same way. You drag a box around the area to capture and press "Record." There is the usually a "hot key" (e.g. the spacebar) that you can press to stop the recording. Pretty simple!

Tips & Warnings

One quick point: These programs work in a different way to the other two options. They are recording what appears on your screen and plays through your speakers so anything that appears (e.g. your mouse pointer) will be recorded. You may also find that the recording quality is better using the first two options mentioned above. But, as mentioned, this can be great for presentations.