Capturing Media from the Internet

Capturing Media from the Internet
Jack Bishop, Ph.D.
Instructional Technologist
UCLA Office of Instructional Development

Collecting media for use in your classrooms can be quite a daunting task especially for materials on the Internet that seem impossible to download. When it comes to collecting media from the Internet, we find a whole new set of problems to overcome. Mostly every video or sound file on the Internet is protected from copying or downloading, so what do you do? Well, fortunately there are a group of programmers building open source and free programs and tools to help keep the Internet free. The five tools below are very useful in capturing different types of media from the Internet. There are numerous other tools available to purchase, but these five FREE programs can be a lifesaver.

*Audacity *
A free recording/editing software that does an amazing job at both tasks. This can be used to create narrations, conduct interviews, edit music or sound files, and even capture sounds from the Internet.
For Windows: Get it for free at: Download the recommended installer, then under the Optional Downloads section, download: “LADSPA plug-ins 0.4.15 installer (.exe file, 1.5 MB) – over 90 plug-ins” at: , and most importantly, “LAME MP3 encoder – Allows Audacity to export MP3 files,” at:
For MAC users, go to: , download the appropriate software for your system, then under the Optional Downloads section, download: “LADSPA plug-ins installer – over 90 plug-ins” at: , and most importantly, “LAME MP3 encoder – Allows Audacity to export MP3 files,” at:

Download Helper
This is a free extension for the Mozilla Firefox Browser. To get it, go to: Using DownloadHelper, you can easily save videos from most of the popular video sites on the Internet. It is also possible to capture all the images from a gallery in a single operation.
For MAC users,
The free version places a small water mark on the video in the upper left hand corner. To remove this mark you must “register” the program for $28.50. I find the price worth it since the registered version not only eliminates the water mark, but it will capture the audio from a video and convert it to an MP3. Also, registered versions will have access to support for the conversion feature.

KeepVid – Works for Windows and MAC
If you prefer not downloading anything to help with capturing there are several online solutions. One of them is KeepVid. If you like KeepVid, you can make it very easy to use by dragging the box (highlighted here in red) to your links, or bookmarks toolbar (number 1). Then, when you are on a site from where you wish to capture video, just click on the bookmark and keep vid page will open. Copy the URL of the video and paste it into the URL field on the page (number 2).

After you copy the URL of the video into the URL box on the KeepVid page (number 3 below), click the Download button (number 4), and the results will be displayed in the window below (number 5). Right click on the file you want and save it to your hard drive. Check it out:

Zamzar – Works for Windows and MAC
Zamzar is another free online tools used for capturing media from the Internet. Zamzar converts files into many different formats and in 4 easy steps delivers a link to the converted files in your email.

The interesting thing about Zamzar is that on top of online media conversion, it can convert file formats of files on your hard drive. So if you have a video file in a format that does not play well with PowerPoint, you can upload it and have it converted. This is a very easy to use program for free.

Audio Hi-Jack – MAC
Record any audio – three simple words to explain Audio Hijack Pro. You can record from applications like youtube, iTunes, Skype or DVD Player. You can record from microphones and other hardware. If you hear it, you can record it. This works great for capturing the audio of video clips or songs that play from the Internet.

For additional assistance or for help using these programs please contact me at 310-794-9726, or send me an email at: