Sunday, August 09, 2009

How to Convert & Edit YouTube Videos On Your Computer

YouTube YouTube is the biggest video sharing site on the planet. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a review of the latest gadget, or a simple walking tour of a historical site, chances are you’d find it on YouTube.
Most videos uploaded to YouTube are made by amateurs like you and I, usually with modest video making equipment. It’s not a surprise that you’d find a lot of the videos lacking in quality and/or content.
Now, quality is something that you can’t do much about but if it is the content that is bothering you and you have the inclination and enthusiasm to make some changes, we’ll tell you how to go about it.  Maybe one particular scene in a video really bothers you and you want to take it out.   Well here’s one way to go about it.
Downloading and editing videos on YouTube typically involves three steps. Since you can’t edit the videos on YouTube online, the first step is to actually download a copy of the video locally to your computer.

Downloading YouTube videos to your computer
There are a couple of different ways that you can do this and we’ve talked about a few in the past.  So we won’t dwell too much on this part.  Googling on our search engine for “download youtube videos” will bring you plenty of options.
Which brings us to the second step in the process.
Converting FLV files to Windows Media Video Files (WMV)
There are dozens of software available all around the web that could potentially help you do this conversion, but why bother with all that searching when we have the coolest open source solution for the job, ffmpeg. If you’re comfortable with the command line, you can use ffmpeg directly or download and install the excellent WinFF utility, which is basically a graphical wrap-around for the app.
Launch WinFF and click on the add button to add the FLV file you just downloaded. Select “Microsoft from the Convert To drop down and select the WMV2 Generic option from the Device Presets drop down. Choose a location to save the converted file to and click on convert. WinFF will launch ffmpeg which will do the conversion for you without you having to use any command line kung fu.

Editing Videos using Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is a free software bundled with Windows which can be used to edit and enhance videos and it has built-in support to read WMV files. Mark has previously written two excellent articles on editing movies using Windows Movie Maker and those should be enough to get you started.
Windows Movie Maker
Use WMM to remove the offending scene(s). Use the preview window to view the results of your artistry as soon as you’re ready.
When you’re done with editing the video, click the Publish Movie button and export the movie using one of the many choices given, including burning the movie to a DVD or writing a new WMV file to the disk for playing on a computer.

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