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How to Capture Streaming Video

written by: Shawn S. Lealos•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 12/16/2010

Have you ever watched a video on the Internet and wondered how you could capture streaming video and have it on your computer to watch anytime you wanted? There are programs available that make capturing video easy. There is both free software as well as others that you can buy to capture video.

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    Downloading Freecorder

    The best free way to capture streaming video from YouTube is through the software Freecorder. The software can search sites, find video and save streaming video to your hard drive.

    Other uses for Freecorder includes one-touch recording of audio files. The audio records in both MPS and WAV files and you can even record Pandora when it is playing.

    1. To load the software on your computer, go to applian.com/freecorder4 and click on the “Download” button.
    2. It will ask you to save the file and you will agree and let it know where to put the file.
    3. Run the “FCTBSetup” application. Follow the instructions to load the software on your computer.
    4. When it asks if you want to install it into your Explorer programs, decide if you want to do so. Installing it there will make the task of capturing streaming video from YouTube a one-click procedure.
    5. When it asks if you want to install it into your Explorer programs, decide if you want to do so.
    6. The software adds a bar at the top of your explorer browser with one-touch links for capturing audio and video.
    7. Once installation is complete, you are ready to capture and save streaming video.
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    Downloading YouTube Videos

    The task of capturing streaming video from YouTube is a one-click procedure. The task bar is at the top of the browser window and in the middle is a "YouTube" logo.

    1. Go to YouTube and find a video you want to download.
    2. Watch the video in its entirety, so the video will be located in your computers cache. If you have already watched the video, you can skip this step and download it immediately.
    3. Click the “YouTube” button in the tab above the screen to start the capture.
    4. The video downloader will scan for details and offer a number of choices in size, quality and format options available. Depending on the quality of the actual video this can be high definition or lower. Choose one and click on the link.
    5. The program will ask if you want to open the file or save it. Choose to “Save File” and the YouTube video will download to your computer.

    Once the file is downloaded, you can watch the video in the video player of your choice.

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    RealPlayer

    RealPlayer offers an option to capture streaming videos from a number of websites, although it keeps an eye on your material to make sure you don’t download copyrighted material.

    RealPlayer 11 only works with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

    1. When installing RealPlayer 11, there is an option that asks if you want to enable the button allowing you to download Internet videos. Select yes.
    2. Once the program is installed, restart your browser to make sure your changes are made.
    3. Next, go to a website where a streaming video exists that you want to download to your computer.
    4. When there is a video on the page that is compatible with RealPlayer, a “Download This Video” button appears above the video.
    5. Click on the button and RealPlayer automatically saves the video on your computer in the My Videos folder under “RealPlayer Downloads.”
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    Other Resources

    There is also a free website available to save streaming video from the Internet and it does not include any software to download. Find a website that has the video you want to capture and then visit keepvid.com. At the top of the page, enter the video’s URL into the search box and it will determine if the site is compatible with the website the video is on. If so, it will ask you to change the name from .htm into .flv. It will download the video for you. You will then need an FLV player to watch the video.

    It is also possible to purchase software to capture streaming video.

    For Real Media video clips, including .rm, .ram, .ra and .smil streaming video, Replay A/V is a possibility. You can purchase the software from applian.com/replay-av for $49/95 as of October 2010. The software also offers the possibility of trying it before buying by allowing up to 5-minutes of video footage to be downloaded.

    The software is easy to use, allowing the user to capture and save streaming video clips from the Internet, record audio clips and record radio or Internet TV with the click of a button.

    For capturing streaming video from Windows Media applications, “WM Recorder” is available for purchase. The software is $49.95 as of October 2010, capturing Windows Media, Real and Flash streaming video. The software allows users to open the program and play the Internet video and it saves automatically to the user’s hard drive. The software is available for download at wmrecorder.com.