4K Video Downloader, a free cross-platform easy to use app for YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and Facebook videos

There are lots of interesting videos on the internet and intense searches can throw up relevant clips which help link theory to real scenarios during lectures. I have mentioned some of my favourites on this blog, including two collisions – gliding vulture and paraglider and leaping antelope and mountain biker. Burt something like this takes cake!

By downloading and inserting video clips into my lecture slides on Keynote (with attribution), I avoid having to switch out to a web browser during a lecture. Not having to show the video clip at its source is very helpful as wireless connections can be poor or unavailable in some LTs and many public venues. The smooth flow of an embedded video in combination with a wireless remote and microphone also untethers me from my Mac, which allows me to move about the LT asking questions.

This year during the cross-faculty LSM1303 Animal Behaviour, I played relevant and interesting videos during the first five minutes of most lectures. This not only enlivens the class, it buys time for the victims of traffic who look up the videos I showed on the module’s Facebook page later.

Over the years, I have used (and paid for) a variety of apps to download videos, make screen captures and edit clips, including SnapXPro, Fastest Free YouTube Downloader, iFunia and Quick Time Pro 7 and Quick Time 10. These allows me to extract a precise sequence at the highest quality possible, which is important with the limited time available.

4K Video Downloader-1

People use video downloaders for a variety of reasons, and some apps fit my lecture preparation search methods better than others. Exploring alternatives every year or so will reveal gems. Right now the free, cross-platform (OS X, Windows, Unix) 4K Video Downloaderis simple to use – just to paste the video’s url from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook or Dailymotion. With my preferred download quality options already set, the clip downloads quickly.

Sometimes I recall or stumble upon an especially useful video clip in the taxi on the way to a lecture! And it is with great satisfaction when I am able to embed the video into my Keynote presentation on my tethered MacBook Pro and show it in class minutes later. Ironically this may even be a video I uploaded on YouTube and forgot about!

The 4K Download site also offers free audio download and extract tools, a slide maker and Instagram image downloader, all for free. There are enhanced features on the downloader which I don’t need but is being offered at the discounted price of $9.95 for three computers until 15 July 2014.

There are other apps for video downloads on a Mac and this review lists a few recommendations including ClipGrab. Be sure to download software from source site and not something like CNet’s Download.com, as the latter has “nuisanceware” which interferes with your browser’s default settings.

P.s. Quick Time 10 has great capability and comes free with OSX, something I had overlooked until earlier this year – see the discussion with @marcuschua on twitter.