Friday, July 8, 2011

Saving and Converting Flash-Based Internet Video with RealPlayer SP

It happens to us all – we see a totally cool video on the Internet we’d like to keep a copy for ourselves*. Maybe you’d also like to convert the video to your phone or iPad – or maybe just rip the audio into an MP3 player. Now with one convenient, free program called RealPlayer SP, you can.

In this week’s Tech Tip we’ll be looking at these exciting features built into RealPlayer SP.


What is it?

RealPlayer SP is simply the latest free player available from RealNetworks Inc., made primarily for playing RealVideo encoded videos. The player also plays a wide range of other video and audio formats as well. If you have used an earlier version (and maybe been turned off by it) you may be surprised at some of the new features in the latest version. With it you have One-Click Video download ability from the Internet. You also have a nifty Mobile-Transfer feature that lets you easily move your media to your phone. Not sure what kind of video your phone can play? With RealPlayer SP the guess work is taken out as it will convert it for you before transferring. Not only do you get these features, but you can now do some simple trim edits as well as post the media to your favorite websites. Best of all, most of these features and built into both the Windows and Mac versions of the software. For a closer look at these features, click on this link.

Instructions for Downloading Videos

1.) Download RealPlayer SP onto your favorite laptop or desktop computer.

2.)
When Installing be sure that you keep “Enable browser download button” checked.

3.)
Launch your favorite browser and go to your favorite video site such as YouTube. When you watch the video hover the mouse pointer over it and a “Download This Video” button will appear. Simply click on this button and the video will be downloaded to your computer in no time. If the button fails to appear, be sure that the plug-in is enabled. Also note that this will not work with Silverlight videos (used by Netflix) and certain sites such as Hulu.

4.)
Your downloaded video will now appear in a RealPlayer Downloader box as well as in the My Library (under My Library> Downloads & Recordings).


Having Some Fun

Now let’s take the sample video that we downloaded and have some fun. First let’s do a simple edit. While in the My Library, highlight the video you want to edit and click on “Trim Video.” The RealPlayer Trimmer will appear. Here you can adjust the starting and stopping point of the media and “clip it off”. Real simple – real easy (note that the trimmer is one of the features only available on the Windows version).

Now let’s transfer the video to our phone. In the My Library, highlight the video and click on down arrow where you see “Copy to Apple iPad” – there you can select your mobile device. The RealPlayer Converter will then pop up and start converting the media to something that your device can handle and then start transferring it (be sure that your device is plugged into your notebook computer or desktop).

Of course you can simply convert the media to another type easily by clicking on the “Convert to …” button while in the My Library. In this example, we are converting the video into an MP3 track (ripping the audio). When the RealPlayer Converter box comes up, click on the “Convert To” button and choose the format you want the source file converted to (don’t worry, the original file is safe). After that, click on Start and in no time you have your new file in the format of your choosing.

To post the image to the Internet, while in the My Library area, click on the down arrow next to “Post to Twitter” and choose the site you’d like the video posted to. In our example, we are going to post it to Facebook. After logging on through a pop-up window, it will ask you for permission (the first time you use it) to post and then you click on the share button.


In Conclusion

The newest version of RealPlayer is not only fun and powerful, but extremely easy to use. So the next time you see a video you JUST HAVE TO HAVE, with RealPlayer SP, not only can you grab it, but you can edit it, convert it, move it and keep it too!

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