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If you’ve got personal videos locked up on your laptop, one of the most frustrating things you might be dealing with is getting them off of there and onto your mobile device. Streaming can be fun, and it certainly saves space on your device, but there are times when you don’t have an Internet connection. For example, if you go on vacation to a remote island, or if you’re out in the middle of the woods, camping, or if you’re staying in a more modern resort that charges too much for Internet access, you won’t have a practical way to access the Internet. What do you do then? Here’s what you do then.

Download YTD

One of the best applications out there for downloading and converting videos is YTD, available from http://youtubedownload.altervista.org/. It’s a lightweight application that lets you download from video sites, and then convert the video into a format optimized for your device.

The app comes in two flavors: free and paid. The paid version costs about $30 per year, and gives you access to more features and updates. The free version gives you basic features, and that’s probably enough for you if all you want to do is download videos.

Find Media You Want To Move To Your Device

There are a lot of resources out there for finding video. But, you have to stay away from all of the “popular” copyright-protected material where the rights-holders might not have authorized certain uses. This is a huge issue right now. With all of the ways users have to download media from the Internet, one thing that’s sometimes being lost in the shuffle is copyright law.

In the U.S., copyright law protects those who create intellectual property – video, text, images, etc. When a work is created, it automatically gains copyright protection. If you download or share copyright-protected material without the authorization of the rights holder, you may be liable for damages. If the copyright holder sues you, you could have to pay him or her thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages – possibly millions.

Archive.org is one solution to the copyright problem. It’s a website dedicated to archiving the Internet’s media – media that is no longer protected by copyright or where the rights holder authorized certain uses. That means you can download pretty much anything from the site without worrying about whether you’re breaking the law.

You can also download free eBooks from sites like Ebook Planet and Project Gutenberg – all of those texts are either in the public domain or the rights holder has authorized free distribution.

Make The Conversion

Using it is pretty simple. Just download and install it. Then, open up the program and copy the URL of the video you want to download. Make sure you’re only downloading videos that aren’t protected by copyright (or where the rights holder has authorized free downloading) and remember to respect intellectual property rights when deciding whether to record streaming video and in using any downloaded material.

Once you’ve got the URL set, click “download” and your download will begin. If you want to convert files, select the “convert” tab and load the file from your computer. Select the device you want to convert the file for.

This is where things can get a bit confusing. Basically, what you want to do is convert the file for the device that you think you’ll be using most. For example, if you want to be able to watch video on your Android device, optimize the video for Android. If you want to watch it on an iPad, optimize the video for iPad.

Always keep a master copy on your hard drive, just in case you want to convert it for another device.

Conclusion

One thing to consider is how much space you’re willing to devote to locally stored video. The unspoken problem with flash drives – the type of storage used on mobile devices – is that filling up a drive often slows down the device.

Playing video can also sap the devices power very quickly. So, loading up your tablet or phone with videos to watch can be a double-edged sword. If you find your device slowing down, consider a video manager or set up a personal cloud using DropBox, or a home cloud solution like Western Digital’s MyCloud or even Synology’s NAS drives.

Any of these solutions will let you move video files to and from your own cloud network. You can store them on an external drive, download them over the cellular network or wi-fi when you have it, and then move the files back when you’re back in civilization.

Kirsten Goldstein has always had a special touch with technology. She loves finding ways to make computers and digital files more useful and more easily accessible for the everyday user.

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