If you want to convert YouTube videos to MP4 format and make copies for your own personal use, using the free vm.js plugin for Adobe Flash/YouTube and the Free YouTube to MP4 Converter (FM4) utility, there’s no need to spend $80 or so on a standalone media transcoder.
The free YouTube to MP4 converter downloaded and installed free copies of about 250 videos into MP4 format and worked perfectly on any PC running Windows 7 or later with an Internet connection.
When I looked up the file format on YouTube.com, it told me that YouTube was not currently supporting the conversion. But there seems to be an earlier version of the MP4 video converting program that YouTube should make available as soon as possible.
Here’s the catch: You need the mrm4video.com service to open the YouTube videos, or a reference like CIFS or EXIF format will not work.
Until mrm4video.com is functional, YouTube probably won’t allow you to upload any of its videos in the format. It wouldn’t seem to be an insurmountable problem. I saw an online YouTube user posting suggestions for converting audio or text files to an MP4 format. He suggested the Google Chrome browser, or without it, HTTPS if you’re using Safari.
To use the mrm4video.com service, you have to login to mrm4video.com on your computer. Then create a new website in the mrm4video.com logon window by clicking on Create New Website Under Voila. You’ll have to select the YouTube video format as the first. Then you have to make sure the web address is exactly like the one in the YouTube clip, 188.8.131.52.
The mrm4video.com process begins its conversion of the video in about two minutes. You can select the lowest quality MPEG2 video (with no sound or closed captions) or if you’re still hung up on how it was converted from MP4 format to the format for personal use, you can set a higher quality video for YouTube. mrm4video.com also has a low-quality version.
After you’ve converted the YouTube video, open it in CIFS or EXIF format for another computer.
FM4 Converter and Mrm4video.com are only free services for now and the original YouTube videos remain listed as unsupported.
If you’re worried about getting a free copy of YouTube videos converted in their current format, there are methods that have been reported on the Internet, and are accepted by YouTube. For example, YouTube refers to the IMG codecs used for converting videos on its website. One common way to convert video to a higher quality format without infringing on the copyright is using these better codecs instead of the common video codecs supported by the free video converters.
Another way is to download a converter (from the mrm4video.com service or one of the other websites, there are many) to an FTP server and convert the video files.
Again, YouTube claims it’s not currently supporting the newer high-quality transcoding methods supported by vm.js and mrm4video.com. But it’s unknown when YouTube will enable the conversion of high-quality videos to the more stable formats used by vm.js and mrm4video.com.
Until then, the best solution is to use the mrm4video.com conversion service, with no interruptions from YouTube, when a video is uploaded to YouTube.
Kevin Bui of http://www.kevinbiani.com provides a free-of-charge service of transferring MP3 and DivX data files across the Internet, for personal use or enterprise storage. To view Kevin’s website, go to http://www.kevinbiani.com
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Incidentally, Kevin also offers a free tool for testing digital hard drives and other device storage called cwsopported.com, which installs updates on any popular network storage device and checks for unsupported software. You can also transfer files between computers.
By comparison, http://www.cyddrivepro.com offers a freeware program that will manage the files on your home network. http://www.distelliology.com and http://www.harddrivezine.com (both of which are free) have portable device management tools for any portable hard drive or external hard drive.