They say Flash is dead because Apple won’t allow Flash video or apps on the iPhone or iPad. Reality check. Flash is everywhere else and doing fine.
If you’re a web video collector then your Mac is a good way to find and download Flash videos. Worried that HTML5 videos might make your Flash videos obsolete? Download HTML5 videos, too, using this handy Mac app complete with a Safari extension.
The Crazy Internet Video World
How many relatives do you have? You know—cousins, brothers, uncles, sisters, parents. Whatever the total you came up with is somewhere close to the same number of different video file formats on the internet.
Seriously. Internet video is a mess. Collecting videos from the internet requires patience and savvy.
The dominant video player on the internet is Flash, which is both a player and a video and animation format. That’s why you see so many videos in Flash and so many animated advertisements. They all use Flash.
If you collect video from web sites—whether YouTube or TV shows or movies—you’re likely to run into Flash; the older de facto standard, and HTML5 videos, the up and coming standard for the 21st century.
What’s the best way to collect web videos?
Patience, Grasshopper. Patience.
Collecting web videos requires patience. And a few handy tools for your Mac, including a browser collection tool. One of the best is Joris Vervuurt’s inexpensive iTubeX.
What I like about iTubeX is both the simplicity of getting started, and the little extras that make it easier to manage all those different web video file formats. For example, iTubeX can pull down and store YouTube videos, either as standard FLV files or higher quality MP4 files.
That’s not all. iTubeX also captures M4V, MOV, MP3, DivX, and standard Flash SWF files. With an extra utility or two, iTubeX can convert many of the less well known and used video file formats to run on your cell phone—iPhone or Android or other.
Click on the browser button and get a pop up menu with additional instructions for saving web videos from a web page. iTubeX can reside as a Safari extension, too, which makes grabbing web videos easier.
What’s Not To Like?
Actually, there’s plenty not to like about the state of web videos. Too many formats. Too much Flash (hogging bandwidth, crashing browsers, busying up pages with ads).
Fortunately, if you collect web videos there are plenty of Mac tools to help.
Not all video grabbing utilities are created equal. And neither are all web videos. Flash is the de facto standard, but web pages are beginning to display what is called HTML5 video.
Again, there’s a problem, as not all browsers typically display the same video file format on HTML5 pages. For Mac Safari users, iTubeX is ready with an extension that makes finding and capturing a specific video file a mere point and click exercise.
Maybe one day we’ll live in a world where all web page videos are created equal. Until then, dig through the stack of Mac apps for tools that help you navigate the vide minefield with fewer explosions.