View Full Version : [HOWTO] Convert Google Videos to iPod
November 28th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Here's a tutorial on how to convert Google videos into an iPod friendly format.
Step 1 - Find a Video
Copy the URL of the Google Video web page that contains the video (will start with "http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=")
Step 2 - Decode Video Webpage
Now go to the Google Video Downloader (http://dev2.traxio.net/projects/googlevideo/index.php) web page, and enter the URL you copied into the "Google Video Page" text field (second text field), and click Decode URL.
Step 3 - Download Video
In the new page, click the "download flv" link. A file will be downloaded named "videoplayback".
Step 4 - Rename Video File
Once the download is complete, add the extension ".flv" to the file, so it will be renamed to "videoplayback.flv".
Step 5 - Open iSquint
Download iSquint (http://www.isquint.org/) (free), if you have not already.
Step 6 - Convert Video
Drag the videoplayback.flv file into iSquint's window and click Start to convert the flv file into an MP4!
Step 7 - Send to iTunes
Add the converted .mp4 file into iTunes and you're done!
November 30th, 2005, 05:35 AM
Does that mean that _all_ Google Videos are in the .flv format? What is this format, anyway? :) ... iSquint sounds good. Easily and quickly converts for iPod/TV Screen.
November 30th, 2005, 05:53 AM
Yep, they're all in a Flash Video format. I couldn't play them with QuickTime or VLC, but iSquint converts them :)
January 6th, 2006, 01:16 AM
why is google being evil and not using quicktime?
January 6th, 2006, 02:05 AM
Thanks for the walk-through!
So there actually is a "Flash video" format. I was very confused when people said you could convert Flash videos with iSquint, because I tried with every Flash file at my disposal, and none worked. And the iSquint docs make no mention of Flash. People have been using the phrase "Flash video" and "Flash movie" for years to refer to plain ol' Flash (swf) files. I didn't realize there was a NEW format here.
Damn you (who? Don't ask!) and your confusing format names!
I still wonder just what kind of video this is. Did they create their own codec specification, or is it just MPEG video or something?
For what it's worth, MPlayer (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/18580) can play them. VLC, however, can't.
Lt Major Burns
January 6th, 2006, 07:17 AM
as far as i can tell, the flash video thing is just the flash player adding it's own extension to the file and allowing it to play in the flash player. the videos appear to be WMV, mpegs and quicktime, while at the same time being flash, of course.
January 6th, 2006, 08:57 AM
Ah, a new container format, then. Those do not really make the task of having the right codec for a video file easier. *sigh* ... Used to be that ".avi"s were AVI, ".mpg"s were MPEG-1 and ".mov"s were QuickTime movies. Those days are long gone...
January 9th, 2006, 12:17 PM
With Flash becoming more and more dominant, it's a reasonable decision for Google to go with .flv.
Originally I was very irritated with Macromedia's implementation of video. I thought it further confused the hell of video codecs. As a developer, this mess makes my life difficult. Plus, it just didn't look good and didn't perform well within the Flash player.
However, now that Flash 8 is out, its built-in on2 codec is actually quite excellent. I haven't done side by side tests yet or compared encode times, CPU requirements, file sizes, etc. but bottom line is that Flash's new on2 codec looks great. It certainly looks WAY better than previous versions of Flash video.
While this doesn't help Quicktime per se, it DOES mean that MS loses a bit more control, and that's a good thing.
My workflow still is based around Quicktime (Final Cut, etc.). I then use on2's Quicktime exporter component (www.on2.com) to prep for Flash integration (batch process QTs to .flv, then embed in Flash).
Flash does not play WMVs or Movs, it converts them interally (re-encodes as necessary) to flvs. Flash can link to an external WMV or MOV, but it does not play as such within Flash.
February 6th, 2006, 05:12 PM
I hadn't done much with Google Video until someone sent me a link. I watched it in Firefox and said "hmmm, I want to save this." Given that I had already waited 10 minutes for it to download, I didn't want to download it again. It turns out it was 40Mb. I figured "this file is in cache on my hard drive already somewhere, all I have to do is find it."
lsof | grep -i flash | less. That showed me that the flash plugin was opening a file named /private/var/tmp/folders.5059/TemporaryItemsFlashTmp0000.
I renamed that file to 'foo.flv' and I had my file. I didn't have to download it a second time. I suppose you might have a bunch of files in your cache, but this was the only one I had.
February 6th, 2006, 05:52 PM
Thanks for the tip, pacohope. That's something I never would have thought of on my own, and I'm I'll find it very useful in many situations.
I just checked out Google Video again, and now they actually have a download link on most (if not all) videos now. And best of all, it downloads the source file (usually an avi) rather than the re-encoded flv. Much easier to manage that way. Of course, that doesn't get around the problem of double-downloading, but I think it makes the special downloader page that was linked to earlier obsolete.
February 13th, 2006, 09:52 PM
"why is google being evil and not using quicktime?"
Yeah, their motto is, "don't be evil", but they're messing it up a lot lately. First with the censorship in China, now their supporting flash!
September 21st, 2006, 11:01 AM
Isquint doesn't convert flash 8 videos. Any alternatives?
September 21st, 2006, 01:44 PM
You can just download the fils for iPod / PSP.
September 21st, 2006, 02:26 PM
how is that helpful, CJ?
November 10th, 2006, 10:13 PM
oh joy oh joy, the Perian component goes in the Quicktime Folder and .... makes Quicktime play.... FLVs !!!
March 17th, 2007, 07:42 AM
The link to the Google Video Downloader doesnt work. So how should I do it now?
March 17th, 2007, 07:45 AM
November 15th, 2007, 04:03 PM
All you have to do is use Safari. Go to the Window>Activity menu item and find the .flv file in the activity list for that page (it'll likely be the only file shown that's larger than a single meg). Highlight and press cmd+c to copy. Open the Downloads window and press cmd-v to paste and the file will automatically start downloading. Et voila!
Then you can use iSquint or your tool of choice to re-compress it for whatever portable device you use.