I love the recent explosion of user-created video content that’s going on in the world. It’s creative, thought-provoking, and empowering. I’ve also written previously about the great potential of video to help differentiate instruction and enrich student learning.
However [rant coming]…the wide variety of video formats, codecs, etc. is driving me crazy! The more time I spend with video, the more time I spend with conversion tools and help pages about what device and software use what format and what codec, and the more time I spend mumbling about why this *%#%&*(# video won’t play right.
One tool I’ve found really useful for this though is Zamzar. This is a free online converter that works not only with video, but also with images, docs, and audio. One really useful thing this tool does very well is to convert videos from YouTube and TeacherTube, so that you can view them on a variety of devices such as iPods and handhelds. You just upload the video (or a link) and select the format you want. Then they email you a link for the converted file. (They do seem to have some DNS problems with their email system, but I’ve found it works well with gmail accounts, so if you have problems getting an email, try that.)
As with all web-based content, make sure to watch for copyright and attribution issues. And with all Web 2.0 services, you should read the Terms of Service.
And for those who are curious, the name is a take-off on Gregor Samsa, intended to connote transformation. :)