There’s lots of really great YouTube videos specifically created with instructional delivery in mind; and an even greater number of other YouTube videos that can be used to stimulate discussion or debate, provide expert opinions on various issues, or simply engage learners.
However, YouTube videos are encoded in the highly efficient, but poorly cross-platform-compatible, Flash Video (FLV) video container. Even if you manage to download a YouTube video, you need a special FLV player to play it, or you need to manually convert it to another codec to play it in standard computer-based or portable media players.
Now there’s a better way to access YouTube videos for teaching and learning, to deliver them via computer or mobile digital devices. iTube runs on your PC to automatically download and convert YouTube videos to MPEG format, which can play on all PCs, and/or MP4 format, which plays on iPods (and many mobile phones). It’s 100% free and contains no spyware or adware. The free version only works with YouTube, but there are also plugins available for other major video download sites, including Blip.tv, Google Video, and MySpace.