Middlebury

Putting Online Video into FCP

The following instructions serve a step by step guide to download video from an online source and make compatible for editing in Final Cut Pro

With Video Download Helper:


  • Launch Firefox
  • Go to the site hosting the video you wish to download.
  • Allow the video a few seconds to load or begin buffering, then verify that the Video Download Helper icon is animated and in full color. This icon normally appears at the left of your address bar (see picture), though it may appear in numerous places around the browser header.
  • If the VDH icon does not appear anywhere in Firefox, click on Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Search for 'Video Download Helper,' and click 'Add to Firefox...' The icon should appear immediately.
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  • Once your VDH icon is colorful and doing that crazy spinning thing, click the small black arrow directly to its right to see a pull-down menu of available downloadable source files.
  • Note: Online video sites have begun hosting a larger number of their source files as .flv (flash video), which is not compatible with Final Cut Pro. If all downloadable file options are in .flv, continue to the next step in order to convert. However, if there are available .mov or .mp4 files in VDH's pull-down menu, download those and save to your desktop or XSAN for direct placement into an FCP timeline.
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  • Click on any .flv file in VDH's pull-down menu to download, or move the mouse over the file name to see an options menu, then click "Download."
  • Note: For whatever reason, the option to "Download and Convert" does not work and will only annoy you, so don't be tempted to try it and waste your time.
  • Note #2: If your video begins with an embedded video ad, make sure that the .flv file you download has an appropriate size and name for the video you are grabbing. Small video files with strange names (see photo) are usually just the video for the ad. If an ad file is the only video available, try finding your video on a different site without ads, or capture your video using Snapz Pro (see instructions below.)
An .flv file with a suspiciously long name that turned out to be an ad for the new Honda Accord.
  • Once your .flv file is finished downloading, right click the icon in the download menu and select "Show in Finder."
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  • Right click the file in your finder and select Open With -> Other..., then search for and select Quicktime Player.
  • Once your video is open in Quicktime, click File -> Export
  • Name your file and save it to your desired folder. Click Save
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  • Open Final Cut Pro and import your .mov file into your sequence browser.
  • Edit away!
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