Making Google Video even more useful.

Sometimes, when you’re putting together a presentation (or, like I can be, a talk or something) there’s a bit of video on Google Video that you’d to make use of, but Google Video’s proprietary player makes it a pain to do - who wants to stop in the middle of what they’re doing and get into Google’s software just for a clip?

A little bit of Googling (heh) let me piece together how to convert them into whatever format you want (for the bits you’re allowed to anyway - copyright and all that). This is done on the Mac, but the same software is all out there for Windows; also, there’s a small amount of expense involved here, but it can be probably be done legitimately for free with different software.

  1. Find your clip. I selected this one at random.
  2. Click the download button. Download and install the Google Video Player, then download the video.
  3. The video download is a very small .gvp file. Open this with the Google Video Player and it will proceed to download the actual video file.
  4. Find where GVP put the video file. It will have a .gvi file extension. (On OS X it'll go to your Movies folder by default.) It's actually a DivX-encoded AVI file, so rename the file to have the extension .avi - on Windows your Folder Options will need to be set to show file extensions, on OS X it will ask you if you're sure you want to, but it's okay. Your computer won't explode if you do.
  5. Open the file - it will go to your default video player. If you have the DivX codec installed (there's a good chance you do already) then you should be watching it by now. If not, go to and download it.
  6. That's all the magic that isn't magic. If you want to convert the file to a not-DivX format, QuickTime Pro is cheap and user-friendly. There's better and more powerful out there, but it does the job just great.

What format you want will dictate what software you use for the final, conversion, stage. But then you’ll have your clip ready to be puled into Powerpoint or whatever. Just don’t do it for clips you’re not allowed to - copyright infringement is bad!