5 Steps To Scrape Videos From Websites For Free

Anytime I’m lucky enough to have great national PR for my business I like to get a copy of the video to use for marketing purposes. When I put together my video marketing material, I’ll often sit down and plan it based on a video script template to get myself off to a strong start.

The problem is, it is REALLY hard to scrape videos posted by TV networks and other sources.

Until now!

I’m gonna show you how to do this in five easy steps.

Disclaimer: I use a MacBook and Chrome is my browser. I don’t know if this will work with a PC.

Step 1

Download the free Chrome extension, Screencastify. You get up to 10 minutes of free video scraping (per recording), but have to pay a small fee for unlimited recording length.

Then find the online video you want to scrape.

I wanted to scrape my Milwaukee news appearance and put it on the blog, social, etc. I visited the website for TMJ4 Milwaukee and found the video:

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.04.40 AM

Step 2

Click on the Screencastify extension widget and uncheck (deselect) the microphone box (this keeps background noise from being in your recorded video).

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.01.47 AM

Hit the Start Recording button, then press play on the video you want to record. Make sure the mouse pointer is not hovering over the video at any point, or it will show up.

Press the orange Stop Recording Screencastify button when you’re done.

Step 3

When the saved Screencast video opens in a new browser tab, hit the Save to Disk button on the right.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.01.45 PM

Step 4

Download the Handbrake for mac app here to convert the Screencast video to an mp4 format and edit it in iMovie. You’ll need to change security and privacy settings via System Preferences (click the apple icon in the upper left corner of your computer screen) to “allow apps downloaded from anywhere”.

Open Handbrake, select the Screencastify video from the downloads folder and click the green Start button in the upper left-hand corner:

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.22.25 PM

Leave it at the default MP4 file format – I didn’t change any of the settings. Once done, it will save to your desktop.

Step 5

Open iMovie and select “import” and select the saved mp4 video from your desktop.

Choose the crop tool above the video clip, click on the word “crop” to the left. Crop the image so that only the video is visible. Then select the blue check box on the right to complete the cropping.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.59.35 PM

Double click the video in the clip section below the cropped image and adjust the start and end of the clip you want to show up in your video. Press the play button in the preview box above to make sure you like your video beginning and end.

Once you’re done editing, select the share icon in the upper right corner and select “File”.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 8.00.51 PM

Name your video, pick the saving location, and you’re done! Now you can save your edited video to Youtube, Vimeo, etc.

Let me know if you have any problems.

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Happy marketing!

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Feature image credit: Mike Mozart Spy Cam Surveillance Camera NSA Spying Hidden Video Recording Stop Watching Us. Pics by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube.

7 thoughts on “5 Steps To Scrape Videos From Websites For Free

    1. You bet. I used to use a Chrome ectension called FVD downloader that worked easily for some types of videos, but then it made me update and I got a bunch of malware on my machine.

      So yeah, a little effort, but worth it.

  1. Hey James,

    So for some reason when I use Handbrake I lose the audio on my video. Do you know what might be going on?

    Thanks!

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