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3 Ways to Legally Download Movies And Videos From The Internet (VoD)

11/23/09

Mark Harris is a freelance writer who specialises in digital media technology. As well as writing for several online publications, he is also the Digital Music guide for About.com.

Mark Harris is a freelance writer who specialises in digital media technology. As well as writing for several online publications, he is also the Digital Music guide for About.com. Mark says, "My mission as a writer has always been to bring clarity to the reader by producing easy-to-understand articles that can be followed even if the subject is a complex one." In his spare time, Mark likes to chill out by composing electronic music in his music studio.

Sources of Legal Movies and Videos
by Mark Harris

If there's one thing that can be hard to find on the Internet, it's ways of downloading movies and videos legally! As you probably know, downloading media from the Internet can be risky at the best of times - especially if you use file sharing networks (commonly known as P2P). If you've been trawling the Web searching for legal downloads, then be sure to read this article on how you can watch and legally download free movies and videos.

There are several methods at your disposal for grabbing movies and videos from the Internet. Some of the popular ways people use are:

Legal movie/video libraries
Streaming media sites
Streaming video recording software



1. Legal Movie/Video Libraries
This type of collection is typically a website that contains archived movies, films, and videos that don't have any copyright restrictions. An excellent example of this type of service is the movies section of the The Internet Archive. This library hosts files that are either in the public domain or covered by the Creative Commons License (CCL). At present there are over 200,000 items in this section.


2. Streaming Media Sites & Video-On-Demand (VoD)
This is probably the most popular method (not counting illegal P2P file sharing) that people use to view movies and videos. YouTube is without question the king of streaming media and offers an almost unlimited supply of video clips (both commercial and user submitted). If you're searching for a streaming service that delivers TV and movies, then Hulu is a great resource.  It's a commercially supported service that is easy to use and hosts content from most of the major TV networks. However, the big downside to Hulu is it's only available at present in the United States. Alternatively, if you prefer a media service that is more socially orientated, then Vimeo is an excellent site that also enables you to upload your own videos too. But what about downloading - how can I save this media for later playback? This is where the third method comes in - if you're interested in finding out how to record what you see then be sure to read the final part of this article.


3. Streaming Video Recording Software
If you want to be able to record video as you watch it, then you'll need a streaming video recording program that can create files on your hard drive for later playback. This type of method offers the greatest flexibility in terms of where you source your material from. Streaming media sites such as the ones mentioned earlier are very popular and contain a huge amount of different types of video. Installing and using a recording program that can record from your browser is essential if you are going to watch a lot of on-demand video and want to store it for later usage.
 

So, there you have it. Three easy ways to watch and download free and legal media from the Internet!