How to Transfer Video Onto the Computer

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Before you can use your computer to edit video, you need to get the clips onto your computer. You can either transfer video from a digital or analog source (such as a camcorder or VCR) or find clips from the Web and multimedia CDs.

Step 1

Buy video editing software if you want to edit clips. (See "Choose a Video Editing Program" in Related eHows.) The editing software will probably include some sample clips to practice with.

Step 2

Using a search engine, such as Yahoo! or Google, run a Web search for video clips and download the video files onto your computer. Most of the time you can just right-click the file and choose "Save As" and then name the file and click OK.

Step 3

Check any multimedia CDs or DVDs you have for video files. Copy these files onto your hard disk. All you need to do is open up the folder where the video file is located, most likely the CD ROM drive, and then drag-and-drop it on your desktop or another folder.

Step 4

Download your own video from a digital video camera. (You may need to buy a card with the appropriate type of connection port before you can do this. Check the specifications for your camera and computer to see the kind of connection you need.)

Step 5

Download your own video from an analog camcorder or from a videotape. You will need a video capture card to translate the analog video into a digital format and copy it onto your hard disk. (See "How to Buy a Video Capture Card" in Related eHows.)

Step 6

Consult the manual or online help for your video editing program for instructions on performing the capture. (If you have Premiere, see "How to Perform a Video Capture in Premiere" in Related eHows.)

Tips & Warnings

  • Video files typically end with the extensions .avi, .mpg, .mov, .moov, .movie or .qt. Check your editing software to see what kinds of file formats it accepts.
  • You may already have some video files on your computer. Run a File Find using
  • .avi as your search string. (or
  • .mov, etc.)
  • Video files are huge. They will take up a lot of space on your hard disk and take a lot of RAM to work with. (See "How to Upgrade or Buy a Computer to Use Digital Video" for more.)
  • When using video clips that you did not record yourself, ensure that you are not violating copyright laws. It's fine to practice editing with copied clips, but don't distribute anyone else's video without asking permission.