Monday 18 March 2013

Easy video downloads for presentations

Tube downloader with Dropbox

The inclusion of a short video clip in any presentation can lighten the mood, bring emphasis to or illustrate a point and certainly provides for variety from the presenter's voice. When using video in presentations it is important to remember to seek the owner's permission to  use it and to include any copyright information attached to the video. Here's the simplest method I have found for ssaving and using short video clips.

A range of apps can perform this function on a mobile device but this is a simple method that uses Tube downloader and Dropbox to get the video from the web to your presentation in a few easy steps.

The app is available for iPhones, iPads and Androids. It downloads video from a wide range of sites including YouTube, Vimeo, and Flixxy. If you can play a video in a web browser, this app will enable you to download it. There is both a free and paid version.

1.Open the browser window of the Tube downloader app and paste the URL of the video
2. Select play and then choose download from the pop-up menu. If this is not enabled, select save to cache.
3. When video  is finished locate it in either the Files or Cache menu depending on your  previous choice..
4. Choose Open in Dropbox, this will save the file to your folder of choice.
5. From presentation interface choose Insert Video from file, get it from your Dropbox, adjust size and you're done. Easy!

Remember to delete the video from your Dropbox once inserted into your presentation.

Sunday 10 March 2013

Quick and easy ebooks via Readlists


The Readlists site provides a quick and easy method for preparing an ebook from web articles for offline reading.

  • Login to Readlists and simply add the URL of each of the articles you wish to compile into an ebook. 
  • Add a title and description and you are ready to download the ebook directly to your device or embed on your website or blog.
  • The Readlists can also be publicly shared enabling multiple editors to add to or amend any individual list. 
  • The range of export options makes this a very useful tool for all platforms.


Simple online instructions guide the user through the Send to Kindle option.The contents page displays the title of each article allowing the user to move quickly to the desired reading. Individual articles which incorporate images are reproduced in full. The normal Kindle functions of increasing text size, creating notes, finding definitions and following links are all enabled.


The ePub version presents in full colour and with full functionality but disturbingly displays the Readlist compiler at the top of each page as if they were the author. Full links are still provided to the individual articles but individual authors are not listed as they appear in the original Readlist.

Readlists are a great method for sharing a range of links for reading on any device.

Related articles:
Readlist creates ebooks from URLs
Create ebooks with Readlists

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2016 Readlists closed in July 2016

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Libraries empowering customers

Travelling light

Our local library like so many other libraries has many identities and roles. Excellent services are provided to the housebound by a group of dedicated volunteers and library staff provide a variety of training for a range of technology tools, to name but two of the myriad of services provided.

The local area has many retirees with time to travel and the library has graciously provided the venue for me to present a session on Tech for Travel. The session  will cover a wide  range of tools available to the traveller in planning their journey, mobile apps to use while on the road and preservation of holiday memories.

Here is a short screencast on how to make an ebook from Wikivoyage.

Next up, preparing a Readlist book for travel purposes.
Which other web tools are you using for making ebooks?
What are your favourite travel apps?

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