MP4 is a versatile format. It’s suitable for watching videos on a PC, but it’s also ideal for watching videos on mobile devices like an iPod or smartphone, as well as devices like the PlayStation PSP.
So where do you go to find free — and legal — MP4 downloads to help stock your online video library? We’ve rounded up sites where you’ll find a wealth of MP4 videos available including full-length movies, educational videos, or wacky user-generated content.
PUBLIC DOMAIN FREE MP4 DOWNLOADS
The Internet Archive’s video section includes a large collection of free public domain videos, most available in MP4, where you’ll find feature films such as The Giant Gila Monster and My Man Godfrey. The site also offers old movie trailers and thousands of videos in categories such as cultural and academic films, arts and music, and sports videos (including the 1972 Muhammad Ali-Floyd Patterson match). There are even made for TV movies such as Rescue From Gilligan’s Island for those who are curious to find out the fate of Gilligan and crew.
Entertainment Magazine Online also features a selection of public domain titles, including old adventure films like the Hercules and Tarzan series, Popeye and Betty Boop cartoons (including the classic Snow White episode with Cab Calloway’s rendition of “St. James Infirmary” – watch it below), and classic TV including the Dick Van Dyke Show and The Jack Benny Show.
CREATIVE COMMONS FREE MP4 MOVIE DOWNLOADS
Videos under a Creative Commons license are available to watch and share for free. Creative Commons has a wiki page listing videos under its various licensing schemes. Many of the titles — though not all — are available as free MP4 movie downloads.
For those who prefer animated movies check out Blender Open Projects, which promotes content created with Blender’s open-source 3D graphics software. The site features four short films under the Creative Commons license. All beautifully animated, three of the films (Elephants Dream, Big Buck Bunny, and Sintel) are available as free MP4 downloads.
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In addition to watching MP4 videos RealPlayer, you can use the free app to transfer them to your cell phone. It takes just minutes with the free RealPlayer app.
FREE USER-GENERATED MP4 DOWNLOADS
If your taste in online video runs toward the homemade and the goofy, MP4Point.com has a selection of free MP4 downloads under categories such as commercials/trailers, extreme/shocking, sports related, and funny/stupid. If you love funny cat videos, you’ll appreciate videos like Super Evil Cat. Simply click the “Download MP4 File” link under the video you want and it’s automatically saved to your computer.
FREE MP4 DOWNLOADS THAT INSPIRE AND EDUCATE
Now for something completely different. Love those inspiring TEDTalks presentations? More than 1,500 of them are available as free MP4 downloads from the site. To download, click to begin playing a video. Beneath the stream you’ll see a button to download the video. Select a resolution and a destination (desktop or iTunes), and then download (on a Mac, right click, then select Download Linked File As to save it to your folder of choice).
There are plenty of great talks on the TED Talks site on a range of topics including a Talk by linguist John McWhorter entitled Txtng is killing language. JK!!! To get an idea of some of the things you can learn from a TED Talk check out David Pogue’s 10 Top Time-Saving Tech Tips below:
If educational instruction is what you’re after, the Open Video Project offers a collection of videos targeted toward scholarly research. You’ll find a trove of videos from NASA Connect, the program that supports national math, science, and technology education standards. If you like videos involving students in recondite experiments, such as how surface conditions influence the coefficient friction between two surfaces or space videos, this is your site. To find MP4 videos, you can specify a search for videos in that format across all categories, which includes documentaries, educational, lectures, and public service.
If you’re looking for knowledge that isn’t quite so esoteric, Utah Valley University offers a selection of distance education video courses as free MP4 downloads, including lessons in biology, algebra, and philosophy.
What types of MP4 videos do you like to download? What are your favorite MP4 download sites? Let us know in the comments section.