If you've not yet seen a TED talk
you're missing out on a treat. Their byline -- "Riveting talks by
remarkable people" -- is true, with subject matter as diverse as their
speakers. Whether it's Naomi
talking about our addiction to risky enterprises, Thomas
trying to build a toaster from scratch or the late Denis
describing his Darwinian theory of beauty, I've yet to find
one that doesn't measure up.
Talks typically last 10-20 minutes making them ideal bite-size info
updates, but there's one catch: you can't download them.
Actually that's not quite true. Here's a quick how-to:
Getting the lot
is a tool that
(links to links) of TED talks, grouping them by encoding quality (high
or low), and by theme, author and year. You'll need a download client
that supports metalinks (list here
I used the Firefox
1. After installation it's simply a clicking on the desired metaTED
link and choosing to
2. You'll be asked where you want to save the files...
3. Then you'll be presented with a selection list...
4. Clicking Start
will begin downloading the lot in groups of four.
Note! There are hundreds of talks in the full list, so you may want
to be selective. You do so either at Step 3 or Step 4. The latter is
easier as you can use Shift + click
and Ctrl + click
blocks of files.
Getting individual talks
More often than not however, you just want to download an individual
talk. Again, you can use metaTED.
Let's say we're looking for Christopher McDougall's talk entitled "Are
we born to run?
1. Go to the metaTED
and click the desired link, but this time choose to save the actual
This will download a .metalink file -- an XML file that can be examimed
in any text editor.
2. Open it in your favourite editor and search for either the presenter
McDougall - Are we born to run.mp4">
You can see the actual download link there, sandwiched between
3. Here Linux users have it easy as wget
is installed by
default. Windows users will have to download it.
In a console, type the command wget
followed by the link name:
Once the download's finished, you'll find a file named (in this case)
"1067". You may want to rename it something more meaningful and give it
a valid extension -- all TED files are .mp4 format -- but it'll
play just as it is in VLC
What great TED Talks have I missed? Add your favourites in a comment!