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Old 16. Sep 2015, 10:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Could you recommend a good video downloader

Could you recommend a good Video down loader. I have looked at the list here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/sear...o%20downloader

But unable to make up my mind. From those who have been using these, could I have some of your views please? I have Windows 7 in an Acer Laptop. I use only Firefox. I need to download You-tube videos too.

Thank you,
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Old 17. Sep 2015, 01:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The question is what sites do you want to download videos from because that determines the formats the downloader should support

Flash is the most common video format but like many people I don't use Flash.
HTML5 is becoming more common. YouTube playback is a good example of a site where the default is for video and audio to be downloaded as separate streams. So if you want to have one video file then they need to be combined. Many video downloaders don't handle this and won't even show the ADP/adaptive options.

For example, here's two programs that can download adaptive video from YouTube. They show different video formats available.
  • Free Download Manager (FDM) is standalone program (probably still the Editor's choice at this site) with some features to integrate with web browsers. In this case, I copied the URL to start a download. To monitor videos in browsers there are additional components it installs. In the table below it shows the audio streams separately so you could download them without the video images.
  • Video DownloadHelper is a Firefox add-in so I simply clicked the icon on the Firefox button bar to start the download. It does require additional components to be installed to convert the adaptive format.
Format Resolution FDM VDH
MP4 720p Y Y
480p Y
360p Y Y
Audio Y
3GP 240p Y
144p Y Y
FLV 240p Y Y
WebM 480p Y
360p Y
Audio Y  

P.S. I forgot to say that both these programs work with Firefox.
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Last edited by Remah; 17. Sep 2015 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Add PS
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Old 17. Sep 2015, 02:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I should also have added:
  • Free Download Manager is my favorite and it is still Editor's Choice for Download Manager
  • Video Downloadhelper used to be, IMO, the best downloader add-on for Firefox. It even provides the option to record the browser window so you can record any video or anything else you want in your browser session. The only issue that bothers me now is that it puts a watermark on some video conversions and provides a paid option to convert them without watermarks. That's how they pay for the free version.
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Old 17. Sep 2015, 04:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Check out this thread for details of some of the video downloaders, that I had posted about earlier:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/free...t-extract.html
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Old 17. Sep 2015, 07:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remah View Post
I should also have added:[LIST][*]Free Download Manager is my favorite and it is still Editor's Choice for Download Manager
This one looks good. It's ability to download music from You-tube, without the video and the choice of portability are attractions for me. I would like to install it in a USB stick. It's control panel looks quite forbidding. If I get it, I might need help to learn to use it!

Thank you for all the above information.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
Check out this thread for details of some of the video downloaders, that I had posted about earlier:...............................
Thank you for the link with all the information.

Regards,
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Old 17. Sep 2015, 11:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melita-s View Post
This one looks good. It's ability to download music from You-tube, without the video and the choice of portability are attractions for me. I would like to install it in a USB stick. It's control panel looks quite forbidding. If I get it, I might need help to learn to use it!
I never used the Free Download Manager (FDM) video download feature for myself until you asked. I hadn't really realized how good it is to download with only a URL and without opening a browser session.

As for all the settings, there's only a few that I change - after listing them it is more than a few - in the menu Options | Settings:
  • General | Essential | Load on startup
I usually turn this off but if I did a lot more downloading particularly with scheduling and other automation then it would be on.
  • General | Essential | Update | Notify me only when update is available
  • Download | New download | Set default download folder
By default downloads go to C:\downloads so I change that to C:\user\{userid}\downloads
  • Download | New download | Use ZIP preview
I usually turn this off because I know what I am downloading.
  • Download | BitTorrent | Enable BitTorrent protocol support
I'm no help with these options because I turn this off as I don't use Torrents at all. If this is on then you will be using bandwidth even if you don't do any yourself.
  • Download | Mirrors | Automatically search for mirror URLs
I used to turn this on but with higher speed broadband it is not so important for me so I leave it off now
  • Download | Monitoring | Google Chrome
IE and Firefox are monitored by default and sometimes I add in Chrome though I don't usually use it for downloading. you can turn on monitoring of legacy browsers as well e.g. SeaMonkey
  • Download | Monitoring | Don't monitor for files smaller than
I turn this on and set the value anywhere between 10 and 100 kBytes
  • Download | Site Manager | Passwords | Use Site Manager to store my passwords
I turn off password saving in all browsers and download managers. But I would be prepared to turn it on if I did a lot of downloading from a number of such sites requiring passwords or if I used the scheduling and automation features.
I can't remember what the defaults are for video monitoring but I turn them on if they are off. Re the warning of potential conflicts, I've never had a conflict between FDM and other downloaders.
  • Download | Video Monitoring | Show "Download It" button
  • Download | Video Monitoring | Monitor flash video downloads in browsers
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Old 17. Sep 2015, 11:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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And it is worth installing the FDM browser extension when you turn on monitoring.
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Old 18. Sep 2015, 04:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you for some great help here. You have made it so easy for me to set this up
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remah View Post
I never used the Free Download Manager (FDM) video download feature for myself until you asked. I hadn't really realized how good it is to download with only a URL and without opening a browser session
Yes, it looks really good and at the bottom of this FDM page there are links to further help for downloading.

I need a little more help to understand some of the things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remah View Post
Download | New download | Use ZIP preview
I usually turn this off because I know what I am downloading.
What really is ZIP preview?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remah View Post
Download | Mirrors | Automatically search for mirror URLs
I used to turn this on but with higher speed broadband it is not so important for me so I leave it off now
If this is On, does it mean that FDM will be searching other websites for the same video that I want to download, and perhaps download it from another web site? What is the significance of higher speed and mirror URLs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remah View Post
Download | Monitoring | Google Chrome
*IE and Firefox are monitored by default and sometimes I add in Chrome though I don't usually use it for downloading. you can turn on monitoring of legacy browsers as well e.g. SeaMonkey

*I can't remember what the defaults are for video monitoring but I turn them on if they are off.
*Download | Video Monitoring | Monitor flash video downloads in browsers
I am clueless about these three things: Browser monitoring, Video monitoring, and Monitoring flash video downloads in browsers. What really happens here, when these 'monitorings' are seleted On
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remah View Post
Re the warning of potential conflicts, I've never had a conflict between FDM and other downloaders.
Do you use another downloader in addition to FDM?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remah View Post
And it is worth installing the FDM browser extension when you turn on monitoring.
Could you please tell me the reason?

I was planning to install FDM in a USB stick. Is it possible to do that and use it without loss of any of the functions? Is the option to do that come up during the download of FDM?

A lot of questions! I hope you will find the time. There is no urgency.

Regards,
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Last edited by Melita-s; 18. Sep 2015 at 05:09 PM. Reason: corrections
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Old 18. Sep 2015, 11:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Melita, I'll give a bit of background first. This was meant to be short but I've explained it all in some detail. So hope this helps.

Download managers provide features that web browsers don't have
Web browsers used to have very basic download features so download managers were developed to provide additional features. Browsers now have better download features and some have their own very proficient download managers.

Download managers gave faster downloads which is more benefit on slow connections
The main reason for using download managers used to be to get faster downloads.

When you have a dial-up connection your download speed is measures in kbps (kilo bit per second), e.g. 56kbps which if it was an ASCII text file is about 8,000 characters per second. A 10MB (approximately 100Mb) download would take about 2000 seconds or 30 minutes to download. The long time to download also increased the risk of the download failing to complete so download managers provided the means to restart a download and continue from where it had stopped. That meant we didn't have to wait another 30 minutes but only the time to get the remaining part of the download.

I regularly had downloads that took more than a day to complete so a download manager is essential.

Now most Internet users have broadband connections where connection speed is measured in Mbps (mega bit per second), e.g. a common connection speed might be 10Mbps down and 2 Mbps up which 50-2000 times as fast for downloading. That means a 10MB download completes in seconds and not minutes. Most of us are very happy with that speed.

Answers to your questions
Now I'll address your specific questions:

ZIP Preview allows you to download individual files in a ZIP archive instead of having to download the entire file. I've only wanted to use that feature once in a decade but it was much more useful when I was on a slow Internet connection.

Mirrors are sites that have the same file available which means you can download the same file from more than website at the same time. This means that your download speed is not limited to the speed of one website. It was particularly important when many websites had slow connections too. Now that most websites have faster connections it is not so important. FYI, this only works where the websites support downloading part of the file - that is a necessary feature for resuming an incomplete download and most sites do that nowadays.

Even now, mirror downloads can produce a major increase in speed. But the main benefit is that you are more likely to get the download from a local/nearby server rather than across the other side of the world.

Browser monitoring
When your web browser views a web page there can be many resources on that page, e.g. hyperlinks to other web pages. A download manager can filter all those resources and present you with a list of those that can be downloaded so you don't even have to search for them yourself. This is very convenient but it does mean every web page you view will be analyzed by the download manager so it does mean that web browsing is a little slower.

With video monitoring the download manager can provide a list of all the videos that can be downloaded. This saves a lot of time because you don't have to change any settings on the web page to get the video profile that you want to download. For example, if I am watching an online video at 720p (1280x720 pixel resolution) I can download a FullHD (1080p, 1920x1080 pixelresolution) version without first having to change the resolution of the video that I am watching to FullHD.

Other downloaders
Yes, I regularly use other download managers for Firefox, e.g. the most recent being Download Ninja which frustrated me so I'm no longer using it, and web browser plug-ins, e.g. Video DownloadHelper which I mentioned earlier.

Free Download Manager web browser extensions
I mentioned that "it is worth installing the FDM browser extension when you turn on monitoring" because you will be asked if you want to do it. And in Chrome you will probably have to manually turn it on after it is installed because Chrome requires administrators to enable extensions, so other programs can't add features to Chrome without your telling Chrome it is OK.

Portable versions
From memory, you specify that you want the portable install during the install process.

When downloading videos with the portable version there are some issues that portableapps.com have documented. I haven't done this myself so there may be other issues that I am not aware of.

The main issue is that when you integrate FDM with your Windows installed web browser it effectively becomes non-portable. So if you want portable integration then you should install the portable version of Firefox onto the USB stick and integrate portable FDM into that. Because it is a portable version some features of the installed Firefox do not work automatically. Some plug-ins aren't installed automatically and you have to do this manually, e.g. if you want the Flash plug-in.

If you don't want to use a portable web browser then you need to integrate when you run portable FDM and exit the web browser before you exit FDM. If you don't then you won't be able to safely remove the USB stick because Windows knows that your web browser is still using the USB stick.
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Old 19. Sep 2015, 01:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yo Remah, thanks for your post above. I really enjoyed reading it. It's practically a treatise on download managers.
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