I’ve almost given up watching Television. As Newton N. Minow observed in 1961, Television “is a vast wasteland”. Minow went on to say “True, you’ll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it”.
I often wonder what his observations on the current state of broadcast TV might be. If TV was a “vast wasteland” in 1961……
In any event, I just can’t bring myself to watch the dreck that passes for entertainment. Instead, I’ve gone to watching what I want to watch, when I want to watch, by either streaming video content, or downloading selected content for later viewing.
While searching for an application to facilitate downloading video content, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of available applications. Google “free video downloader”, and you’ll find over 41 Million references. I think you’ll agree, that’s a mind numbing number.
After testing more than a few free video downloaders, I settled some months back on a Firefox extension, DownloadHelper. With over 77 Million downloads to date, it’s hardly an exaggeration to call this add-on – popular. Not only will this tool download and convert videos, but it can download audio and picture galleries as well.
Once installed, you will find a new application icon has been added to the menu bar – notice the small white arrow pointing to the new icon in this screen capture. Clicking on any graphic will expand it to the original size.
The preference menu provides a fairly complete set of tweaking capabilities.
The application will recognize that a webpage has imbedded media (you will noticed the icon revolving), and simply clicking on the icon will allow you to download any media on that page.
The following screen capture illustrates that there are two .flv videos available for download on this National Geographic page.
In the search for the “perfect” video downloader, I’ve tested literally dozens of applications, and not one can hold a candle to DownloadHelper. Despite some minor issues, this application deserves a 10 out of 10.
DownloadHelper has additional functionality that I have not covered in this short review. If you’re into downloading online video, I highly recommend that you take a close look at this application.
Note: When you first install the extension, your browser is redirected to a welcome page with links to a user manual at http://www.downloadhelper.net/manual.php and a FAQ at http://www.downloadhelper.net/faq.php
System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, Firefox (all).
Download at: Mozilla
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