Downloading Video Content with Freemake Video Downloader

Previously I wrote about how to download video content with Audials One. And as you recall I recently became a fan of the Freemake Video Converter tools. Well, now I’ve spent some time with the Freemake Video Downloader and it has turned out to be a great way to grab videos off the web.

Freemake Video Downloader, like other tools, allows you to download videos off the web and save them for later viewing. For example, you could grab tutorial YouTube videos on how to fix your car, bike, toilet, etc and watch them later on your iPad or Android tablet when you’re doing the work. There are lots of tools out there that do this same thing, such as the "Download YouTube Videos as MP4" plugin for Firefox. While that is still a great plugin, Freemake Video Downloader goes a bit further in it’s capabilities.

Freemake is both a standalone application and offers browser support. During the install you can elect to choose the browser plugin that appears on sites like YouTube to help you grab your videos. What makes Freemake Video Downloader more complete than other video downloaders is that it doesn’t just work with YouTube; far from it. In fact, it works with most sites that offer a URL to the file.

When it comes to YouTube, you will be presented with a new Download button so you can download the video. Freemake will download the highest quality file available and save it to a directory of your choice. But Video Downloader can also convert that file. It can extract the audio, as in the case of a music video, or convert the file to another format more suitable for a mobile device.

Additionally you get a new "Download All" button for playlists that lets you download all the videos in that playlist without having to select each one individually. For the list I chose, there are 11 videos totaling 3.47GB. Pretty nice.

While Video Downloader integrates into YouTube, it offers a more generic button to help with other video sites. A new button will appear in the toolbar and when clicked, the URL will be passed over to the main application to see if the file can be downloaded. I tried this with multiple sites and my success rate was pretty high. If the video sits on a page and has a standard URL versus Javascript or other "encrypted" style link then you should get a file. It didn’t work with the NBC Tour files, but I didn’t expect it to.

Video Downloader also support multiple simultaneous downloads so you can queue files if you like.

As mentioned, Video Downloader is also a stand alone app. You can drag and drop links to the main window, or copy the link and click the Paste URL button to start the download. Give it a few seconds to ferret out how to download the file and then it should start. You can also control the download speed. If you don’t want to use all the bandwidth you can throttle Freemake so it doesn’t clog the pipes.

Overall, this is a pretty sweet application that integrates very nicely into YouTube, but also gives easy access to other sites. Just copy and paste the URL and it should be able to get your file. Some sites are a little tricky, but Freemake seems to provide updates on a regular basis that fix most problems. In my testing I had no problem with videos from Hulu and YouTube. I don’t frequent that many Tube sites so you’ll have to let me know how you get on.

For a price of Free, I can hardly say anything bad about Freemake Video Downloader. It grabs videos from multiple sites so you can take them with your or watch them later when there’s more time. Just another excellent product in the Freemake utilities line.

Freemake Video Downloader

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Freemake Video Downloader can convert the file after it downloads

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Two plugins will be installed, one specifically for YouTube and one to help with other Tube sites.

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The YouTube integration helps to download Playlists.

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Multiple files from a playlist can be downloaded at once.

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