Have you ever wanted to watch a longer video clip or documentary online, only to suffer frequent pauses in playback? Me too. What I prefer to do is download the streaming video and then watch it non-stop on my computer. If the file is local, there’s no lag and no annoying blips.
It used to be that there were only a few video file formats and they were easily download by right-clicking and saving them. Now there is the Flash Video format (FLV), Windows Media Video (WMV), MPEG-4, QuickTime and many more.
Let’s take a look at the tool I would recommend, personally.
So, How To Download Streaming Video
DownloadHelper is the application I use. It plugs in to Firefox, so it’s always there in my toolbar, right when I need it. Any site I’ve been on, where there is video content, I’ve always been able to download it.
Download and Install DownloadHelper
Point your browser at the DownloadHelper site. Once you are there, look for the Add to Firefox button and click right there.
After clicking on the button, you’ll see the Software Installation screen. To continue, click on the Install Now button.
What happens next? Well, let me show you. Camera guy, are you getting this?
It downloads quickly. Then, it self-installs. All it wants you to do now is Restart Firefox. So let’s do that.
Once Firefox restarts, you’ll see the DownloadHelper button in your toolbar. Sure, it’s greyed out, but once we begin to use it, you’ll see how it works.
How To Use DownloadHelper to Download Videos
Let’s say, I go to DailyMotion and I want to download the Glutes are Made For Walking video – just to send it to my wife, because she doesn’t believe me that women do this sort of thing. Seriously though, check out the video. It’s funny, yet creepy – kind of like someone poking you in the belly button.
Once the video starts playing, you can see the DownloadHelper icon in colour, and spinning.
Now, if you just want the video so you can watch it later, just click on it and click on the file name of the video. You may want to note that the file name isn’t always something easily recognizable. In this case, it’s a bunch of numbers.
DownloadHelper even gives me the ability to convert the video from FLV to, say, AVI or any other format. If this were a documentary, I might want to change it to AVI, so I could burn it to a DVD. To perform the conversion, you need to have some more software installed like FFMPEG, which you can learn more about over at FFMPEG.org. It appears to be the backbone to many video conversion software applications.
DownloadHelper also comes with other features, such as multiple video download, great documentation and a guide, of sorts, to sites featuring videos. It is freeware, but I would recommend donating a few bucks to the developer. It’s definitely good work. Keep the karma going. Just like the glute exercises….
Do you save your online videos? Will this little add-on come in handy? Are you aware of any faster/easier way to download streamig videos? Shout out in the comments!
For other methods of saving online videos, check out: