How To Download Streaming Video with DownloadHelper

downloadhelperHave 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.

add_to_firefoxAfter clicking on the button, you’ll see the Software Installation screen. To continue, click on the Install Now button.

how to download streaming video

What happens next? Well, let me show you. Camera guy, are you getting this?

downloading

It downloads quickly. Then, it self-installs. All it wants you to do now is Restart Firefox. So let’s do that.

restart_firefoxOnce 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.

downloadhelper_toolbar

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.

downloadhelper_toolbar_active

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.

quick_download

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:

4 Quick Ways To Download YouTube Videos Off The Net
18 Free Ways To Download Any Video off the Internet
Download, Viewing and Converter Tools for Youtube & Google Video

7 Comments - Write a Comment

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Alton

Does not work for videos on FoodNetwork.

Guy McDowell

Just curious if you waited until the video was playing. A lot of the videos on FoodNetwork.com are full-length episodes. They take a long time to start playing on my network connection. Yet, once they do, I can download them with DownloadHelper.

Alton

Yes, I waited until the video was playing. However, the one I was interested in is short (2 minutes 31 seconds). I will try again on longer videos. It does work on videos at other websites, including the funny Glutes Are Made For Walking. The Download Helper website recommended Replay Media Catcher for use on the Food Network.
Here is the video link I tried to download: foodnetwork.com/videos/how-to-make-sangria/36906.html

Reply

Bluegravity

worked amazing for me, you dont even need different plugins for each site, covers all the sites i usually stream videos from awesome…

Check out my review here:

gravityblue.com/2009/06/19/7-useful-web-applications/

Reply

pamaspamas

only saves my youtube video as an FLV file, and won’t play it after. why me? grrrr, works for everyone else it seems…

Guy McDowell

It can do format conversions on the fly. Also, you can download Adobe’s Flash Video player to play the .flv format.

Reply

DaMartian

For me it works perfectly. But when I watch the saved videos, they all stop after 10 mins of the replay. Why can it be, and how can it be fixed?

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