High speed bandwidth and anywhere-anytime mobile access hasn’t yet succeeded in giving online videos the spoils. Though streaming video is a smooth experience nowadays, video downloaders continue to exist. And they have their uses too. For me, they are a great way to reduce my mobile bandwidth bill. For my brother, downloaded Khan Academy videos are new-fangled study tools. For my friend across the street, video podcasts saved on his iPod Touch are a relaxant in traffic snarls.
Video download tools are yet to go out of fashion. That’s why readers keep asking us – Can anyone recommend an alternative YouTube video downloader? or How to download videos from YouTube with bb subtitle? You might see a common name that keeps popping up.
Freemake Video Downloader (ver.3.4.3) is a good tool to have around if you are as enthusiastic about downloading videos from video hosting sites across the web.
The USP: Download videos from 10,000+ sites
That sounds more like a catchphrase because I haven’t taken them up on that claim. That’s too large a number to verify. But what seems more verifiable is the fact that Freemake Video Downloader can do just that from most of the popular sites we have around us. That includes names like – YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Veoh, Dailymotion, LiveLeak, MyVideo, Vkontakte, Nicovideo, Flickr, Photobucket, and so many more. The umbrella coverage also includes, ahem…some adult websites too.
Notable exceptions are Hulu, Comedy Central, MTV, and TED Talks. So, let’s not focus on what it cannot download and see what it can, then let’s see how does Freemake Video Downloader goes about it in a no fuss way.
Download Freemake Video Downloader First
Freemake Video Downloader is not a huge download. It is just around 11 MB and totally free. But while installing, be mindful of the fact that the software prompts you to install two others – Free smileys we love extension and NitroPDF. You also might choose not to install the toolbar add-ons for browsers.
So, go for a custom install and uncheck those if you don’t want them. The video download tool does need .NET framework to run but if you don’t have it, it is included in the download. What you get after the install is a relatively simple and uncluttered interface:
Freemake has other freeware products too (like the Music Box shown in the above screenshot), but we will disregard them and focus on downloading a few videos for now.
Run With Your Intuition
The interface is simple and intuitive and you don’t need a Help file to download your first online video. Click on Help on the menu if you need some though. There are intro videos and How-to’s to handhold you through the processes. You can also click on Help – Supported Sites to take a dekko at the places where you can grab videos and rip them to your desktop. The list is not comprehensive, but should serve you well enough.
Using Freemake Video Downloader is a three step process and the video from the site takes you through them.
- Go to an online video streaming site like YouTube or Vimeo.
- Copy the URL of the specific video that you open in your browser.
- Paste the link on the software where it says Paste URL in blue.
You can simultaneously download videos from multiple sites. The download window displays all of them sequentially. You can pause and resume your downloads anytime, or cancel them.
Freemake Video Downloader offers you a one-click download mode where you can just paste the link and the video will download without any more intervention from your part. If you have set it at OFF, then another optional dialog gives you a few choices to fine-tune your video download. See screenshot below:
The instant download also allows you to set the same options as shown above. The options outlined above allow you to customize the video to the device you want to use it on. For instance, you can extract the audio and get just the MP3 for listening, convert the video for transfer to an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, and the other direct to mobile conversion options. Preset conversion profiles cover – AVI, MP4, MKV, WMV, 3GP, MP3. Convert YouTube to iPod, iPhone, iPad, PSP, and Android.
Also, choose Optimal parameters for the trade-off between size and quality, and the download location where you want to save the video.
A Well-Rounded YouTube Video Downloader
Freemake does have another free video converter with more conversion options, but the video downloader covers the bases quite well. For instance, the download choices on quality for YouTube video are quite comprehensive.
Three other notable features as a YouTube downloader are:
- You can also download YouTube private videos embedded into other sites like Facebook.
- Freemake Video Downloader also automatically removes ads placed on YouTube videos, so that’s a definite plus.
- You can straightaway convert them to mobile-ready formats.
It’s Worth a Recommendation
It certainly is. That’s why Freemake Video Downloader is on our Best Windows Software page. It doesn’t take you through any hoops to download videos of your choice from the many sites it supports. The ability to transcode videos to other formats may be a major feature, but I like the little ones – like the one which allows me to download entire YouTube playlists in one go to a specific folder of my choice. The little touches of time remaining, the original format, and size information just below the download are nice too.
Yes, it can’t download TED Talks and Comedy Central (two of my favourite haunts), but I am not complaining too much. For the former, I have TED Downloader and for the latter, YouTube itself brings in some nice comedy videos and channels.
The rest, Freemake Video Downloader handles itself without a fuss. Do you agree? Tell us about your video downloader tool of choice.