If you spend any time scouring the Internet for videos of any kind, you’ll find that there are loads of different video sites that serve a number of different purposes: YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc. Sometimes you’ll come across a particular video that you want to save for later. For the popular sites, e.g. YouTube, there are many downloader tools available.
And then you have sites, like TED, that use their own web video formats. Finding an effective video downloader for TED that helps you build and maintain an offline library of educational talks can be difficult. There are few tools available, and those that are available tend to be lacking in some way.
Not sure what TED is? It’s an online resource for watching experts speak about fascinating topics. For example, some will present on human behavior and the brain while others will talk about creativity and inspiration. TED is an excellent source of videos that are both educational and entertaining – something that you can’t really guarantee with other video sites.
And if you want to download TED videos for offline use, you’re in luck. Obin from Scenario Solution has released TED Downloader v3.0. We’ve covered v2.0 in the past, but v3.0 presents a number of new features that make the program worthy of another try.
Here is the main interface for TED Downloader. You’ll notice that the interface is simple and clean. Seeing how the program isn’t even 1 MB in size, it looks nice for what it is. TED Downloader intends to be an easy way to download and manage TED videos and the interface doesn’t hinder that.
When you start up the program, TED Downloader will scan the TED network for any new videos that have appeared since your last time using the program. You can then sort the available videos by their title, the event that they come from, the date they were published, or the duration of the talk.
One of the new features in v3.0 is the search bar. This is a fantastic addition, mostly because it allows you to shave off a lot of time if you’re trying to find one particular video. It also helps when you want to download a lot of TED videos on a certain topic. The best part? The search results update in real time. Quick, easy, and painless.
The other major feature addition in v3.0 is the ability to download subtitles. Personally, I find it difficult to watch speakers without subtitles because sometimes the audio equipment is subpar. Subtitles help me to stay focused on the message without drifting off into confusion. But if you don’t speak English, subtitles will help you to enjoy the videos in your native language. This is a very awesome feature, indeed.
According to the creator, TED Downloader’s subtitles module is verified to work with English and a few other languages. If you notice problems with missing or out-of-sync subtitles, you can let him know here.
As the name might imply, TED Downloader makes the actual act of downloading a breeze. Simply mark a bunch of checkboxes next to the videos you want to download, then click “Start Download.” They will begin to download one by one. That’s it! If you want subtitles, you’ll need to enable the “Download Subtitles” checkbox and it will happen automatically.
Because TED Downloader is such a small and compact program, there aren’t very many options that you can tinker with. Besides changing the quality of the videos, the location for download, and the language for subtitles, there isn’t much else to do.
Unfortunately, there are a few missing features that would really boost TED Downloader to “must have” levels. The good thing is that we can expect these features in the next version:
- The ability to pause and resume downloads.
- Search videos by TED’s own category and theme labels.
- Automatically download new videos.
- Schedule certain videos to be downloaded at specific times.
But all in all, TED Downloader v3.0 is a massive improvement over v2.0 in terms of functionality and speed. If you gave TED Downloader a shot before and didn’t like it, I recommend trying it again. There’s no installation and the program is less than 700 KB, so there’s nothing to lose on your part.