Streaming video has marked a new era in multimedia content delivering. What was earlier broadcasted on TV or distributed on DVDs, today is rather streamed through video-sharing sites like YouTube or Megavideo. The main asset of streaming video is that you don’t have to download a video file in order to play it – the content is always displayed in real time. However, sometimes we need to save web videos onto a hard drive in order to transfer them to a smartphone, portable media player or just escape the problems with a slow Internet connection.
It’s no longer a secret that almost any web video may ripped off a website. The technologies may vary from video grabbing to stream recording. The tools may be also quite different: browser plugins, web services, desktop software. The point is that not all "video downloaders" do what is promised: most of them fail to overcome frequent changes in video portals’ coding procedures, others are so user-unfriendly that it’s next to impossible to use them on a regular basis. Still there are rare exceptions. Here is the roundup of top 5 tools which really work and deliver free and fast streaming video downloads.
This is a free Windows-based desktop software which uses an intricate grabbing technique thus allowing users to download streaming video from thousands of websites. In addition to popular portals like YouTube and Vimeo, the downloader works for most local video resources and any sites embedding video. The tool lets download videos in any quality or format available, extract audio tracks or convert to MP3, AVI, MP4 (iPod, iPhone, PSP, Android), 3GP, MKV. There are also handy browser plugins for Chrome and Firefox which let download video within one click only. To work with the software users will need to install .Net 4.0.
This is one of the most demanded Firefox addons. It lets download videos from YouTube, MySpace, Dailymotion and other sites, so you can watch them whenever you want. When you are on a page containing links to images or movies, you can download some or all of them at once. All you’ll have to do is click the Video DownloadHelper icon and save the video. You can also setup the extension to automatically convert the downloaded movies to your preferred video format: AVI, MP4, WMV, MPEG, MP3, MOV, 3PG and popular portable gadgets. The only minus is that you can’t use it in other web browser but Firefox.
This is an ad-supported desktop software for Windows. Leaving aside the utilitarian interface, this is a good option to rip streaming videos based on YouTube, Facebook and some other video sharing sites. The download process is quick and easy: just paste a URL, set a resolution and click “Download”. The program allows users to convert YouTube videos to handheld devices and formats and play the downloaded video as well. There is also a paid version for $19.90 which promises to be faster and download video in batch.
This is a free web service to convert various files between formats and download streaming videos from YouTube, BlipTV, Metacafe, Myspace and some other sites. The service doesn’t provide “only download” option, therefore the conversion to some video format is indispensable. The link with a resulted video is sent to your email. You may download only one video at once. The other drawback is 100 MB limit for source files, still there are Pro pricing plans for the advanced users.
This is another free online tool which allows you to convert and download YouTube streaming videos to MP3, AVI, MP4 and other formats. All you need is a video URL and the software will download the video to server, convert it and then pass you a link to the converted file. Users can easily customize video and audio bitrate, audio volume, or add information about artist, album. The service also provides a handy Chrome addon. Unfortunately, there is only YouTube in the list of supported websites.
Guest Author’s Bio
Elena Vakhromova is IT enthusiast, freelance blogger and SMO fan. She enjoys writing about popular Windows and web-based apps.