It’s amazing to see how fast the Internet landscape has changed. Just a few years ago, back in the days of dial-up modems that made funny sounds everytime they wanted to connect to the Internet, people literally chopped up a few kilobytes of website images into smaller pieces just to make it possible for visitors to load them. And now, people are consuming hundreds of megabytes of videos on their phone during lunch break.
There are thousands of videos on the Web, and you don’t always have the luxury of streaming them online. Sometimes you need to download those videos for offline viewing and need the help of a video downloader. Among the many such tools available, Downie (US$ 19.99) is one of the best.
The Browser Extensions
Downie is a Mac-only video downloader tool that is very easy to use. The first thing that you need to do after downloading and installing it is to add browser extensions. After adding the extensions, you can download any video from a site just by clicking the browser extension’s icon.
Downie will analyze the site and put any downloadable video on the list. You can opt to download the video directly or wait for a better Internet connection. It’s also possible that Downie will miss the link, and you’ll have to add it manually.
You can find the extensions for Safari, Chrome, Chromium, Opera, Opera Beta, and Firefox by going through the “Downie -> Preferences (Command + Comma) -> Browser Extensions” menu.
The Download Window
The main window of Downie is a download window. Other than using the browser extension icons, you can add video downloads by dragging and dropping web page links to this download window.
But this blank window has few tricks up in its sleeve. The first one is the fourth blue button on the top left corner of the window. Clicking this blue button will show you popular videos that others are downloading. Double-clicking on one of the items on the list will allow you to download the video. An early warning, though: some of the items are NSFW.
Another thing that you can do in the main window is search for videos. For example, I want to find videos about standup comedy, so I type in “stand-up comedy” in the search box, and Downie will list all the videos that match my search string.
The Settings Window
Opposite of the simple main window, there are many things that you can do in the Settings. Let’s see some of the most important ones.
From the “General” tab, you can choose where you want to save your downloaded videos. The default location is the downloads folder. You can also set the download to be added to iTunes and to do video post processing.
There is the list of “Supported Sites” and also sites that will be used to search for videos in “Search Engines.” Unfortunately, you can’t add more.
One more important thing for those who have children is to enable the adult filter in the “Parental Controls.” Here you can disable adult video sites and the top downloads button. You have to open the lock before you can change these settings.
If you need to download a lot of videos from the Web, Downie is a convenient way to do so. The combination of video search and hte browser extensions feature alone is worth the price.
Have you tried Downie? Do you have other alternatives of video downloaders? Please share using the comments below.