This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Online Download Manager. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
The default download page on Chrome lets you download stuff and that's about it. But an add-on download manager can transform the way you consume data, enhancing your download experience and even extract usable offline content from websites that you visit.
One extension which does all this and more is Online Download Manager, so let's have a look and see why it might be time to start getting serious about downloads.
What is it?
Online Download Manager is an upgraded and enhanced downloader for Chrome only. In essence, it's an upgrade to the existing Chrome download manager, giving you better feedback about the status of your downloads with both visual and audible cues, which means you don't have to disturb your productivity to check on downloads.
Along with that, you get a built-in sorting system which files different classes of downloads into different folders, sounds into music, videos into videos, images into pictures, etc. The download rules which do this sorting are also customizable. You can even make up new ones for other file types. In addition, you have some quite powerful live search and filters for downloads, allowing you to sort the files you've collected by "completed," "incomplete with errors," etc.
On another level, the extension enables the easy sniffing out and download of certain media types. This makes the collection of offline videos and audios from websites so much easier. Let's go over the details.
Making Downloads Easier
Installing Online Download Manager is very easy. Just navigate to the link in the Google Chrome Store and click "Add To Chrome". When prompted, click "Add Extension".
The extension adds an icon which looks like a rainbow down arrow to the top right of Chrome. If media types are detected, a red dot appears next to it. When downloading media-like images, a drawer pops out of the right side of the window with all the images. This can be closed by clicking the floating multicoloured document icon.
In the pop-out drawer are all the images that are currently downloadable. You can download them individually by clicking the buttons beside each image or download them all with the button at the top. The side that the image drawer appears can be set with the two drawer buttons on the top left of the drawer.
Clicking the ODM icon drops the main interface down so that you can see all the different media types and in some cases turn them on and off. Via the top menu buttons, you can also access settings, filters, direct links and the search function.
Settings gives you access to the settings for each section of the app. The first tab down on the left is the appearance menu. Here you can set light or dark interface colors.
Next is the notification menu where you can set the various audible or visible alerts. You can set the start and finish sounds and alerts, how long they last and how big they are.
There are content downloader settings, turning on and off the sniffers for video, audio and documents globally throughout the app.
Next is the cloud sync settings for linking the app with your cloud services - Dropbox and Google. Using this tab you can save time by sending your downloads directly to your cloud service for later download. Finally, there is a tab for the sorting system. This is a powerful filter for deciding which type of download goes where. It is a terrific system and makes your downloads very organized and easy to find.
There are many extra features I really liked, like the ability to turn a piece of media into a QR code to zap it to your phone. For example, you quickly need a particular MP3 while walking the dog. Perhaps you need to show a video to someone where there is no Wi-Fi coverage.
The app is nicely integrated with Chrome and provides some very powerful tools. At the basic level you can isolate and download images, sounds and videos from many public sites. If you pay a little for a subscription, then you can expand the amount of sites to those which make it, shall we say, a little harder for you to download sounds and videos for your own use.
For example, say you have a video on Facebook that you'd like to grab for offline use. Simply navigate to the page you want and click the ODM icon in the manu bar. A list of the videos available on that page will appear. (You may have to refresh the page for it to sniff them.)
The only criticisms I think they could work on are the look and feel of the extension. The drawer text seemed a little bit small compared to the other sections, and serif fonts don't work well at small sizes for me, but that's a very minor design quibble. On the whole, it is a very polished and useful app.
Another thing I especially liked was the document sniffer that downloads documents, like word or PDF files, directly via the source sites. This makes collecting a series of documents from a page very quick and easy.
In closing, I'd like to say this developer is super clear about the kind of product they wanted to develop. It was their stated aim to make “a clean product without ads, data collecting, cashback stealing,” etc. I like that attitude a lot. They are also, in my view, charging a fair price for their extended services and are going a long way to build trust in their users. In a world of scammers and free software that pushes unwanted ads or sells personal data, to find a developer of this kind of service with some sort of integrity is rather refreshing.
Where can I get it?
Online Download Manager is available via the Chrome Web Store or from the company's own web site. The Basic account is free and gives you all the features listed above but with certain restrictions. For example, restrictions on video resolution and the types of sites you can download video and audio from. The Pro and Ultra subscriptions (a small charge of $2-3 per month, respectively) enable all features. They also allow you to download just about any video or audio file you can see on a page. You can also activate cloud sync options for downloads to and from your preferred cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
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