One of the nice things about FlashGet is that it’s quite versatile. It supports a number of different protocols and can be downloaded from almost anywhere. Something that it cannot do right out of the box, though, is download YouTube videos. There’s no place where you can enter in a YouTube URL and get back some kind of video file. That said, there’s a clever way around it so that you can essentially “trick” FlashGet into thinking its downloading from a regular URL, when in fact it will be downloading a YouTube video. Let’s find out how this works.
In case you don’t have it already, you need to get FlashGet. You can find it at Flashget.com, and it’s about as easy to install as any other piece of software. Just run in the installer and follow the easy prompts.
Once FlashGet is installed, you need to make sure that it’s configured properly so that it handles your browser downloads instead of your web browser handling them. This is an important step because you otherwise won’t be able to use FlashGet to download Internet video. This will be explained further in just a moment.
Get a YouTube Downloader Extension
Here you’ll have to use Firefox. The reason that we have to use Firefox is because it has an extension that we need in order to bridge the gap between YouTube (and other video sites) and FlashGet. There’s more than one extension that you can use, but you want to look for a YouTube Downloader extension somewhere, or an extension that will let you download from any video site.
The cool part comes when you try to download a video. Whenever these extensions try to download an Internet video, it works through your browser’s normal download mechanism, whatever it may be. But if you have FlashGet installed and configured, when the extension invokes the browser’s download mechanism, it will instead redirect it to FlashGet, and let it manage the download of your video. From the perspective of FlashGet, it’s getting a file from some HTTP location. This is basically where you’re “tricking” FlashGet into doing what you want.
Let FlashGet Work Its Magic
You want to make sure that FlashGet doesn’t have any restrictions set on its download speed (that is, if you don’t want to wait longer for your video to arrive). FlashGet also has features in place that allow it to increase download speed by splitting the file into multiple streams and receiving them simultaneously. This only works depending on whether the server is willing to cooperate (that is, it accepts more than one connection from the same place). Otherwise, it will simply download at whatever limit the video service decides to set.
Whichever the case, this allows you to easily archive and save the videos you watch, and have them backed by a proven and reliable download manager. As has been shown time and again, the built-in download manager in a web browser often isn’t up to the task of downloading large files without there being an interruption at some point, which is a big problem for Internet video since it can get pretty large.