Archive for the ‘Firefox addons’ Category

Video DownloadHelper: really not worth it

July 11, 2009 Leave a comment

I wanted to take a video that I created from a site called Xtranormal and download it (so that I could edit a few aspects). I had heard about a Firefox addon called Video DownloadHelper, so I installed it.

I then learned that installing the addon was only part of the task. Raw video files from sites like YouTube are pretty much worthless unless you have special software to play them. The addon’s converter had to be downloaded as a separate executable file. And once installed, you had to go manually into the settings and confirm the program was installed.

I have a pretty high level of tolerance for things like that, but what happened next was really frustrating. Once I found a video, I clicked on the DownloadHelper button, selected the name of the video, and clicked “download and convert”. The DOS Command Prompt appeared, and the video appeared to be getting converted. But again, the output was a worthless unknown file.

Finally, I was able to convert a video from YouTube by typing in “.WMV” after the file name when saving. After opening the (actually usable) video file, the resolution was mediocre, and even worse, there was a big DownloadHelper watermark in the corner of the screen. After looking it up on their website, I learned that to download and convert videos without a watermark, I’d have to pay $30.

Amazingly, on the Mozilla Addons website, the average rating was an incredible 5 stars, and there were over 43 million downloads. So, maybe, my experience with the problems downloading and converting videos was a freak event, and that most people don’t have a problem with watermarks.

The installation files could have been corrupted. My router suffers from packet loss, lots of it, and is very sensitive (maybe someone turned on a microwave when the file was being downloaded–seriously). But anyway, I won’t be using Video DownloadHelper again any time soon.

Categories: Firefox addons