Online video is all the rage -- and not all of it is of the streaming video kind such as Netflix. Real Networks has introduced RealDownloader software, for downloading recorded videos from YouTube and elsewhere, and then watching them at your leisure. In trying out RealDownloader, I discovered that the video downloading tool works like a snap. Here's how.
There are two versions of Real Networks' RealDownloader application: Free and Plus. The Free edition lets you download and save as many videos as you wish. You can even download multiple videos simultaneously.
The Plus version, a product priced at $29.99, is advertised as adding accelerated download speeds, along with the ability to download either straight to an Apple iTunes library or to a mobile device such as an Android, BlackBerry, or Windows smartphone. Our review will focus on the Free version of this software, though, since that is what most people are going to use.
Download and Installation
RealDownloader is a download of less than 1MB. It takes only a few minutes to install. Once installed, it automatically integrates with your Web browser. Supported Web browsers include Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer (including 9), and Google Chrome.
Use and Effectiveness
The most convincing aspect of RealDownloader is just how easy it is to use. Most so-called “one-click” products actually involve multiple clicks. This isn't true with RealDownloader. Downloading a video really does take only one click. You simply use your Web browser to navigate to a Web page with a captured video, such as Google's YouTube. You'll then see a “Download This Video” pop-up box right next to the video.
Download speeds will vary depending on your Internet connection, of course. On my cable connection, video downloads through RealDownloader turned out to be just fast as any other file download.
Although the default download location is Videos\RealDownloader, the download location can be changed from within the program. The video files are downloaded in .FLV format, and are playable with programs such as Media Player Classic. Unfortunately, the file extension can't be changed in the Free edition. With the Plus version, on the other hand, you can convert the videos into MP3 tracks.
RealDownloader is an awesome little piece of software. permitting you to seamlessly download videos with exactly one click and no hassle. The Free version provides most of the functionality of the paid version. The Plus edition adds iTunes library integration and video transfer to smartphones. It can also convert downloaded videos to MP3 tracks. Either way, we highly recommend RealDownloader.
Software & Support
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