Grab online video to go with RealDownloader

RealDownloader

Streaming videos need an active Internet connection to play and even then you can get stuck with buffering problems. Not all videos play on mobile devices either, but if you can download the video you can move it where you like. There are various browser extensions and playback programs that enable you to do this but RealNetworks' new release -- RealDownloader -- is by far the simplest and easiest to use.

Once installed the program adds browser extensions that detect whenever you navigate to a page that includes streaming video content. When you move the mouse pointer over a video, it provides a pop up button labelled "Download this video". Click this to store it offline. If you launch the program itself you'll see what downloads you have in progress and your completed downloads. Select one to play it back in RealDownloader's own video player.

By Default your videos are stored within your default video save location in a folder for RealDownloader. You can change this by launching the program, clicking the RealDownloader button, followed by Preferences. Next to Save local files to… click "Browse" and go to the folder that you want to use as your default download directory. Click "Select Folder".

You can share any of your downloaded videos with friends via Twitter, Facebook, Bebo or MySpace by clicking the relevant icon next to the download. You'll need to authorize RealDownloader to connect to your chosen network before it can post the link. Similarly, you can share links to your videos with friends via email by clicking the email icon.

Look carefully and you'll see a button extorting you to upgrade to RealDownloader Plus. Doing so promises faster downloads (up to twice as fast), plus options for converting video to audio, adding the download to your iTunes library and transferring video to and from compatible mobile devices, including Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile. It's worth noting that some of this functionality is available for free in other similar tools, such as aTube Catcher and Freemake Video Downloader.

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