Monday, August 29, 2011

Fuck You, DownloadHelper

YouTube recently changed some crap so that DownloadHelper wouldn't work correctly anymore.  First it lost the ability to find the different quality versions of videos, which meant that you had to first set the player to the quality you wanted.  There's a fix for that, but there's one lingering fatal issue.

YouTube now does some bullshit with third-party cookies, probably also in an effort to fuck with people downloading videos.  Honestly, why not just provide the fucking option legit?  Videos can get taken down by various means, why not let us save what we like so we never have to worry about not finding it ever again?

DownloadHelper was no help in traversing this third-party cookie issue.  It basically just popped up a dialog saying "you're going to have to enable third-party cookies for this to work".  Why not just enable them?  Because enabling them is a privacy hazard.  Essentially, you're letting one site set cookies for another, which lets the first site tell that other site things about you, your browsing habits, what you're currently wearing, etc.  If you don't think this is a big issue, you're ignorant.

So what did I do?  I browsed around for another extension that would actually perform its advertised function without added bullshit like search toolbars I don't want.  I'm mentioning that last bit specifically because the first alternative extension I found added a bing search bar.  Um, hello, Firefox doesn't need search toolbars, it's got a fucking search box.  Even though I have it removed and use bookmark keyword searches instead, it's still there.

So to anyone who hasn't already done so, the extension to use is Easy YouTube Video Downloader.  It makes a dropdown in video pages that looks like all the other buttons below each video, and you just drop it down, select what you want, and choose where to save it.  No added feature cruft like DownloadHelper's unnecessary conversion feature or any of the other useless things DownloadHelper had.  If you have CCCP installed and use Media Player Classic Homecinema, you can play FLVs directly without having to convert them, and if you still save FLVs instead of going for the MP4s instead, you're an idiot.

The only real downside that I can see is that it only works on YouTube.  Which isn't too much of a problem for me, as that's where I the majority of the videos I want to gank come from.  I did occasionally save the odd video from, but that's rare these days because pretty much anyone who produces anything you'll want to save uses YouTube.

As far as shortcomings go, it could use an options panel.  Specifically so I can re-order the dropdown to put all the HD MP4 options at the top.  That's the only thing I can think of.

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