Why are video downloader add-ons so popular?

Rob Whelan firefox at jtheory.com
Wed Jun 10 07:46:40 UTC 2015

I personally haven't ever installed plugins like these (I don't trust 
them!) but I've used sites offering similar services.
The main motivations have been mostly working around poor connectivity 
-- e.g., non-overlap between "when I'm online" and "when I want to play 
this video".

That might mean downloading videos in a quiet internet cafe (so I can 
play them later in the hotel for my kids).
Or even downloading videos when I'm anywhere with a spotty connection, 
so I can play them *all the way through* without stopping (again, 
generally for the kids).  It's an awful experience to get 2/3rds of the 
way though a 10-minute video and then failing the load the rest of it.

Sometimes I can reload the page, sometimes I can click in the timeline 
to a different part of the video then return... there are lots of little 
tricks that often don't work, and in the meantime my kids are sadly 
sitting there, hoping they'll get to find out what happened next.

Basically, downloaded means "this will work", and not downloaded (unless 
we're at home, with a stable internet connection) means "roll the die 
and hope".

There's a common approach for static content -- "open a bunch of tabs 
and come back later to read them" (offline, or whenever) -- if this 
could be made to work with video content as well, this would be a huge 
improvement to the current experience of everyone with intermittent or 
slow connectivity.

E.g., eager loading of all page content (including video) to cache, plus 
visual status indication of some sort on whether that's completed or not.
The downside would be over-fetching content (for users who actually only 
intend to watch part of it...), but I'd still be happy to just have a 
dropdown option over HTML5 video, for "Preload fully", and then assure 
playback will work even offline.


On 6/9/2015 11:49 AM, Kirjavainen Tero wrote:
> My opinion is that main reason for downloading videos is copyright issues.
> Users want to archive videos they like before they get removed.

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