Why are video downloader add-ons so popular?

Enrico Weigelt, metux IT consult enrico.weigelt at gr13.net
Sat Jun 13 19:47:13 UTC 2015

On 09.06.2015 09:34, Chris Peterson wrote:


> Firefox users like to download videos. A lot. 15 of the top 40 add-ons
> downloaded this week are video downloaders [1]. With so many downloader
> add-ons, users clearly have a use case that Firefox itself is not
> meeting.. 

Indeed. OTOH, I dont think that such features dont belong directly into
the (core) browser itself, as it already has a usable extension

Actually, there are currently things harcoded in the browser, that I
would like to in separate extensions, so one easily choose NOT to
install them at all. First coming to my mind is the "sync" and
"marketplace" stuff. ATM, I'll have to manually patch-out the stuff
I dont want.

> and yet, these downloader add-ons must be pretty lousy if
> there are so many copycat add-ons and no clear winner. Some non-AMO
> downloaders include adware or malware.

Indeed. Many are lousy and totally untermaintained. It seems most are
just one-man fun projects. The interesting task, IMHO, would be,
bringing all these people together to one project - consildate the
over-duplicated work.

> Could Mozilla implement this popular feature in Firefox itself? As Flash
> video is replaced by HTML5 video, the browser has direct access to the
> video streams. 

Well, for those cases, of course, Moz should have the same feature as
we already have for images since aeons. But I doubt that it will be that
easy on most sites these downloaders are targetted to.

> Unfortunately, YouTube's Terms of Service [2] say:

These are the terms of service of just one private corporation,
somewhere in world ... why should an FOSS project care about the
individual terms of some individual corporation ?

> Why do users want to download videos? Some likely reasons:
> - to watch videos offline later (time shifting)
> - to watch a video locally to avoid streaming/buffering problems
> - to archive their favorite videos

Exactly. And because web-based players usually suck.
People want to use tools of _their_ choice, not on the choice of
some corporation in a remote piece of the world.


Enrico Weigelt,
metux IT consulting

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