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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Boston, MA USA
    Search Comp PM
    Before I post my questions, I will just say I am not a computer or video expert who is very well-versed in the technical language. So please bear that in mind when providing answers to my questions.

    What is the best free video downloading program (for video on websites which allow it, such as DailyMotion and YouTube) that may also convert the downloaded files to a more optimum (better quality, larger size) end file after encoding than the source file?

    If not one free combined conversion-downloading program is recommended, I am aware HandBrake and VidCoder are the highly regarded conversion programs. So then I would just wish to know the best free downloading program before one would plot the downloaded file into HandBrake or VidCoder.

    I would also prefer any programs recommended be very user-friendly, with as few steps involved as possible.

    Ideally, if someone would be willing to talk me through (via telephone, at my expense of course, or by email) any problem steps in the recommended programs, should I encounter difficulty, that would also be great.

    Thank you .
    Last edited by jimmo; 5th Jan 2017 at 20:14. Reason: I thought of an addendum
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Central Germany
    Search PM
    1) If there was a best, there would be no other.

    2) Objectively, every conversion to a lossy target format will worsen the quality, as every difference to the material to be converted is defined as quality loss. Subjectively, you may be able to filter a video to reduce artifacts caused by earlier quality loss (because uploading video to a video portal will already reduce their quality, they will be re-encoded). But such a filtering may not happen during the download. Because it may cost a lot of time, it should be done after downloading.

    To download videos from web portals, there are several quite powerful add-ons for browsers, with or without conversion feature (e.g. "Complete YouTube Saver" and "Video DownloadHelper" for Mozilla Firefox), as well as standalone applications (which can be more or less user-friendly; but I was quite satisfied with the browser add-ons so far).
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  3. Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    The interface isn't pretty, and it requires a bit of learning, but youtube-dl is very powerful. You can find it in the "tools" section of this site.
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  4. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Boston, MA USA
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by Jay4 View Post
    The interface isn't pretty, and it requires a bit of learning, but youtube-dl is very powerful. You can find it in the "tools" section of this site.
    Thank you Jay4. When I tried to install the program you recommended a black window opened then closed very quickly, didn't allow me time to take any action. I tried this a few times. I hope I haven't installed the program multiple times and caused some problem on my computer. If so, I guess I can try a System Restore.
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  5. It is a command-line software. You need to open a command-prompt and enter e.g. youtube-dl [url_you_want_to_download_from] or write a text file called e.g. "download.bat" in the same folder with following text:
    Code:
    set /p URL=Enter URL of video to download:
    youtube-dl "%URL%"
    You might also need ffmpeg.exe in the same folder.
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  6. ytdl_batch (youtube-dl front-end written in autoit).
    Last edited by tugshank; 8th Jan 2017 at 02:36.
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  7. Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    My apologies for the slow reply, but it looks like Jimmo answered it. youtube-dl is command line software, so you need to run an old-school DOS window to run it. If you aren't used to doing that it might be intimidating at first, but really, it ends up being quite easy.

    I haven't tried any of the windows interfaces that fit over youtube-dl, I would be curious to know your experiences with them if you try them out.
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