Without a doubt that the king of video site is YouTube but I find that there is too much videos in there that some videos with a lot of views may not necessarily interest me. I recently got to know about TED.com (Technology, Entertainment and Design) from Obin Shah requesting me to review a software that he developed called TED Downloader. Basically you can find a lot of inspirational and informative videos at TED.com such as from Steve Jobs on “How to live before you die”, Kev Robinson says “School kills creativity” and etc. TED Downloader is a free and portable application that allows you to automatically and conveniently download multiple videos from TED.com.
You can actually find a download button for videos that are hosted at Ted.com to directly download the single video without using any software but if you’re looking to download maybe all of the inspirational videos from TED.com, then TED Downloader will definitely help you save a lot of trouble and time.
To automatically download multiple videos from TED.com using TED Downloader, download the standalone application and then run it. Then select the video quality, obviously lower quality means a smaller size and therefore download, and vice versa. Select the download folder to where you want to save the downloaded videos, and click the “Update Links” button. After a few seconds (TED Downloader may appear to freeze for a short period), more than eleven hundred videos are listed in the downloader for you to select to download. You can sort the videos by Video Title, Event Name, Date and Duration. What would be useful here, is a search option. Although you can use the columns to sort all videos, going through over a thousand of them is a pain and an option to search for a keyword or two would be welcome.
To download the video, click on the relevant checkbox followed by clicking the “Get Ted Talks” button. If you would like to download all of the videos, there is a button beside Video Title which allows you to select all videos. Sadly, clicking it again does not deselect all, I had to quit and restart the program to clear all boxes after testing the button. Do be aware that some High quality videos can be well over 100MB each, so to download everything would take an extreme amount of time and bandwidth! As for the “Export the Links” button, it will create a TED_Links_Exported_*.txt file containing direct download links for the videos that you’ve selected so you can use it with your favorite download manager.
There were a few graphical glitches with the list when you use the horizontal scroll bar, but on the whole, TED Download is straight a forward tool and easy to use. A couple of other suggestions to help improve TED Downloader would be; Pause and resume support (I believe it’s already in the works), download subtitled videos, download videos hosted outside of TED.com such as YouTube, and an improvement to the progress bar. Currently it only updates after every download has completed. Not a problem for tens or even hundreds of videos in the list, but when I tried just one (146MB), the progress bar stayed empty until the download had completed, then all of a sudden jumped to “Finished”. The bar is big enough to be more detailed than that…
Great work so far on TED Downloader and I personally find it very useful. Looking forward to future versions with more usability improvements.