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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Video conversion with DownloadHelper

Video Conversion with DownloadHelper

What is it about

DownloadHelper's primary job is to retrieve to your disk the videos that are playing in Web pages, in their original format.

Unfortunately, the native format (generally FLV) is often not very convenient when it comes to playing back the videos, on either your home computer or a hand held device, burning them to a DVD or reworking the movie.

With the new DownloadHelper's Video Conversion feature, you can very easily select one or more videos that lie on your disk and choose a pre-defined output format. The program will process the movies in background.

Even better: you can setup the extension to automatically convert the videos as soon as they are saved by DownloadHelper. You can even specify conversion rules (which site, which original media format) to be processed with a given set of parameters.

Video conversion is available on DownloadHelper 3.1 or later.

Easy or powerful ?

Both :)

While you can select an output format by choosing it from a drop-down list, you can also fine tune the program to deal with dozens of parameters, like the size of the video, the bitrates to be generated, the number of frames per seconds, the audio and video codecs to be used and many more, including multi-pass conversions for an optimal result.

How does it work ?

DownloadHelper doesn't do the conversion by itself: this type of job is not really suitable for a Mozilla extension. Instead, it relies on the well-known FFmpeg program to do the conversion task, and provides the necessary glue to make it simple and convenient for DownloadHelper users.

FFmpeg is the most powerful video conversion utility. In fact, this is the back-end program used by most video converters on the market.

On Linux and Mac, DownloadHelper accesses directly the FFmpeg version you installed on your system. On Windows, this is simpler as you install directly an application, ConvertHelper, to make easier the DownloadHelper/FFmpeg relationship.

Installing the feature

Go there...


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