Note: This review addresses v2.01 of the
Freemake Video Downloader is a completely free app that rips a
Flash video from one of a number of Web sources and converts the
video to the format you want for offline viewing. The previous
version was already a must-have app, and version 2.0 adds a few
critical new features to the mix that make it even better. The app
now converts on the fly as it downloads, which saves a lot of time.
All of the video file types and presets formerly present only in
sister app Freemake Video
Converter are now included, meaning that only one app is now
required (though Converter is still useful for additional
fine-tuning of the conversion process). You can now select a
destination folder for the converted video, and more information
such as file size and duration are made available as the video is
being downloaded and converted.
Included presets include the iPhone, but not the iPad: You’ll
need to fine-tune in Freemake Video Converter or HandBrake in order
to optimize video for the iPad’s odd dimensions.
Freemake Video Downloader 2.0 also upports ripping video from
MTV Network’s network of video sites, such as Comedy Central, South
Park Studios, The Daily Show and VH1. Since clips from MTV’s shows
are generally not present on YouTube (by mandate), Freemake Video
Converter now has access to a much wider range of content.
Even more important, Freemake Video Downloader now works with Hulu, at least for
the time being. Hulu has been known to release new security updates
frequently, locking out downloaders or set-top boxes from viewing
its content. But as of this writing, I was able to download a new
Simpsons episode from Hulu and convert it to AVI on the fly. It
took about an hour. (Note that Hulu videos that refer to another
site, such as Glee on Fox’s website, do not work with Freemake
Freemake Video Downloader does not work with Netflix Instant
Viewing–yet. At the rate this app is going, though, it may not
be long. As long as you’re not violating copyright in the process
(i.e. sharing around the ripped and converted file), Freemake Video
Downloader is an excellent choice for viewing Web video how and
where you want.