Having only online access your favorite videos from YouTube, or
other FLV (Flash Video) sites can be annoying. You can’t burn a CD
of your favorites for archiving, you can’t watch them if access is
down, you can’t use (public domain) images from the videos in your
own projects, and so on. There are many programs out there which
solve this problem; GetFLV is one.
The feature set of GetFLV is very promising. It supports many FLV
sites–not just YouTube–allows you to add your own, and even
allows grouping by category. You open your chosen site in the
built-in tabbed browser, and click to run a video. The program
detects the video is starting, and offers to capture the stream for
you. You can also right-click to download the linked video
directly. Multiple simultaneous downloads are supported, a very
useful feature. The built-in FLV viewer is functional but sometimes
sluggish about moving rapidly through a file. Last, and perhaps
most usefully, it will convert videos to and from .flv format.
In my testing, GetFLV worked on the built-in sites and on some
other test sites I picked. Downloading was slow, but that can be
the result of the source sites. There is no option to set maximum
or minimum bandwidth.
Indeed, lack of options is an issue. GetFLV’s interface is sparse
and non-standard. Font use, spacing, and general layout are all
very bare-bones. Some things are odd–to close a tab, you must
right-click instead of there being tab-level close boxes. It’s not
always obvious which functions are single-click and which are
All that aside, GetFLV is the most functional FLV downloader I have
personally tried. It is not site-limited as others tend to be, and
it includes good tools for organizing both source sites and your
library of downloaded files. The trial is certainly long enough to
determine if you can live with its quirks. The price is a bit high
for a utility program, but if you often use FLV sites, it could be
well worth it.