Flash technology is about to be supplanted by alternative solutions, such as HTML5, which allow you to play streaming videos while consuming less battery, straining the computer's processor less and ensuring full compatibility with portable devices. However, there are still many sites that use it and my inbox is often "flooded" with emails asking me how to download Flash video.
Is it possible to download Flash videos from the Internet? Can it be done for free? Are there any extensions that allow you to do this directly from the browser? These are just some of the questions I have received, and today I will try to answer each of them as quickly and easily as possible. Let's start by saying that yes, videos in Flash format can be downloaded. You can download them for free, but there is no better solution than the others to do so. You have to be the one to choose the one that seems best suited to your needs - or simply more comfortable! - and start using it. Find all the information you need below.
Warning: illegally downloading copyrighted videos from the Internet is illegal. This post was written for illustrative purposes only. It is absolutely not my intention to encourage piracy, so I do not take any responsibility for how you will use the information in it.
Video DownloadHelper (Chrome/Firefox)
One of the easiest ways to download Flash videos from the Internet is to turn to solutions such as Video DownloadHelper, a free extension for Chrome and Firefox that is able to recognize and "capture" the videos on any Web page. It supports social networks, file hosting sites and all the most famous streaming and video sharing services in the world . The only exception is YouTube, which in the Chrome version of the extension is blocked at the behest of Google.
To install Video DownloadHelper in Chrome, all you have to do is connect to this page of the Chrome Web Store and first click on the button Add e poi quello Add extension. To install it on Firefox you must instead connect to the Mozilla Addons site and click on the button first Aggiungi to Firefox and then Install. Neither browser requires a program restart to start using the extension.
There isn't much to explain at this point. To download a video from the Internet with Video DownloadHelper (be it in Flash or MP4 format), linked to the page that contains the movie, start playing it and click on the extension icon located at the top right (i colored dots).
Then select the file name FLV from the menu that opens, choose the folder in which to download it and confirm the start of the download. That's all. The speed of the download depends on the quality of your connection and the server from which you are downloading the file.
FlashGot Mass Downloader (Firefox)
If you use Firefox you can also contact FlashGot Mass Downloader, a free extension capable of "capturing" all the multimedia files on a web page and downloading them using any download manager installed on your PC (including Firefox, of course).
To install FlashGot, connect to the Mozilla Addons website and click on the button first Aggiungi to Firefox and then Install e Restart now . The browser will restart and you can start downloading any type of video from the web. How? I'll explain it to you right away.
First of all connected to the page that contains the Flash video you want to download, then start playing the movie, click on the FlashGot icon that appears at the top right (the film), select the files you want to download by placing the check mark next to their names and click on OK to start downloading it in a folder of your choice.
To select the download manager with which to download the videos, go to the menu Tools> FlashGot> Other Options Firefox and select the application you prefer from the drop-down menu Download Manager. Facile, see?
JDownloader (Windows / Mac / Linux)
If you prefer stand-alone software rather than browser extensions, i.e. stand-alone programs that can work independently from the application used to browse the Internet, try JDownloader.
JDownloader is a free and open source download manager compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Its specialty is "capturing" video, images and audio files from any Web page by simply scanning the addresses that are saved on the operating system's clipboard. In other words, by copying the address of a Web page, the program examines its content and allows you to download it to your computer with a simple click. It supports not only YouTube and other video sharing videos, such as Vimeo and DailyMotion, but also file hosting services like MEGA and NowDownlod and any other website that contains multimedia files.
To download JDownloader on your computer, connected to its official website and click on the item Download Installer for 32/64bit systems if you use a Windows PC or on voice Download Installer Mac OS X Version 10.7 or higher if you use a Mac. Wait for the download to finish and proceed with the installation of the program following the procedure best suited to the operating system installed on your computer.
If you are using Windows, then open the file JDownloader2Setup.exe you just downloaded on your PC, click on the button Yes and wait for JDownloader to download all the files necessary for its operation from the Internet. This should take a few seconds. Then select the item Advanced installation and click in series on the buttons Next, Accept, Skip all e Finish to complete the JDownloader installation process.
If you are using a Mac, open the package dmg you downloaded from the JDownloader website, launch the executable JDownloader Installer contained within it and complete the installation of the program by first clicking on the button OK and then Next, Skip e Finish.
Now the procedure to follow is the same on all operating systems. As mentioned above, all you have to do is open JDownloader, visit the page that contains the video you intend to download on your PC and copy the address located in the address bar of the browser (the one at the top).
If everything went well, you will see a notification from JDownloader appear at the top right: a sign that the program has "captured" the address and is ready to download the videos. Therefore, copy the addresses of all the videos you want to download to your computer, go to the tab Capture Links of JDownloader and click on the button play which is located at the top left to start the download. If you want to start the download of a single movie and not all those that have been added to the "Capture links" tab of JDownloader, right click on the file name and select the item Start download give the menu check if you press.
How to Watch Flash Videos
When the download is complete, you will end up with gods video in Flash format (.flv) that Windows Media Player and other very "well known" players will not be able to play. To view the videos in FLV format on your computer you need to use the free media player VLC which is capable of playing all major multimedia file formats without the need for external codecs. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and I have explained well how to use it in my tutorial on how to open FLV files.
If, on the other hand, you want to make the videos you have downloaded from the Internet more "digestible" for your multimedia devices and for the media players you already have installed on your PC, try turning them into AVI by following my guide on how to convert FLV files to AVI. I assure you it is not difficult.
Salvatore Aranzulla is the most widely read blogger and IT popularizer in Italy. Known for discovering vulnerabilities on Google and Microsoft sites. He collaborates with computer magazines and edited the technological column of the newspaper Il Messaggero. He is the founder of Aranzulla.it, one of the thirty most visited sites in Italy, in which he easily answers thousands of computer-related doubts. He has published for Mondadori and Mondadori Informatica.