Online video accounts for an astounding percentage of the internet’s traffic. YouTube, alone, sees about 48 hours of new video uploaded every minute and about three billion video views per day. Still, we find ourselves often looking to third party applications to handle video tasks our base operating systems don’t do – or at least not well enough. A good example of this is downloading video from sources such as YouTube.
Today, I spent some time with the Elmedia Player software and tried many of the features offered in the free version as well as the PRO.
Notable Elmedia Player Features
The free version of the Elmedia Player leaves out most of my favorite features, but that’s to be expected. I found, however, that even the free version is very well polished with a lot of options and advantages over most of the free video tools I see. Here’s a list of most of what you find in the free version:
– Support for many video types (FLV, SWF, XAP (Silverlight), RM and RV (Real), AVI, MOV, MP4, WMV, DIVX)
– HTML5 video support
– Zoom in and zoom out options for SWF and EXE (or APP) files
– Growl and browsers integration
– iTunes-like playlists and star ratings
The PRO version, offered for only $19.95 on Eltima Software’s web site, hones in on a few key features that the product is really designed for and delivers in those areas. While this software isn’t littered with too much fluff, there are a few extras that don’t seem entirely necessary (like video ratings). Regardless, they’re not in the way and, more importantly, they didn’t distract Eltima from doing a good job with the core features. Some of the PRO features include:
– Download Video – even RTMP streams
– Full-screen mode
– “Always on top” mode
– Make a screenshot of the current frame
– Convert file into series of images
Of course, downloading video from a wide variety of sources is the feature I’d pay for, but the screen shot and “Always on top” features will also come in pretty handy. Less needed, but great on occasion, will be the option that lets you take a series of images – I’m thinking animated GIFs here.
Hands On Testing
After installing the software, my first test (as seen in the image at the beginning of this review) was to head to YouTube and try to download one of my review videos. In the past, I’ve used plug-ins to download a video, but Elmedia Player takes a different approach. You paste the URL to a web page into the software and it loads the page like a browser. When it does this, it looks for any videos or links to them in the page’s content and makes a list for you to select from. I first downloaded just the video that I was after, but then I tried the “Download all” option which grabbed everything in site.
Tip: You may need to start playing the video in the preview page before it will appear in the list to download.
Once a video is grabbed, it’s listed under the Downloaded section, where you can pull up everything from just today or broaden the listing. The organization extends in a different way to the file folder structure behind the scenes as well. Here, a folder is created that is named after the page you downloaded from.
While this software’s core features are not that unlike some free browser plugins on the surface, the extra video formats it supports can be invaluable. Additionally, some of the browser plugins I’ve used in the past can be sporadic in their reliability. I haven’t used this software long enough to be certain it will stand up to the many challenges I have in store for it, but so far, everything indicates that it likely will. Finally, one thing that Elmedia Player will not do that the browser plugins do all too often is cease to become useful after I upgrade to the latest browser version or switch from one to another. Being browser-independent has its advantages.
Cons: The only con it that it’s not free – well, it is free, but the best and really useful features are in the PRO version. Pros: This is well-built software with some thoughtful extras, the price is low enough to barely be a factor, and it doesn’t care what browser you have or version. Want 15% off? No problem. Just use the coupon code JOE-TECH-PROMO when you purchase.
Don’t Have 20 Bucks? Win It Here!
That’s right. Even if you’re just a little interested, I have been given not one, but two PRO upgrade codes to give out to lucky winners. Just follow the entry instructions below and come back here next week to see if you’ve won! Entering is as simple as clicking the â€œDo itâ€ link, following any instructions, and then clicking the â€œI did thisâ€ button. If youâ€™re already subscribed to JoeTech.com via email or you already follow me on Twitter, you can skip right to the â€œI did thisâ€ button for those entries. Good luck!