TubeMaster++: automatically download, and convert, streaming media (audio and video) off the internet

2009-10-15_222020Tubemaster++ is an open source, freeware, easy-to-use, streaming media downloader (FLV, MP4, MOV, and MP3). Similar to URL Snooper and WebVideoCap, TubeMaster++ works by monitoring network traffic via different types of protocols (and therefore is browser and website independent also). The difference, however, is TubeMaster++ has a (more) user friendly interface and has a built in video/audio converter so you can convert the FLV, MP4, or MP3 or any other desirable format.

Using Tubemaster++ is very easy: you simply run it, watch the streaming video (or listen to the streaming audio) you want to download, and if Tubemaster++ is able to download it (it will work with most video hosting websites like YouTube, Dailymotion, Break, etc.) it will start to automatically download the video:

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How fast the video is downloaded will depend on the website you are downloading it from; in general sometimes you will get fast downloads while other times you will get extremely slow downloads.

One thing you will find extremely annoying is no [proper] names are attached to the videos that are downloaded. Rather, they will just be named “Untitled1″, “Untitled2″, etc. if you chose not to rename them yourself. However, in Tubemaster++’s defense, this problem is not really Tubemaster++’s fault; it is a problem that you inherit when you decide to sniff network traffic to download streaming media (URL Snooper and WebVideoCap have the same issue).

When the video has finished downloading, you have the ability to save the video, convert the video, or play the video:

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  • “Save File” – when videos are downloaded, they are placed in the “temp” folder for Tubemaster++; if you don’t save them they will eventually be erased so save them if you want to keep them.
  • “Convert File” – you can convert your video (or audio) to various different other formats besides FLV, MP4 or MP3:

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Although you have many “profiles” to select from, as per my count you can convert to FLV, MPEG, AVI, 3GP, MP4, WMA, WAV, and OGG formats.

  • “Play File” – the video (or audio) is played in Tubemaster++’s own media player:

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One problem I have with the media player of Tubemaster++, as I am sure you have noticed, it lacks any media control buttons such as back, forward, play, stop, etc.

Two interesting features of Tubemaster++ are:

  • “Video Search” – this is a built-in video search engine which allows you to search for videos from tons of video hosting websites from YouTube to Hulu to ABC to IGN and everything in between; once you find a video you can view it:

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If you are looking to download the video, just hit “Play Video” and let the video play so Tubemaster++ can detect it and start downloading (if applicable).

  • “MP3 Search” – this is a built-in audio search engine which looks for MP3 audio from the internet (I am not particularly sure where it looks exactly); once you find an audio you want, you can listen to it or download it:

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Lastly, here are the options of Tubemaster++:

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In particular, the two options to take note of here are the “default media output folder” and the “enable automatic conversion when a file is complete”. By default, there will be no location set as the default folder and the automatic conversion will be off. If you decide to set a location, what will happen is whenever you hit “Save File” for any media that has been downloaded, it will be saved automatically to the default location you set. If you decide to turn on automatic conversion, all media downloaded will be automatically converted to that format; unfortunately you can’t set a format for video and a format for audio separately – it is all or nothing.

Now Tubemaster++ is good and all, but I personally will stick to WebVideoCap and VideoCacheView for one reason, and one reason alone: Tubemaster++ is written in Java (and therefore anyone using it must have Java installed), so it uses up a lot more computer resources than WebVideoCap or VideoCacheView. On average, Tubemaster++ uses ~12 MB with no videos loaded or being downloaded and uses ~40 MB with videos. Furthermore, Tubemaster++ can’t be portable like WebVideoCap or VideoCacheView and I also prefer the cache method of VideoCacheView over the network sniffing of Tubemaster++; and I have FormatFactory for any file converting needs.

However, for anyone that wants to grab it, Tubemaster++ is a pretty nice program. You can grab Tubemaster++ from the following links:

Version reviewed: v1.4

Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Win7 and Linux

Special requirements: You need Java and WinPcap installed to use Tubemaster++. During installation Tubemaster++ will prompt you to install them; if you already have them, just cancel the specific installations for them. Also, you must Run As Administrator on Vista/Win7 and have a 32Bits Java (NOT x64).

Tubemaster++ homepage [direct download]

Thanks Jyo!

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20 comments

  1. blackberry lcd

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

  2. Dave

    “One problem I have with the media player of Tubemaster++, as I am sure you have noticed, it lacks any media control buttons such as back, forward, play, stop, etc.”

    In MHO that is a Hugh problem
    The phone rings and you need to pause the video!
    Your wife has a quick question?
    Etc.

    Anyway thanks for the Great Reviews

    Dave

  3. 11-Jason

    @Mike:

    webvideocap is great for that, but WMR8 is an old program that will catch wmv live or recorded steams and record them or click the url button and download the stream at the bitrate You Choose, not a vbr selected by a player or a unknown rate selected by a capture program. Make sure you get WindowsMediaRecorder ver 8 or 7. look hard and start looking at netfortwo as i recall. try google wmr80.zip or things like this. You will have to dig around a bit but i know its out there.
    Have Fun

  4. Adam

    When I installed the latest version, McAfee catches a trojan called Artemis!4A3A6535B28A and will not let me install (probably a good thing). Has anybody else had this issue? Or is McAfee catching a false-positive?

  5. Mike

    Any recommendations on free/shareware for capturing streaming wmv files, apart from WebVideoCap? (I’m staying away from WebVideoCap, as Norton Internet Security reports it as containing adware, Purityscan.) Thanks–

  6. Jeff Taylor

    Almost all the comments here focus on the product’s performance with video files. I have no experience with those, but have used it extensively for capturing streaming audio, and am very pleased. I find the memory used to be inconsequential on most modern systems, and so I consider it to be small and fast. It is also very stable, and the output is excellent. Although I have found many tracks saved with the name “Untitled,” most have had track names. The determinant seems to be what is embedded in the tags in the file on the streaming server. Except for streams encoded with DRM, I haven’t found anything it won’t capture from Internet Radio stations or social music discovery sites like GrooveShark, Imeem, etc.

  7. Jyo

    @Rob: Well, that is why there is no one winner software for downloading streaming videos off the internet. Some sites work, some don’t.

    Just my guess: maybe the videos aren’t being detected because it is from a “.com.au” domain? I also know sites like “bbc.co.uk” don’t work.

    And as for how the interface should look like when it really is capturing a video….go to the tubemaster++ homepage. You should see an image with a FF browser and a second window. That second window is how capturing files should look like. (with the green progress bar downloading)

  8. Rob

    @jumbi:
    Thanks for responding.
    No, DownloadHelper does not notice it is there.
    Ashraf’s two favorites are no luck either.

    Here is a link that has the video I want embedded in the web page -
    http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/whodoyouthinkyouare/episodes/detail/episode/1677

    I have also tried navigating to it on the right column where there is a small section with three Tabs.
    If you change over to the ‘Full Episodes’ Tab you can find it in a standalone(FF standalone) player.
    You have to change to a Tab in there called ‘Full Episodes’ and then select the ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ panel, then select Ron Barassi
    I have tried from that ‘player’, and I have actually managed to embed the player into a proper FF Tab, and still no luck.
    There are episodes, that can be downloaded.
    Sometimes in my various attempts, it smiles at me and does a download. It even has the correct name, but the video is one of the downloadble ones (Kate Ceberano)

    Any help would be much appreciated,
    Rob

  9. Rob

    @Jyo:
    Thanks for response.
    I peered all over the interace, and could find no indication anywhere that it was in the process of capturing.
    The area in the center just had that largish image, with no list of files (file as I am only attempting one)
    Where should it show ?

  10. Rob

    I have managed to play the 1 hour documentary all the way through.
    Tubemaster popped up a Balloon at the beginning to say it was capturing.
    From then on nothing was listed (Does it only list the file on completion ?)
    When the video finished playing, I brought up TubeMaster, but I could find no method to list the file.
    Help!

  11. Rob

    Ashraf,
    This may be very opportune.
    I have been pulling out my remaining hair for a week now, trying to download a TV episode for a friend.
    I have tried every free program on the planet.
    I can download any episode from the previous season, but the episodes in the current season appear impossible to get. (It’s an Aussie Documentary)
    I even lashed out $8 AU yesterday, on an Ashampoo program, which I haven’t tried yet.
    I will let you know if TubeMaster++ can handle it.
    Thanks for the ‘Heads Up’,
    Rob