Frustrating media downloader

Stay away from this poorly executed media downloader.

TubeMaster Plus seems like a good idea: find video and MP3 content, download it, and convert it to different formats. But the program's poorly thought-out interface and application instability will likely frustrate everyone but the most persevering.

TubeMaster Plus comes with numerous settings, such as an autostart feature, size restriction (helpful for excluding small downloads that are more likely to be advertisements), language, and browser monitoring. You can set the video codec to be used as well as the MP3 quality and default multimedia player. The program is organized into four tabs: Media Surf (a Web browser), Media Download and Conversion, Media Search, and MP3 Search. You either surf to a video or use the Media Search tool to look for videos among 80-plus sites. (You won't use MP3 Search to look for MP3s, because that function does not work.) Once a video has been found, the application will grab a video copy from the stream after you clicked the Start Media Capture button.

This took us a while to figure out, because clicking on the Tutorial button caused a crash that we had to Ctrl-Alt-Del away. A second attempt worked, taking us to a deeply ugly set of screenshots annotated to explain various fields and progress bars. Sadly, the tutorial covered only one user scenario, leaving us to ponder such questions as how to find our downloaded files and why TubeMaster Plus stops downloading after pre-roll video plays. At the end of the day, TubeMaster Plus is a good idea that suffers at the hands of poor execution and quality control.

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