Disappointing downloader

Download Flash videos from some sites, but expect frustration from others.

We've seen a lot of programs that, in one way or another, help users save and view Flash videos from Web sites like YouTube. Some of these programs simply save the Flash files, while others convert existing Flash files into other, more accessible formats. Rarely do we see a program that does both tasks and does them well. Ashampoo ClipFisher comes frustratingly close to being the consummate Flash video downloader, but in the end, it, too, disappoints.

At first glance, Ashampoo ClipFisher seemed to be exactly what we were looking for. We dragged and dropped the URL of a YouTube video into the interface, and it quickly downloaded it and made it available to watch in a built-in viewer. With another click the program quickly converted the FLV file to a WMV, making it viewable with Windows Media Player. It was all so simple and intuitive. The program even included a menu item with links to other popular Flash video sites. And that, unfortunately, is where Ashampoo ClipFisher ran aground. Although the program succeeded in downloading FLV files from these sites, it could not handle the conversion step for all of them. Videos from YouTube and Spike were no problem, but Dailymotion videos wouldn't convert at all, and files from Google Video seemed to get hung up part way through the conversion. The program's built-in Help file is brief and does not address these issues at all. Overall, we think Ashampoo ClipFisher is great for use with YouTube, but it will disappoint if you plan to use it with other sites.

Ashampoo ClipFisher has a 30-day trial period. The program installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program with reservations.

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