Orbit Downloader

CNET Editors' Rating 4.5 stars

Outstanding

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out of 1,646 user reviews

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12 of 24
  • 3.0 stars

    "Part 2 of review"

    December 22, 2010  |   By VanguardLH1a

    Pros

    Good features set

    Cons

    See review

    Summary

    Part 2 of review:

    - Grabit++ only snags the first stream from a web page. For example, go to Hulu and start playing a video (e.g., http://www.hulu.com/watch/23803/lost-in-space-the-promised-planet). GrabIt++ (enabled before visiting the web page) only snagged the advertisement stream. Using the GetIt floating bubble (when the mouse is hovering over the video) doesn't work, either. Nothing captured. GrabIt++ is the only auto-downloader that, when enabled, will capture videos while you are playing them, like for a playlist at YouTube the auto-plays many videos serially. Clicking the down arrow on the GetIt bubble to select Grab Pro doesn't work, either. GrabIt++ ends up snagging all the ad streams (there are several interspersed within the movie). Orbit Downloader will not snag the actual movie. This is likely because they refuse to support RTMPE, an encrypted streaming protocol that is *not* defined as a DRM mechanism but is often used as such. Applian's programs (Replay Media Catcher and now Jaksta) also do not capture RTMPE. StreamTransport (a rather crude stream capture utility but doesn't remain resident all the time and you load only when you need it as you load pages inside of it to do the captures) does snag the sources for both the add and movie streams and then you decide which to download.

    - Eventually you get a screen in their installer that is the ad-supported function of it via OpenCandy. Make sure you do NOT install any offered crapware. Hopefully the installer obeys your choice.

    - The registrant for orbitdownloader.com hides behind a private registration at GoDaddy. That is, GoDaddy assumes the contact responsibility requires by IANA for domain registrations so the actual registrant can hide their identity. Sorry, but the excuse about hiding to avoid getting spammed with domain renewals doesn't hold because anyone can create free e-mail accounts with server-side filters that block all e-mails other than those that originate from their current domain registrar. You don't hide for good reasons, especially when it costs you extra to hide behind a private registration.

    - You will soon find, like almost immediately after the installation and when the resident download manager gets loaded, that you need to configure the program to stop nagging you about software updates for OTHER programs. If I want to find out about software updates, I'll use Secunia PSI (and then I don't leave it running all the time but just when I choose to check for updates for installed programs). I also disables it own update check. I will decide when to update my programs, including Windows Updates, not by some nagging from those programs.

    - Their method of accelerating a download is to distribute the load across their "Orbitnet". This is a P2P network which means the content of your downloads go through hosts managed by unknown admins for unknown purposes. If you don't mind them monitoring your downloads then go ahead and let them have a copy of your downloads or pieces of them. So just who are the owners of the P2P nodes in Orbitnet? By enabling this option (which is enabled by default), apparently YOU become part of their mesh network of P2P nodes hence why users report slowdowns of their hosts or network activity when they aren't doing any downloads. Slamming multiple hosts against a target host for a download also smacks of DOS attacks or abusing a server. They throttle their connections to ensure other users get some responsiveness from their site. I disabled it during the testing.

    - Under the Others settings group, you can supposedly up the connection limit. When I tried, it reported that my OS version (Windows XP Pro SP-3) doesn't support that function. Wrong. This is just a registry edit to up the max connect count. I upped mine to 16. Of course, that doesn't mean that I will get that number of concurrent connections to site since the site can regulate it connections, like limiting the number of concurrent connections from the same IP address so it can handle connect requests from other users on other hosts. The error reported by Orbit was bogus.

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