aTube Catcher

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CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars


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  • 4.0 stars

    "aTube Catcher is a very useful, but has a lot of cons."

    August 6, 2012  |   By Patrick_Garies


    * reliably downloads videos from YouTube et al
    * allows download queuing


    * reinstall erases user settings
    * mangles videos titles that contain non-Latin and forbidden characters
    * third-party software/settings clandestinely installed
    * difficult to update



    aTube Catcher reliably gets the job done when it comes to downloading videos from YouTube. You can get an HD version of a video without a format conversion and queue videos for download while away. (I use this program despite all of the cons mentioned below.)


    Every reinstall resets user settings; if you regularly update aTube Catcher you will find yourself routinely having to restore your settings. These include repeatedly instructing aTube Catcher to:

    * not do a video format conversion.
    * remember the last video format used.
    * download HD versions of YouTube videos.
    * disable the action window that appears after a video download has completed.
    * save videos in a specified directory. You have to perform this action twice since there is a default download directory in the settings dialog, but changing that does not change the directory on the download screen.

    The program does not appear to be Unicode-aware. Non-supported characters, such as Asian ideographs and most operating system-forbidden characters, simply vanish from file names (which are named after videos). This behavior can make it hard to identify which video is which when most or all of a video title is not used for the file name and necessitates keeping video pages open/bookmarked in the browser to obtain the video title if you use a video name-based file organization scheme.

    This program installs third-party software without your consent ( toolbar) if you download from the developer's home page. This must be uninstalled via the Windows Control Panel.

    Options to decline the toolbar were present in older versions of the developer's installer, but now only appear in the CNET installer. Even after declining, your Internet Explorer home page is changed to even when protected with another program (such as SpywareBlaster) and must be changed back from within the browser. The CNET installer asks to install several additional pieces of third-party-ware in a somewhat deceptive manner. The CNET installer also does not save the downloaded installer file in a straightforward way; you must decline installation after download completion to get the file to appear.

    Additionally, the developer doesn't make clear what versions of the software are available through its site and third party download hosts linked from it. Sometimes the version numbers on that site are simply wrong. The "Search updates" facility within the program itself is also less reliable than CNET TechTracker. CNET now seems to be the developer's preferred place to post the latest version of the software.

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