If you like to download the occasional YouTube video to watch later on, you have lots of programs to choose from, most of them free. But if you regularly grab and save videos from YouTube and other sites, you'll find that the free tools often leave something to be desired in the functionality department (if not always in the adware department). And if you like to convert videos to play on your smartphone, tablet, or other device, the bar is set even higher, and fewer tools make the cut. VCatcher is a shareware video downloader and converter that offers a lot of convenience as well as performance, plus some extras such as a screen video recorder. We sampled the trial edition, which is limited to 15 downloads and two minutes of conversion time.
VCatcher's user interface has some unique and useful touches, starting with the main file window. It displays your loaded files as Explorer-style icons instead of a file list, though you can switch to a table view, too. Either view can be sorted by length, size, format, and other categories. VCatcher's black-and-white outline icons give the program a slightly different look from the usual fare, though the layout isn't unconventional, with its embedded video player, drop-down menus, and file entry fields. The left sidebar displays icons for all of the program's major functions, including Record, Convert, Rename, Import, Export, and Share. There's also a series of buttons to Cut, Change, Open, and Convert video files from the conversion tool's settings. The Web-based Help file is basic, but VCatcher opened with an instructional video loaded in its player. Titled "How VCatcher Works," this 2-minute tutorial depicts how to get started with the program.
It's hard to imagine an easier way to add files than with VCatcher, which automatically starts downloading any video you play, even multiple videos simultaneously. Once our videos were saved, we could convert them easily by selecting our device type (such as "Apple Phone") and file format. Of course, conversions are limited in the trial version, but we saw no glitches. The neat screen recorder uses a compact control panel.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of VCatcher 3.46.
CBS Interactive does not encourage or condone the illegal duplication or distribution of copyrighted content.
Key features: 1. Automatically download videos and music from thousands of websites that use HTTP-protocol. You can also download video files manually by entering the URL (works for YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion etc). 2. Record video from PC screen. VCatcher gives you the ability to record any video even if it is highly protected from downloading. No video can escape from you when you really want it. 3. Record online music to MP3 format. This works for all websites. VCatcher has integrated audio driver, through which music is captured without loss of quality. Also available for Skype calls recording. 4. Convert media files to play on all popular devices (IPad, IPhone, PSP, etc). Extract the sound from most video file types. Create ringtones. Cut fragments of desired duration. Change quality. Apply video effects.
VCatcher provides you with many features but doesn't waste your time on getting started and extremely user friendly. Inside you will find a short video tutorial. Two minutes - and you'll be able to master the program.