How to start Video Downloader Ultimate (VDU)

Since VDU is not a browser extension but a Windows program, it must be started when you want to download videos. To do this, click the blue arrow symbol on your desktop or in the Windows start menu. The VDU main dialog opens.

To make it faster next time, you can right-click the taskbar icon after VDU has started and select "Pin to taskbar". When you want to start VDU again, just click the blue arrow icon in the taskbar.

By the way, in the VDU settings you can specify that VDU automatically is started together with your browser.

Activate the software

After installation, VDU is in trial mode, i.e. many functions are not available and the download is limited to 30 seconds. With your activation code, which you received by e-mail, you can activate your purchased version. To do this, click on the red text "Trial version" in the dialog. If this text is not there, your version is already activated.

A dialog opens:

Enter your activation code and the e-mail address where the code was sent. Then press OK. The red trial version text disappears and VDU is activated.

The main dialog

When you start VDU the main dialog appears. At the top right is an icon for displaying the menu. Below that is a red/green slider to toggle automatic search on/off. The gear icon next to it opens the settings dialog.
To the left of this there is a bar with tabs that toggle the view below:

  • Manual search Here is everything you need to search for videos on a website and to download them.
  • Automatic search The search results of the automatic search are displayed here.
  • Progress If videos are currently being downloaded or converted, you can see the progress here.
  • Download finished Completely downloaded videos are listed here.

Manual search

Manual search downloads a web page and scans it for downloadable videos. Most videos are available in different resolutions, formats or languages. A download button is displayed for each in the result list. There are also convert buttons that convert the video directly after downloading, e.g. to MP3 or MP4.

Manual search is sufficient for most websites.

Advantages:

  • only needs resources if you really want to search for a video
  • also finds videos and formats that are not currently playing
  • does not interfere with the system: no proxy is installed

Disadvantages:
  • when a website calculates video addresses dynamically, the videos are often not found
  • if a website shows different videos every time, not the same videos will be found as in the browser
  • if a login is requested, in many cases the manual search cannot use the login data from the browser

How it works:

Open your video site in the browser. Then click on "URL from browser" and the address of the page from the last opened browser will be automatically fetched and entered into the address field. If that didn't work, you can type or copy the address into the field yourself. Then click "Scan site". It takes a few seconds and then the search results appear:

Click the download button with the desired format and then enter a file name. The download starts.
There are videos where video and audio are downloaded separately. The two files will then be automatically merged into one file after download.
If you download a format containing the text "Video only" or "Audio only", then the target file will contain only audio or only video.

Automatic search

The automatic search constantly searches your internet data for video addresses, i.e. when a website loads a video, the address is intercepted and offered for download. A so-called proxy is installed for this purpose. This is a module between the browser and the Internet.

Advantages:

  • Only what the browser is currently playing will be offered for download
  • There are websites where only the automatic search finds videos
  • Videos that require a login also have a better chance of being found with the automatic search

Disadvantages:
  • While the proxy is running, your internet connection will be slower as all data is searched for video addresses
  • Some websites, e-mail programs and other Windows programs do not work if the internet connection runs through a proxy.
  • Promotional videos or small preview videos will also be found.

Due to the disadvantages, we recommend only turning on the automatic search temporarily if the manual search does not provide the desired results. Note that the automatic search must already be enabled before the video site is loaded.

How it works:

Switch on the automatic search with the red slider. Open your video site in the browser and play a video. It takes a few seconds and then the search results appear under the appropriate tab:

Click the download button with the desired format and then enter a file name. The download starts.
There are videos where video and audio are downloaded separately. The two files will then be automatically merged into one file after download.
If you download a format containing the text "Video only" or "Audio only", then the target file will contain only audio or only video.

Download videos as MP3

There are only a few websites where you can download MP3 files directly, e.g. https://www.soundtaxi.com . When playing an MP3 file, automatic search will recognize it and display a yellow download button. MP3 files are much smaller than video files. So make sure the "Only find video files smaller than xxx KB" setting isn't too large. 200 KB should be a good value for MP3 files. It is also possible that MP3 files are not displayed directly due to their size, but that there is only the note "Show 4 additional formats". Click on it to view all.

The other option is to download a music video, for example from YouTube, and convert it to MP3. Instead of selecting a format, please click the yellow "convert to MP3" button. If possible, only the audio stream is downloaded and converted to MP3.

How to download playlists from YouTube

Play a YouTube video that is part of a playlist in your browser. Open Manual Search in Video Downloader Ultimate and click "URL from browser". The address is transferred to the address field. Now click "Scan site".

If Video Downloader Ultimate detects a playlist, you will find it in the results list.

  • Click one of the green buttons to download all the videos in the playlist in the specified resolution. The download takes some time. Each video in the list will now be automatically scanned and then downloaded.
  • Or click View Playlist to view content and download individual videos:

    Click "Scan" of the video you want to download. It takes a few seconds and the available formats will be displayed.
    Now click one of the green or pink buttons to download the video.

How to download live streams

Live streaming is a streaming media offering (video or audio) delivered in real-time. You can find them on YouTube, Twitch or TV stations like ZDF.

There is no end time, so you must specify the download duration. For some videos it is possible to specify a time in the past when you want to start downloading. The download itself needs real time, because the downloader has to wait for new content.

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