How to Download Many Files From a Web Page at Once
|Published:||Apr 12, 2007|
|Software that can help||Good for||Cow Rating|
|Grab, download, share and organize Flash, Quicktime or any other video, pictures or files...|
Once in awhile one finds one's self presented with a lot of choices: Links to 100 MP3s of live performances by one's favorite band, or 250 high-res photos of kittens, or a pile of video files. You could go through each link, one by one, right-clicking and choosing Save As..., but you've got better things to do, and luckily there are free mass-downloading browser add-ons that will do the job for you.
If you use Firefox
Firefox users have available to them the excellent and free DownThemAll! add-on. Once you've installed DownThemAll, you'll have a few new options in Firefox. Under your Tools menu and your right-click context menu you'll get options that say "DownThemAll!..." and "dTaOneClick!" The first option opens the main DTA dialog:
This will show you a list of all the files and pages the current page links to. Here you can select which items you want to download and choose where the downloaded files are saved on your hard drive. Below, the filtering options let you choose certain kinds of files (e.g. videos or images), or something more specific like *.mp3 for all MP3 files. If you want to get really specific, you can check "Reg. Exp." to select files with a regular expression.
At the top of the dialog you can also choose "Pictures and Embedded" to instead see a list of all images, videos, or other files that are embedded in the current page. Once you've chosen the files you want to download, you can click on "Start!" to begin downloading them all or "Queue!" to just mark them for later downloading. Now you'll get the download screen:
This is pretty straightforward: It shows you all of the files that are currently being downloaded or in the queue. Here you can pause and resume downloads or change their order.
The other option I mentioned, "dTaOneClick!," is just a version of the above for impatient people. You can right-click on a link, choose "Start link with dTaOneClick!," and it will start downloading it without bothering you with options.
If you start poking around DownThemAll's preferences and using the context menus you'll see that it has lots of settings that you can tweak til your heart's content. But I've covered the basics, so start downloading!
If you use Internet Explorer
Quality add-ons aren't quite so plentiful for Internet Explorer as they are for Firefox, especially in the free department, but there are a few gems out there. For mass downloading I recommend PimpFish Basic. As the name implies, there is a more featureful PimpFish Full, but for our purposes the Basic version will suffice. PimpFish adds a toolbar to Internet Explorer and some simple options to your right-click context menu like "Grab movies on this page" and "Grab pictures on this page."
Unlike DownThemAll, PimpFish starts downloading all of the matching files automatically, without letting you pick-and-choose. If that behavior annoys you, you should uncheck "Automatically start downloading after grabbing" on the General tab of PimpFish's options. PimpFish doesn't show progress bars or download multiple files simultaneously, but it gets the job done, and I like its simple interface.
One thing I dislike about PimpFish Basic is that it doesn't let you choose your download folder--it will always save files to "PimpFish Basic Grabbed Files" in your My Documents. But that's the price I pay for using the free version.
Blogger since 1999, Jordan Running went pro in 2005 and never looked back. Sometimes programmer, occasional photographer, and serial tinkerer, he decided to to switch to Linux in 2001 but just hasn't quite gotten around to it yet.
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