Open source downloading tool with a large community of developers attached to it
Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 2000 / Windows 98 SE
This is a download management tool that automates repetitive tasks associated with downloading long lists of files from one-click file hosting websites.
Written in Java as an open-source solution for downloading batches of files with the touch of a button, jdownloader provides tools for joining split files and extracting archives into set destination folders. The design of the program focuses on automation, configuring settings for file hosts so that a user can pause and resume transfers and even controlling the bandwidth for each download. Finer control is achieved when the program is set to access premium file host accounts, bringing added functionality that includes simultaneous downloads and greater bandwidth for speedy transfers of long sequences of hosted files. Actual file host services come and go (Rapidshare remains a popular example), though a paid account is required to receive the full benefits of the service. Regular internet updates ensure jdownloader is always supplied with a validated list of file hosts.
For a program that's promoted as simplifying file downloads from one-click file hosts it works well, but the many features can act as a confusing distraction for novice users, thus rendering claims of simplicity inaccurate. On the other hand, when the software is properly configured, has downloaded the latest list of working file hosts, and is properly set according to the user's knowledge level, then the process of capturing and managing downloads does become simple. The automation begins when a few mouse clicks select and copy a batch of download links. The software recognizes the links, identifying them as belonging to a file host and initiates the download module. Depending on whether a free or premium account is being used (it's relatively simple to add premium accounts), the first file will begin to download or a specified number of files will download in parallel.
The automation magic again comes into play at the end of the download stage, with the next module initializing to join split files and decompress them if they're part of a compressed archive. The same smart processing takes care of waiting times between downloads, cycling the download attempts until the file is ready. Every possible trick and scrap of download knowledge is used to accelerate what can be a time-consuming activity needing the user's constant input, including solving "Captcha" codes, the tedious random phrases that are generated by many file host sites. Normally these are manually entered to prove a person is actually human and not a spam robot, but jdownloader will take a crack at breaking the code.
Installs and runs on operating system that support Java
Developed as an open-source application
Free to use
Numerous extensions available
Constantly updated to maintain a current list of file hosts
Simultaneous downloads and connections possible
Resolves annoying "Captcha" security used by file hosts
Automatically joins split files and extracts archives
Automatically installs hard to remove adware
Steep learning curve
High memory usage
Occasionally freezes the computer