I often find that there is audio or video content online that I would like to download to my computer or iPod, but there appears no easy way to do so. Media across the internet comes out in all kinds of formats and most don’t lend themselves too well to downloading, like Flash for instance.
Grappler is the latest wonderful application from The Little App Factory which says “If it plays, it probably saves,” and this seems to stand up pretty well. This review will delve into how Grappler makes it surprisingly simple to get media content from just about anywhere.
Grappler’s soul purpose is to quickly download music and video from just about any site and convert into an iTunes friendly format ready for syncing. The interface is simple yet effective and offers a few different methods to download content.
The large area at the top of the Grappler window displays search results or entire websites, under which is a search and navigation bar which sits above the clip tray.
The Grappler search bar has a couple of functions which I’ll explain below…
If you search a word or phrase in the search bar, Grappler will run up a huge list of videos complete with thumbnails in a second. And it’s not just showing what you’d find on YouTube. Grappler manages to discover related videos on all kinds of sites to ensure you get the best quality version or exactly what you’re looking for.
Clicking on a thumbnail plays the video inline without ever leaving the search results, and clicking ‘Download’ drops it into the Clip Tray and starts downloading.
There is also an ‘Auto/Audio-only’ switch which means that you can choose to download only the audio from a video.
If there’s video or audio you found on a specific site, you can paste the URL into the Grappler search bar, and the website will load up within Grappler. From here, all you have to do is navigate to the content in question, start it playing, and Grappler will automatically begin downloading. Works like magic.
This method works on all kinds of flash videos and music sites, including Grooveshark and even on videos embedded in Mac.AppStorm. Whilst it can’t download every video the internet has to offer (It was unable to download video from Apple’s site), it certainly comes close. Overall I’ve been incredibly impressed by its ability to pick up on media to download.
The Grappler Preferences have a couple of features worth mentioning. You can pick where you’d like your videos and music saved to—be it in iTunes or a folder. Most importantly there’s the optimization option, which allows you to choose between downloading in the highest video quality, or that optimized for iOS devices or for Xbox 360/PS3.
Grappler makes downloading media of almost any format off the internet an absolute joy. It’s not super quick, and it can’t handle every single video, but that would be an impossible task for the developers and I’d say they’ve done a fine job at making an application that works flawlessly almost all of the time, not to mention a stunning interface.
Grappler is available for $19.95, and can be trialled with 10 free downloads. For anyone who regularly – or wishes they could – download media off the net, I’d highly recommend checking out Grappler. Let us know how you choose to download content or your thoughts on Grappler in the comments!