How to download streaming video with the JW Player

Streaming video content from web sites via the JW Player is quick and easy. You don't have to spend any time waiting around for bulky files to download and can view the video you want without having to open any programs other than your web browser, presuming you have the right video plug-ins installed. Unfortunately, streaming video can take its toll on your Internet data allowance if you don't have an all-you-can-eat plan. If you're noticing your ISP is charging you for going over your allowance and are prone to watching the same online videos repeatedly, downloading your favourite filmed content could save you some money.

Download a video stream capture program such as the Video Downloader from Applian, the VSO Downloader or WM Capture. Some stream capture programs are paid-for, but the majority are available on a free-trial basis. You'll typically also need a media player to watch your recorded content back on such as Windows Media Player, RealPlayer or VLC Player. Basic versions of all these players are available for free.

Navigate to the steaming video you want to capture. If you're using a mobile device that doesn't support Flash or a web browser that uses HTML5 video, check your program's user guide to find out how to make alterations to its settings to allow you to record the content you want. Not all stream capture software will allow you to record HTML5 video.

Open your stream capture software and follow the instructions to record the content you want to download. Although the method for doing so will vary depending on the program you're using, you'll typically need to draw a frame around the content you want to capture before recording it.

Play the content you want to capture and let your screen downloader record it. Make sure you're using a decent Internet connection if you don't want your captured movie file to be spoiled by buffering. You should also turn off any audible alerts on the device you're using, as these could be picked up by your capture program, depending on the software you're using.

Check your software's user guide to find out how to name and save the content you download. Most video capture programs allow you the option to convert your video to the format of your choice. You'll then be able to play back your captured video on your media player as and when you want to, without eating into your data allowance.


Recording and distributing copyrighted material with stream capture programs could attract legal action from rights holders.

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About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.