EagleGet: a flawed but interesting new download manager
Downloading is such a fundamental part of the online experience that you might expect every browser to include a quality download manager by default. The standard offerings are usually a little more basic, though, so if you’d like some help in, say, downloading online videos more easily, then you’ll need to install a specialist download manager like the new EagleGet.
This kind of tool is notorious for trying to drown your PC in adware during installation, but EagleGet is much more straightforward, for the moment at least: it’ll install itself, and nothing else at all. This might be because the program is still in beta, of course, but at the moment it’s safe to try.
And the basics of the program seem easy to use, too. It installs addons for IE, Firefox and Chrome; intercepts regular download links, as you click them; and then claims its multithreaded approach can increase download speeds by up to 6 times. Any actual performance gains will be rather more variable, but it did work well enough in our tests, and of course can help you to resume a download if the connection has been broken for some reason.
You need to download a video? That’s straightforward, too. Just browse to it as normal (YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, all the main sites are supported), start playing, and hover your mouse cursor over the screen. Click the Download button when it appears, choose a file format and size if you’re offered a choice, and it’ll grab a copy for you.
If you’re at a web gallery, or some other page with several files you’d like to download, then right-click, select “Download all links with EagleGet” and the program will list them for you. Entering a keyword lets you filter just the links you need – MP3, say, or perhaps JPG – and then it can download them all with a click.
And the program provides other conveniences, including for example monitoring the clipboard, so if you copy a URL there then it’ll pop up and offer to download the file. (You can turn this off if it’s inconvenient, of course.)
EagleGet is also very new, and still in beta, so unsurprisingly it has its share of issues. And most are trivial, like the number of spelling mistakes throughout the interface, or the way it insists on displaying its tiny status toolbar all the time, even when the rest of the application has been minimised.
More substantially, though, the program doesn’t provide as much choice when downloading YouTube videos as we’d like. (Sometimes it’ll offer no choice at all, sometimes you’ll get a few file sizes, but it’ll never tell you which size relates to what resolution.)
And in one significant beta bug, we found we were no longer able to use WordPress in IE with the EagleGet addon installed; for some reason the browser no longer allowed us to complete multiline text boxes. The problem didn’t seem to affect other browsers, but that’s still totally unacceptable, and hopefully it’ll get fixed soon.
EagleGet currently has some problems, then, but already it’ll work very well for many users, and it looks like a very promising tool. If you’re unhappy with your current download manager then this is certainly one to watch.