Jdownloader: automates downloads from Rapidshare, Megaupload and other file hosting services

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Jdownloader is free software designed to download files from Rapidshare, MegaUpload and other one-click file hosting services (as well as many video sharing sites) in an automated manner without user intervention.

It will automatically decrypt “encrypted” download links, manage wait times, recognize enter CAPTCHAs, and attempt reconnections from dynamic IPs in order to circumvent wait times, when possible (this function depends on your router/internet setup).

Other options include pausing/resuming downloads, Firefox integration through Flashgot, vlipboard detection, automatic de-compressing/merging of downloaded files, and faster downloading for subscribers of the premium services of the hosting services. Jdownloader is Multiplatform (Windows/Linux/Mac).

There’s no escaping it: file hosting services like Rapidshare and Megaupload have become a permanent feature of the internet landscape. If you use the internet you will very likely be downloading files from them, and this program can make the process much simpler, easier and faster for you. If you download a lot of files from these services then this program is an absolute must-have. (Note that it will also download videos from many video sharing sites as well).

Here are SEVEN EIGHT really cool things about this program:

  1. Completely Automates downloading: Jdownloader works by managing hosting services compulsory “wait times” and circumvents CAPTCHAs (for more than 60 sites) by optical character recognition, without user intervention. This means that downloading, say, 4 files from Rapidshare can be done completely in the background, without requiring you to visit the download pages, wait for time counters to count down, enter Captchas, and spend 10 or 15 minutes doing this four times during the day.
  2. Re-connects to defeat compulsory wait times: which is to say it tries to change your IP address such that the file hosting service treats you as a new user every time, and does not force a wait time between downloads. This function is dependent on the kind of connection and router setup you have, and I personally did not test it. If you are curious a list of reconnection scripts (and more info) can be found on this page (scroll down).
  3. Supports a wide range of hosting services (and video sharing sites): in fact, way more than you every knew existed (“hundreds” by version 4). If you encounter something that is not a famous service like a Rapidshare or a Megaupload my guess is that Jdownloader will probably support it. A number of video sharing sites are also supported; to download, simply copy the URL of the video and look to see if Jdownloader has captured it. Note that although I could not find a list of supported services; if you go to settings tab / modules / Anticaptcha you will see a list of services which I assume also doubles as the supported sites list.
  4. Captures multiple links on a webpage: want to download several links listed on a webpage? Simply highlight and copy all of them into the clipboard, and Jdownloader will recognize and add them to its list. (Contrast this with pasting links into a text file and downloading manually one-by-one).
  5. The user interface: completely revamped in the new (0.7) version of this program, the “new” user interface is intuitive and straightforward and a very welcome change from previous versions, which was at times unnecessarily complicated.
  6. Firefox integration: through the Flashgot Firefox extension. Jdownloader will provide the option to install this extension during its own installation process.
  7. Scheduling downloads: a rather nifty option whereby you can tell the program to, say, start downloading at 2 am in the morning or something like that, when you know no one in your household is using internet bandwidth (as an example).
  8. Open architecture: you can add or remove functionality by downloading and installing plugins. Examples include the auto unRAR-ing of downloaded files, “watching” of folders, and other cool stuff.

Notes on installation/uninstallation: unzip and run the .exe to install. Run the same .exe again to launch the app. The installer offers to install a browser plugin called Kikin (some sort of search engine aggregator), but AFTER it installs it tells you its still in closed beta and won’t let you use it. My advice is do not allow Kikin installation (click ’cancel’ when the Kikin screen appears during install). To uninstall Jdownloader, simply delete the Jdownloader folder (see here).

The verdict: a truly impressive piece of software. I would highly recommend this for anyone who does anything more than the very occasional downloading from file hosting services. This program can really save you a lot of time (and energy) and at what it does it is most likely the best in its class.

Version Tested: 7.504

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux. Requires Java Runtime Environment.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 19.3 megs).