TubeMaster Plus: download any media file from (almost) any site

TubeMaster Plus is a free tool that can download streaming video and audio files from almost any media sharing site, including sites with anti-leeching protection. TubeMaster Plus also can convert downloaded videos to several formats, offers a video search function across multiple video sources, and offers a downloadble audio mp3 search function.

[Review Updated July 4th 2009] Check out the new version of this app, TubeMaster++; forget about reading the rest of this review.

This program is a tool for downloading videos/music/streaming media from video and music sharing sites. I have learned a lot more about this program since first publishing this review two weeks or so ago, hence this updated review. Note that my original review of version 1.3.1.4 which as of this writing has been updated to 1.3.1.5.

This program combines streaming media downloads, FFMpeg for video conversion, an IE based internal browser, and a some sort of internet searching resource for finding (and downloading) audio files on the internet and videos across multiple video sharing sites. This program has multiple pros and cons, which I will list as follows:


PROS:

  1. TubeMaster Plus list_bDownloads media from sites that have anti-leeching technology: I tested TubeMaster Plus with Last.FM, Pandora, and Imeem and it worked beautifully! Note: this functionality is provided courtesy of the Orbit Downloader component of TubeMaster Plus.
  2. Downloads various media formats: video and audio in multiple formats (see image to the right).
  3. Does not install itself as a plugin inside your browser: instead uses it’s own internal multi-tabbed embedded browser.
  4. Music search: can search the internet and find downloadable tracks. It works very well and I highly recommend it.
  5. Downloads YouTube vidoes in “HD” mode: when browsing YouTube, TubeMaster Plus will ask whether you want to download the higher-resolution MP4 video file versions of your desired video if these are available. (Not only are these higher in resolution but they can be uploaded to Ipods easily without conversion).
  6. Global video search: looking for a video? Try using TubeMaster Plus’s media search, which offers a “Global Video Search” that can search up to 100 video sharing sites simultaneously.

CONS:

  1. Claims to be portable but isn’t: installs 2 drivers into your system folder and 2 registry entries without warning and without an “uninstall” option. To remove these I have created a .BAT file which when run will remove all of these. Download it here. Note: make sure that TubeMaster is not being run when you run this. If you would like to know which files/registry entries are being deleted simply open the .bat file in a text editor. Works on XP, Vista only, assumes C: is you system partition).
  2. Restricts adult sites: the developer has restricted this program such that free version will not download media from “adult” sites. How does it know that a site is adult? My guess is that it simply has or downloads a list of these sites that it refuses to download from. If you want to get around this try other media downloading programs such as Moyea FLV downloader, Orbit Downloader, xVideoService Thief, or VDownloader.
  3. Media conversion is not what it could be: although it uses the powerful FFMpeg as its conversion engine, it doesn’t offer the user much control in terms of the conversion quality and settings, and I personally would probably forgo it in favor of other, more powerful converters myself. (Converts from FLV to AVI (320×240 or 640×480), MP3, MP4 (Ipod/PSP), MPEG, WMV, and from AVI to FLV.)

More notes on this program as follows:

  • Note on downloading: when downloading a file on a web page you will need to keep that page “open” (i.e. not browse away from it) until the file has downloaded in it’s entirety; otherwise you will probably see a broken download.

The verdict: overall a good tool that has a lot to commend it, but installing the “Orbit Downloader” instead may be a better idea. Still. TubeMaster has a lot to recommend it; the main draw for me is the ability to download protected media files without needing to install the program as a plugin into my browser (as for example is the case with Orbit). I also think the MP3 search function is terrific. Moreover, if you are like me (in that 90% of all videos that I download come from YouTube) you will love downloading YouTube videos in HD mode.

Version(s) Tested: 1.3.1.4 and 1.3.1.5

Compatibility: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista .

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 4.6 megs).


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • Dimension-X

    Thanks. This program looks good but I got a bluescreen STOP error on my XP machine twice immediately after running this app. The error was NO_MORE_IRP_STACK_LOCATIONS. Does anyone else get a bluescreen using this? I feel this program needs further attention until this bug is ironed out.

  • Czadd

    Thank you for researching these apps. I can’t count how many of your reviewed apps I use on a daily basis.

    so now I have a stupid question. I can never find links to the applications you post. I always have to just google them. Is this intentional or am I just blind?

  • Peti

    Czadd,

    The link to download the program is always directly under the post, right under the “Compatibility” section in tiny font, in gray.

    Great find Samer!

  • Czadd

    OK. So 10 seconds after I made the post asking about the links I found it. I’ve just been blind all this time.

    As for the app, it works great for me. Thanks!

  • http://lemelon.com LeMelon

    Great find. I think this is my first comment on this site but I’ve been a long time reader.
    Thanks!

    P.S. I’ve always wondered why the external link is so small.. Is there any particular reason?

  • KJ

    Yeah, I couldn’t find the link when I first visited this site. Then one day I found it… “Ohhh” Doh!

    I really think you should make it more clearly visible to your readers.

  • meh

    Does it work for video.msn.com? I haven’t found one that works for that yet.

  • Samer

    @ LeMelo, KJ
    I put the external/download links there initially when I started this blog two years ago because I wanted to make the text prominent and de-emphasize the download link in order to get people to read the content, and it kind of just stayed that way.

    @ Meh
    Works with video.msn.com just fine.

  • gjbnh

    Program errors under Vista Home with a Data Execution Error on it’s startup. Product is french, website is in french. Not recommended if you need help.

  • Vend

    Hey Samer,

    Would you have any idea how to install Flash into the TubeMaster browser? Not sure if anyone had this issue too.. (and Flash works fine in my Firefox and IE.)

  • pedro

    You know, Samer, lots of people have complained about this over the years, i mean, sure the review is more important than the download, but the reviews are so good that it *begs* to download. Couldn’t you at least make it black, instead of gray, and perhaps slightly larger? It’s uncanny!

  • Transcontinental

    Hey! a genius is often shy, that’s why he only whispers links to software pages :)
    Seriously, yet another Freewaregenius most interesting software review (I just love the way softwares are reviewed here, objectively with pros and cons). If you want my advice : keep on the good work !
    Hum… TubeMaster ? Downloaded, not yet installed, but at least after this review I know where I’ll be standing.

  • Bert

    I get this with every YouTube video but only in Tubemaster, making it impossible to download a video, any ideas?

    “Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe’s Flash Player”

    I’ve installed Java, and checked the script is turned on, also installed Flash Player.

  • Transcontinental

    @Bert, maybe do you have 2 different versions of Java and/or Adobe Flash… you can check your settings here :
    http://secunia.com/software_inspector/

  • denis

    Tried it, and it gave me some serious problem – at least I think TubeMaster was responsible for those crashes.

    The MP3 search function is actually to good to be true – does anyone know how it is done? Is it some kind of P2P?

    I’m asking because, here in germany, the risk of getting caught when downloading via P2P is very high!

  • Transcontinental

    I’ve tried and removed TubeMaster. This software is problematic.

    1- No installer, but when you run it for the first time, it downloads and installs — without notifying (only my system security told me) 2 drivers : pssdk31.drv and pssdklfb.drv. Removing TubeMaster (its folder since no installer) does of course not remove these 2 drivers ; I had to disable them first, clean registry, then remove their files, very nasty.

    2- TubeMaster sometimes may call another module to download specific files, this module is called orbit.exe, and orbit.exe is nothing but a P2P builder. Problem is, it builds very badly, sticks in memory, and even got me disconnected from the web : pure craps.

    Consequently, I advise to avoid this junk.

  • Samer

    @Transcontinental,
    Thanks for sharing what you’ve found.
    I think I am going to have to re-write my entire review above in light of this info, which I will do in the next 24 hours.

    A few things:

    1- Orbit.exe is actually the aforementioned Orbit Downloader. What the developer of TubeMaster did was essentially create a software that incorporates a browser, orbit downloader, and ffmpeg into a single program. It is NOT a P2P aggregator. I noticed yesterday (before your comment) that Orbit.exe sticks in memory even after Tubemaster is shut down, which seemed completely unnecessary.

    2- Given that I know that Orbit does indeed install a driver or drivers what you saw was probably … TubeMaster installing the Orbit downloader drivers. I agree that doing so without notification and without an uninstall option is hugely problematic; I will look into compiling some simple instructions on how to get TubeMaster “uninstalled”.

    2- The music search is probably a simple google MP3 search not entirely different from what skreemr.com, mixturtle.com, or songza.com does except it gives you the option to download, which these sites do not. I am fairly certain there is not P2P action involved.

  • Transcontinental

    OK, Samer, thanks for acknowledging. Orbit.exe is not a P2P aggregator, perhaps on this point did I extrapolate indeed, which is not a good thing.

    For the rest, I think we agree. Finally, I did have serious problems with these drivers — activated as I understand by orbit.exe — which got to break my connection as I mentioned above.

    I know that one’s experience is in no way evidence, but I am nearly convinced that orbit.exe & associated drivers are problematic, and not only in getting them removed.

    Life is testing!

  • Steve

    Had the same problem. My browser kept freezing on me. Don’t use this stuff.

  • http://www.thewindowsfix.com Tim@TheWindowsFix

    Excellent, hadn’t seen one of these in a while and was wondering which might be good for hitting up YouTube. I guess we’ve found our winner.

  • ravee

    Thanx for taking your time for these reviews.
    mp3 search is superb. But I am unable to capture media. It says login as admin. Even then it does not work

  • Robert Tipping

    This product has something very wrong in the mix crashed my computer so badly at first I thought it was a virus/Trojan.
    I would avoid it at all costs I repeat something very wrong.

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  • http://www.sitadella.com Murple

    Samer: The first few times that I visited your website I couldn’t find the links to the author’s websites nor the download links and remember being rather turned off by it. The reason people visit your website is because you find great applications, write complete reviews and entice people download these applications.

    To “de-emphasize” the download link doesn’t make much sense to me. Think of all those crappy software sites which try to obscure the original software developpers in order to make users download (Or sometimes purchase) the software from their specialized websites instead of linking to the developpers.

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  • Silver Fox

    My antivirus software now indicates that the program contains a virus (trojan):

    downmp3.exe [DETECTION] Is the TR/Agent.204288.2 Trojan
    Updater.exe [DETECTION] Is the TR/Agent.288768 Trojan

    Futher, it looks like at least one site has removed it due to this trojan.

    http://www.download3000.com/tubemaster-virus-report-20946.html

    I don’t want to be alarmist, but just want to pass this on and recommend others scan this program before use. It may be a false positive. I haven’t checked if it is (or isn’t) a false positive, and don’t plan to since I don’t use the program. Buyer beware.

  • Jon

    Tried to use program after reading it being recommended in PC Users guide. I beleve it is very problematic. As mentioned by others, there is no uninstal function. Be wary.

  • Lepus

    I just scanned TubeMaster with the following and no malware was reported.

    AVG free
    A-squared free
    PestPatrol
    SpyBot
    ClamWin
    SpywareTerminator (with Clamwin)

    Antivirus-programs are not realy reliable anymore, they list many harmless programs like keygens and such as viruses. Keygens might be bad and all but they are not trojans they are just illegal. Maybe its the same thing with TubeMaster since it can download stuff you are not alowed to download.

    • Samer

      @Lepus,
      The latest version of TubeMaster has a clean bill of health. The author has taken steps to remove most of the code that has resulted in false positives in past versions (and has contacted me to let me know this). Scanning with VirusTotal, I only get a couple of positives on some marginal malware detection apps (two out of 34 or so, if I remember correctly). I am using TubeMaster and can attest that its malware free.

      The new version also removes the restriction on adult sites, and is TRULY PORTABLE. It no longer relies on code from Orbit Downloader, does not install drivers or write to the registry. (And yes it still can download media from anti-leech sites).

  • http://adam.web.id adam

    is it really good one ??

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  • Rob

    Vdownloader’s international home page is now http://www.vdownloader.com. This should prolly b updated?

  • niyan

    seems to have been replaced by tubemaster++; an open source java version using winpcap on windows. PsSdk does not come with this new version. the installer of the new one bundles some search toolbar for internetexplorer+firefox+chrome (opera is probably next) so pay attention to the installer.

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