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How to download from unsupported streaming websites

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Downloading video/audio streams from (unsupported) websites

JDownloader has a lot of plugins - many of which are for streaming websites.
These plugins are the reason why it is often easy to download from a particular website.
However, sometimes an "easy" download is not possible because a JD plugin for the website you want to download from:

  • does not exist
  • exists but is broken
  • provides livestreams only

This guide shows how to download a video/audio stream from a website if one of the above cases applies.
This will work for most of all websites.

  1. Install the browser addon Video DownloadHelper (Firefox/Chrome).
  2. Open your streaming content and click on play.
    The "DownloadHelper" Icon in the top right corner of your browser should become active.
    If there are multiple resolutions available you most likely want to choose the highest streaming quality/video-resolution that it is selectable in the overview.
    For some websites, you might need to look for items tagged as "DASH Streaming", "HLS-Streaming" or such containing a video resolution such as "1280x720".
    Do not get distracted by the sometimes very small file sizes listed there - the video you get in the end should have a more reasonable file size.

    As you can see, in some cases the same quality might get displayed multiple times which is not a big deal.
  3. Now pick your desired quality and click on the arrow to the right --> Copy URL
  4. Now add the copied URL to JDownloader and wait until it appears in the LinkGrabber.
    Please keep in mind that such URLs often only last for several minutes/hours so better start downloading them right away as they might expire if you e.g. collect a lot of them and want to download them the next day.
    Expired download-URLs will usually be displayed as offline ("File not found") in JD.
    In case you're using the addon itself instead of JD to download, it will sometimes save the downloaded files to the following location:

More about the "Video DownloadHelper" addon: Get started instructions, FAQ

Similar browser-addons:

Downloading livestreams

Downloading livestreams is only partially supported ny JDownloader.
You can add HLS livestream URLs to JD (URLs containing ".m3u8") but JDownloader will only download them until a certain point and not until the livestream ends (if it ever ends).
Downloading livestreams presents multiple challenges compared to downloading normal files:
- Filesize cannot be calculated in beforehand
- Livestreams cannot be resumed -> What to do when resuming a livestream?
- Livestreams may never end

At this moment it is recommended to use external tools such as the open source commandline tool FFmpeg and/or the above mentioned browser addons.

Related internal tickets:

I can't see the option "Copy URL" in VideoDownloadHelper - what to do now?

For some streaming types, the VideoDownloadHelper extension doesn't offer a way to copy the streaming URL.
In this case the only way to download such streams is via VideoDownloadHelper directly and without JDownloader.

I'm unable to download a certain video / it is getting displayed as offline in the LinkGrabber

In some cases, even the above described method may not work e.g. if the content you want to download:

  • is DRM protected (= digital copy protection)
  • is delivered via a streaming protocol which JD does not support
  • The content you want to download is only accessible via account and needs special headers to be downloaded (rare case)

If none of the above cases applies and you're still having trouble downloading particular content, contact our support and we will try to help.

JDownloader only downloads the video or audio or downloads both but separately - what can I do about this?

Seems like you've tried to download a HLS stream with split video/audio.
JD cannot yet auto-handle those (see related internal ticket).

Here are your options:
a. Download such streams completely without JDownloader: Use the above instructions but use the linked browser addon for downloading and do not pass the found streaming URLs to JDownloader.

b. In case both, video- and audio was downloaded by JD but separately and not as one file, you can merge both using a third party convert tool of your choice such as the open source tool FFmpeg.

c. Download the streams using other free open source software such as FFmpeg or yt-dlp.

Tags: VideoDownloadHelper, Video DownloadHelper, Streaming. Unsupported website, Video, Audio, Livestream

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