User's Guide - Table of Contents

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Wild Willy

Aug 27, 2021, 6:25:00 AM8/27/21
to Video Download Helper Google Group
I don't work for VDH. I'm just another user, like everybody else. But I find myself
referring to past threads to answer questions fairly often. A proper user's guide does
not exist for VDH but you can have the next best thing by reading things people have
posted in this forum. This is a collection of threads that I consider educational. Over
time, I'm sure there's more items I'll add here. And others can feel free to do the
same. I hope this becomes a useful resource for newbies & old hands alike.

In some cases, the relevant information is not at the top of the thread. So when you
click through to one of these, don't just skim the first post. Read the discussion. You
may have to scroll down a few screens to get to the helpful parts.

This is an introduction to the basic process of using VDH to download a video. It uses a
YouTube clip for demonstration purposes, but the approach applies to pretty much all web

Since licensing is a question that regularly comes up here, this thread should explain
the philosophy behind the VDH license. It also touches on the philosophy behind this
forum. This thread contains a reference to another thread that explains how to deal with
a video you may have downloaded before you got a VDH license, so it has a watermark, &
what you can do about it.

Occasionally, a user has trouble purchasing a license. This advice might be applicable.
Might be. Not guaranteed. Just a possibility.

When you post a problem report here, this thread advises you how you should structure
your problem description:

This thread gives a more detailed example of how a large number of problems should be

Here's how you open the VDH Settings dialog:

If you do change any settings, be sure you click the Save button in the bottom right
corner of the dialog. Otherwise, VDH won't change its settings. I repeat . . .


Sometimes, you don't need to close all browser windows or even reboot your system.
Sometimes, all you need to do is reload the extension:

VDH comes with a couple of keyboard shortcuts. Occasionally, these shortcuts conflict
with shortcuts used by another application. This thread shows how you can deal with

It seems that more & more web sites are offering their content as separate video & audio
streams. We first enountered this in early 2020 when the Metropolitan Opera began
offering a free online opera stream every night to compensate for their being closed due
to COVID-19. They have now stopped offering the free streams because they are about to
reopen. But this thread is the main source for how to deal with a site that offers its
content as video without audio paired with audio without video. This thread documents
the history of how several VDH users (I was only one among the group) co-operated to
tease out the answers to the mysteries. This thread includes a detailed analysis of a
manifest. It contains detailed descriptions of how to use ffmpeg instead of VDH to
download these separate audio & video streams. We even dealt with the subtitles
(captions) for the operas. It's a long read but we put in long hours to gain our
hard-won knowledge. We felt a responsibility to share our knowledge. If you are
determined, you can gain the same knowledge with less trouble. Not less effort, just
less of the trial & error we went through. It's not easy, but nothing worth having is
easy. So I encourage you to read it & try to learn what is there to be learned. It has
turned out that many other sites use the same approach that the Metropolitan Opera did,
so what you learn in this thread will apply on other web sites.

These are some other threads that deal with issues of videos having pictures but no
sound, or sound but no pictures:

When you have managed to find & download separate video & audio files, it is not
necessary to do anything further with the files. VLC has a feature that allows you to
play the 2 separate files synchronously. Here's how:

But if you just really have to put the video & audio into a single file, VDH now offers a
tool to do that, as explained here:

Then there's this curious case. It may prove useful to somebody some day. I downloaded
something that played fine for a time, then suddenly the video track got twice as fast as
the audio track. This thread describes what I did to deal with it. The proper solution
would be to fix the file using a video editor. But my approach worked well enough &
didn't require that I install anything new on my system.

Wild Willy

Sep 17, 2021, 11:07:08 PM9/17/21
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Here is how you can find the various pieces of VDH for the various browsers & platforms:

Wild Willy

Sep 19, 2021, 1:20:28 PM9/19/21
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This is a short tutorial on how to post in a discussion on this forum.

Do not use the Reply to author button. The Reply to author button sends an E-mail to
just the person whose post you are replying to. Only that person gets to read what you
have to say. This defeats the purpose of this forum. You need to pretty much forget
about the Reply to author button & always use the Reply all button. The Reply all button
places your comments here in the discussion thread where everybody can read what you have
to say. I have posted here many times that I do not work for VDH. I am just another
user, like you & everybody else here. I will not respond via E-mail when the discussion
should be continuing here. You want your comments to appear here as posts so the maximum
number of fellow users as well as Jerome & sometimes even Michel can read them. I don't
have all the answers. But the totality of everybody participating here as a collective
certainly have more of the answers than I do alone. So don't be using the Reply to
author button. Always use the Reply all button.

The Reply to author button is for communicating purchase information in private to Jerome
when he asks for it. There may be unusual other circumstance that warrant using Reply to
author but they are just that, unusual, rare. You should pretty much forget about the
Reply to author button. Use the Reply all button.

Wild Willy

Sep 20, 2021, 10:26:50 PM9/20/21
to Video Download Helper Google Group
I don't use Apple equipment but this thread seems like a good candidate for inclusion
here. This explains how to deal with the minor annoyance that people regularly run into
trying to install the CoApp on Apple platforms:

Wild Willy

Nov 5, 2021, 3:24:24 AM11/5/21
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Here's a couple of topics that aren't particularly related to VDH but they do deal with
issues that posters in this forum can find useful.

This describes how you can E-mail your posts to this forum instead of logging on here &
using the web interface:

This describes something you should be doing as a habit every time you post a reply in
this forum:
Message has been deleted

Wild Willy

Nov 13, 2021, 3:49:54 PM11/13/21
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Here is a technique I discovered for safely terminating the recording of a livestream without losing it.  I'm not sure how long this approach will be necessary because Michel is in the process of making certain changes to VDH that I believe will make this unnecessary.  But for the time being, this appears to be the way to go when you want to tell VDH to stop recording a livestream:

Wild Willy

Nov 25, 2021, 6:32:05 AM11/25/21
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Sometimes you encounter something VDH cannot download.  You might try the technique described in this thread as an alternative:

This might also be useful when you encounter video without audio & audio without video.

Wild Willy

Dec 15, 2021, 6:11:50 PM12/15/21
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
If you have lost your license, you can find it by visiting this page:

Just follow the instructions there.
Message has been deleted

Wild Willy

Dec 17, 2021, 10:31:04 PM12/17/21
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Here's another discussion that is not really about VDH but rather about posting images in threads . . .  that are about VDH.

Message has been deleted
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Wild Willy

Dec 31, 2021, 7:32:22 AM12/31/21
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
When you install VDH at least 6 times, your license becomes locked & it needs to be revalidated.  Maybe your computer crashed & you had to reinstall.  Maybe you're just installing VDH on another computer you own.  This locking is a quick way VDH uses to try to prevent multiple users from sharing the same license key.  You can use the license yourself on as many computers as you own, but you should make your friends buy their own licenses.  You should not be installing your license key on any computers owned by your friends.  But under program control, VDH can't tell whether you are breaking the rules or following them.  So after 6 installations, you will see this on the first page of VDH Settings


When you see the revalidating message, you should just click the Recheck license button.  This is supposed to send an E-mail to the E-mail address under which you bought your license.  That E-mail looks like this:


For some reason, I actually got 2 identical E-mails like this.  But I'm not complaining.  At least I got them.  There was a time when this was not working for a lot of people, myself included.

In any case, it is possible you won't get this E-mail.  This happens if you change Internet providers, which means your old E-mail address no longer exists.  But that's what VDH knows so it sends the E-mail to the invalid address.  In such a case, you need to send an E-mail to Jérôme at jcvdh56 @  I have to show that with spaces around the @ so Google won't obscure the address.  Of course, when you E-mail Jérôme, you'll have to remove the 2 spaces.  Tell him the situation & he'll update your information in the VDH data base with your correct E-mail address.  I've had to do this myself, & there are lots of posts in this forum from other users who have done the same.

Another possibility is that the E-mail landed in your Spam folder.  This apparently is a frequent enough occurrence that it's worth mentioning.  Personally, I have a GMail filter that automatically moves things from my Spam folder to my Inbox.  It may be spam, it may not.  I want to decide for myself whether it is spam.  I don't want GMail making that decision for me.  Often as not, GMail is wrong & it's not actually spam.  For other E-mail clients, you need to do whatever is appropriate on that platform.

In any case, you should click the link in that E-mail you received from VDH.  That will land you on a web page that looks like this:


Then go back to your VDH Settings screen & click the Recheck license button again.  Things should go back to looking like this:


Wild Willy

Jan 4, 2022, 6:53:10 PMJan 4
to Video Download Helper Google Group
For situations in which VDH does not work, notably Hotmart & Udemy among a number of
others, a workable alternative I have only just stumbled upon might be Open Broadcaster
Software. OBS. Google it. I don't want to be shilling a competitor to VDH, but for
those cases in which VDH fails, OBS might suit your purpose well enough. I hit some
glitches with the software on Windows 7, which they say they no longer support. But it
works well enough for me, nonetheless. It's possible for me to deal with it because I
have 2 monitors but my understanding is that the problem I am having is not an issue in
Windows 10. There are also Linux & Mac versions, but I have no experience on those
platforms so I can't comment on them. I still think VDH is the preferable tool that I
will always want to use. But when VDH simply won't work, for example on DRM protected
content or those cases in which the web site does not give aggregation information so VDH
only shows an endlessly growing number of small variants, OBS can step in as an

Wild Willy

Jan 6, 2022, 3:38:23 PMJan 6
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Sometimes, VDH is unable to download content from web sites that are behind a paywall.  This is not simply because you have paid for a user ID & password on the site.  This is discussed over here:

In addition, that thread contains an explanation of how you can determine whether the item you are playing or trying to download has been protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM).

Wild Willy

Jan 14, 2022, 7:33:12 AMJan 14
to Video Download Helper Google Group
If you think you are having problems with the speed at which VDH is downloading things,
you need to read this thread:

It shows the kind of information you should report in order for anybody to scientifically
discuss whatever problem you believe you might be having.
Message has been deleted

Wild Willy

Jan 23, 2022, 12:45:04 PMJan 23
to Video Download Helper Google Group
There's a discussion of the slightly byzantine process you have to go through to install
the CoApp on Linux. It all depends on the version of glibc you have on your system. It
also contains some informative background information on Linux.

Information is usually informative, isn't it?

Wild Willy

Feb 4, 2022, 10:27:43 PMFeb 4
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
There's a discussion of setting VDH's default action over here:

Wild Willy

Feb 8, 2022, 2:43:52 PMFeb 8
to Video Download Helper Google Group
There is an extra step required when installing the CoApp on Linux in newer Ubuntu
releases. Check over here:

Apparently, (I'm not a Linux user) these are helpful search terms: sandbox, install
Firefox, Ubuntu 21.10, no such native application, Snap.

Wild Willy

Mar 22, 2022, 9:28:50 AMMar 22
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
One Linux user found this solution to a problem of the CoApp being not found, with this
error message:

Access to the specified native messaging host is forbidden.

His advice is over here:

Just be sure not to face southwest on a rainy day.

Wild Willy

Apr 10, 2022, 9:09:04 PMApr 10
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Here's another solution to a Linux install problem:

The search terms for this issue appear to be Linux, Ubuntu 21.10, Canonical, Snap.

Wild Willy

Apr 22, 2022, 10:47:14 PMApr 22
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Here's another discussion that could be helpful when installing the CoApp on Apple

Wild Willy

May 11, 2022, 6:35:49 AMMay 11
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Michel has provided a high-level overview of the architecture of the VDH browser extension & the CoApp over here:

This may be helpful during installation of the software in various environments, especially Linux & Apple.
Message has been deleted

Wild Willy

Jul 4, 2022, 3:28:53 PMJul 4
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
There's a post upthread here dated November 5, 2021:

That post contains 2 links.  The first one describes how to E-mail a post to a thread
instead of logging on here & using the Google Groups web interface:

The other link in that post describes how you should be trimming the stealth quotes that
the Google Groups web interface is doing most likely without your knowledge:

In another thread, a couple of users were getting their posts apparently censored by
Google.  The VDH folks don't censor posts.  The Google bots sometimes decide something
should be censored.  But the content of the posts is perfectly innocuous & relevant to
the discussion.  This is something I have encountered myself on occasion.  I have found
that a post that refused to appear in the thread when I used the Google Groups web
interface posted fine when I E-mailed it to the thread.  The users in that other thread
discovered the same thing.

But I suspect there is a second problem.  I suspect that when you try to add a post that
consists of maybe 3 lines of your comment & 75 lines of quoted text, the Google bots
think it's spam.  Personally, I think such a post is rude.  You should be eliminating all
quoted text from your posts.  The quoted text is just a duplication of what is already
upthread from your post.  Anybody can read it without you including a duplicate of it in
your post.  You need to learn to delete the quoted text from your posts.  This includes
people using GMail, either the web interface to GMail or the cell phone GMail app.  In
both cases, learn how to delete the quoted text from your post before you send it.  There
is more detail on this in the link I have cited above.

It seems like nobody here but me actually knows about this.  Nearly every post in this
forum has a little button with ... in it at the bottom of the post.  Have you ever
clicked that ... button?  Try it.  You'll see what I'm talking about.

The only acceptable instance of text quoting in a post is something like this:

> a comment quoted from a previous post

your direct response to that particular comment

> another comment quoted from a previous post

your direct response to that particular comment

> another comment quoted from a previous post

your direct response to that particular comment

If you are not engaging in that type of dialog, you must delete all quoted material from
your posts.  I believe if you delete the quoted material, your posts that are apparently
being censored will start appearing.

Wild Willy

Jul 20, 2022, 3:14:16 PMJul 20
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Here's a thread that describes a tortuous process that one user went through to successfully install VDH & the CoApp on a Red Hat Linux system.  Perhaps there is something in there that would help another Linux user:

Wild Willy

Aug 13, 2022, 11:24:45 AMAug 13
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
Here's a step by step guide to how to enter your VDH license into your browser:

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