Videobox Tutorial

OVERVIEW

Videobox allows you to quickly and easily download Flash video from most all of the popular video sites on the Internet. Videobox can convert the video into the Quicktime format so it’s ready to view on your Mac, ipod, iphone or in iTunes. Videobox can also convert files to other popular video file formats – mpeg, mov, 3g2, mp4, wmv, flv, & avi.
You can also choose to automatically Import your downloaded videos to iTunes.

After you install Videobox and the Videobox Safari Extension, the extension will put a small TV set icon button onto your Safari toolbar.

When viewing a video in Safari just click the button and Videobox will add the video to the Videobox Downloads queue for processing using your default settings.

INSTALL

Installation is easy. After downloading Videobox just click on the videbox.dmg file in your downloads folder to launch the Videobox installer. On the Videobox installation screen drag the Videobox icon and drop it onto the Applications folder icon on the installation screen and you are done. On some systems the .dmg file might put a virtual disk on your desktop named Videobox. Click on the virtual disk to launch the Videobox installer. When done you can right click the virtual Videobox disk icon on your desktop and select “Eject” or just drag it to you Trash Bin to eject it.

SETUP

To set up the default Preferences for Videobox, launch Videobox and open the Videobox menu by clicking on “Videobox” in your Mac toolbar. Select “Preferences…” from the Videobox dropdown menu.

There are two screens available in Videobox Preferences, “Download” and “Default Output Settings”.

Preferences Download Screen

Here you set the location where the video will be saved after processing/conversion. To change the Default Download location just click the “Change…” button and select a new location.
You can set the “Maximum number of concurrent downloads:” (used when doing ‘batch’ conversions of all the files in your Downloads queue) to limit CPU usage.
You can have the video automatically removed from the queue after processing and you can have videos automatically imported into iTunes.
The “Revert to Factory Defaults” button is a master reset button for both the Download screen settings and the Default Output Settings. All settings on both screens will be reset.

Preferences Default Output Settings: Basic Screen

The basic Default Output Settings screen has a single set of preset options. Available preset Output options are:

  1. Download only (no conversion)
  2. iDVD – iMovie
  3. iPad
  4. iPod classic
  5. iPod Touch – iPhone
  6. Mac Viewing
  7. Nintendo Wii
  8. Playstation 3
  9. PSP
  10. Xbox 360

The initial settings for each of these options have been optimized for most users and should give satisfactory results for your intended use. You can customize them by clicking the “Show Settings” (recommended for experienced users only) to expand the Default Output Settings screen. Incompatible settings can cause video distortion or conversion failures. Any changes you make will remain in effect until you change them or you can go back to the original factory settings by using the “Revert to Factory Defaults” button on the “Download” screen.

Expanded Default Output Settings (for experienced users)

The most relevant options here are “Size” and the “Use Input File’s” checkboxes.
The size option allows you to convert videos to a different resolution. The presets provide the optimal video resolution for most platforms, but if you wish to change the resolution be aware that increasing the size will degrade the quality of the image and if proportions are not matched there will be distortion. If you select the “Use Input File’s” option Videobox will auto-detect the video size and maintain the correct proportion.

INTERFACE

The blue “Drop Zone” is used for the manual Drag N Drop capture method when not using the Safari Extension. It is also used for converting videos you already have. More details about Drag N Drop and other browsers below.

OPERATION
Captures are easy with the Videobox Safari Extension – when you want to capture the video you are viewing in Safari just click the Videobox TV set icon on your Safari toolbar. The video will be added to the Videobox Downloads queue. Videobox does not need to be opened before clicking the capture button. When you click the button it will launch Videobox and add the video to the queue. If Videobox is already opened, clicking the button will just add the video to the queue.

In the example above three videos have been added to the downloads queue. You can process all the videos in the download queue with a single click of the “Batch” buttons at the bottom of the Screen. “Convert All” will download and convert the all the videos in the queue to the Output format you have selected in Videobox Preferences. “Clear Completed” will remove processed videos from the queue, and “Clear All” will remove all videos from the queue.

But sometimes the “one size fits all” approach might not be best. Using the “Convert All” batch button might not get the best quality available for all the videos in the downloads queue depending on your Preference settings. This is specially true when downloading YouTube Videos. Let’s explain with an example.

Notice the information below each video in the example queue above. Along with the size and run time of the video, the available quality is displayed. The first video is available in 360p, the second video is available in 720p or 1080p, and the third video is available in 720p. Some sites provide with a different information (e.g. the video bitrate or the audio quality).

Videobox will always attempt to download the video in the highest possible resolution. This will provide the most conversion options. The conversion process can be a lengthy procedure. If file type conversion is not necessary you can get the best quality available by selecting the “Download only (no conversion)” preset. There is one exception though, for YouTube videos in Full HD 1080p. If 1080p is available you must use the “Output for: Mac Viewing: option AND you must set the “Size (px):” to 1920×1080. Full HD videos from YouTube requires a lengthy post-download conversion to merge the video and audio correctly.

You can process the videos in the downloads queue individually using the 3 mini-buttons just to the right of each video. The first button with the down arrow is for Downloading, the second button with the “X” will remove the video from the queue, and the third button with the search icon will let you know, after downloading, where the video can be found on your Mac.
When you use the individual download mini-button you can set all the video conversion options on a new Preference screen for the best possible quality and destination, for that video download/conversion.

Videobox MediaSearch

Videobox MediaSearch is a new feature of Videobox – The MediaSearch tool helps you find TV videos on the net.

 Here is how it works. You access Videobox MediaSearch through the Videobox menu.  When you click “Videobox MediaSearch” in the Videobox menu a small Videobox MediaSearch search screen will open on your Desktop and a new icon will appear on your Dock.  In the search screen simply type in the name of a TV series and hit “Go” .  MediaSearch will search the web and provide you with a list of sites that have the series and that are compatible with Videobox.  Click Select on one of the choices.  Then you can search for a particular episode, by name if you know it, or by episode number using the standard episode identifier: lower case s for Season – lower case e for Episode. For example – s01e01 – means Season 1 – Episode 1 Note: Season and Episode are each 2 digits – you must use zeros preceding the season and episode numbers if necessary. Finally, select a video and click the Download button.  The video will be added to the Videobox downloads queue.

Videobox With Password Protected Video Pages
Videobox now supports a new feature that allows you to download videos from pages that are password protected. For now, this feature is only implemented for Lynda.com, however we intend to add more sites in the future. To enter your lynda.com password, go to the “Videobox” menu and select “Password Manager”. You can input your user/pass there in order to download full courses from Lynda.com

Videobox With Other Browsers

If you are not using Safari you can still use Videobox using the Drag N Drop method. With a video playing just click and drag the little ‘favicon’ just to the left of the URL in your browser address bar and drop it onto the blue Drop Zone on the Videobox interface screen. If Videobox is not open you can drop the ‘favicon’ onto the Videobox icon on you r Dock to open Videobox and add the video to the queue. You can also get a “Bookmarklet’ for your Bookmarks toolbar that automates Drag N Drop and emulates the 1-click button for Safari. You can get the Bookmarklet at: http://www.tastyapps.com/videobox-help/#11

Converting Existing Videos

Videobox is not just for capturing videos from the Internet. If you have existing video files and want to change them to different formats Videobox can do this for you. Just drag and drop your video file onto the blue Drop Zone and the video will be added to the queue for processing, just like a downloaded video. If Videobox is not open just drop the file onto the Videobox icon on your Dock to open Videobox and the file will be added to the queue. All the same controls apply, you can ‘batch’ convert the files using the “Convert All” button or you can process the files individually using the mini-buttons.

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