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Update/Warning: This extension doesn’t work with Epiphany-Webkit. I’m sill trying to figure out the way to write a new extension for the new Epiphany. More information will follow soon.

If you are having problems downloading videos with video downloader, this is likely bug 583616 biting you. Whenever the preference dialog of epiphany is opened the download path is reset to ‚/‘. As a result you get instant download completed without the video being anywhere. To temporary fix this reset the download path in the preferences (if you need instructions: Look in the middle of the third paragraph of this blog post).

I’ll use this opportunity to point out two hidden feature. If you middle click on the video icon, it will open the video in a new tab. With the totem-plugin installed (and it recognises that it can play it) it might play the video right there. Otherwise you will get the well-known dialog box asking for a "save-as" or "open". Thanks to Josselin Mouette for this patch.

It is possible to play the videos in totem instead of downloading (this was requested in bug 567801). However I don’t have any UI (not even gconf) to switch it on, yet. So you’ll have to change DEFAULT_OPEN = OPEN_WITH_DOWNLOAD to DEFAULT_OPEN = OPEN_WITH_TOTEM in Tell me what you think about it. I’m thinking about making it the default as the first bug cripples the automatically downloading the video. On the other hand it takes a bit for totem to start playing and after all it is called “video downloader”.


So here is the first upgrade to the epiphany-video-download extension. See previous post for an introduction into the extension. There are mainly two improvements.

Feedback via Notifications

First of all this extension now gives feedback when the downloading starts and ends. As this uses python-notify (which should be installed on any reasonable gnome desktop) make sure it is installed. It would be nice if I could integrate the notifications into the epiphany download manager – ideally as a ghost download process – however I couldn’t find out how (mailing list archive and developer documentation gave no success). Any hints from epiphany developers are more than welcome.

Update: Now the extension uses clive to extract the video-url and filename via --emit-cvs and makes epiphany do the actual downloading. Thanks to Toni Gundogdu (aka legatvs) for pointing me to this feature and porting this feature to clive 2.x. Well, I really can’t thank him enough as without clive this extension simply wouldn’t exist. It is just glue between epiphany and clive.

Support for more video hosting sites

In addition we now support different video hosting sites, as long as you visit the video hosting site directly. Meaning we only search threw the address bar and not the html-code for known urls. In principle we could also search and download embeded videos from Google Video, Metacafe and Guba. However as embedding from them is not that common this isn’t a high priority. Other video hosting sites (that are supported by clive) don’t seem to offer this function or at least it doesn’t seem possible to extract the original page the video is on (needed for clive) from the embeded video url.

Please report if you find pages from the (clive supported) hosting sites that this extension reports having an embeded video even though it doesn’t or vise versa. Just copy the url into a terminal and run clive <url> to see if it contains a video or not. The video hosting sites have some pages with and some without embeded videos. I mainly guessed the url structure from a few examples without being able to see the full picture.


When you download a video from clive always calls it “Dailymotion.on2” so make sure to delete or rename previously downloaded videos from that site (clive refuses to overwrite files that already exist) unless your download will fail.

Update: Proxy

The GNOME http Proxy Settings (saved via Gconf) are now passed to clive. Previously clive’s own settings were not overwritten so if you didn’t configure a proxy, the value from the environment variable http_proxy was used.

Feedback from you

So now please download or upgrade the extension. As always bugs reports, feature suggestions and comments are very welcome. More so now as this is a very young project.

Update/Warning: This extension doesn’t work with Epiphany-Webkit. I’m sill trying to figure out the way to write a new extension for the new Epiphany. More information will follow soon.

Videos and web pages are mostly hosted on video hosting sites. Most of them are on youtube. Sadly as they are in flash and flash is evil, non-free and not even platform independent I can’t watch them from my browser. This isn’t a problem as programs like clive can download them for me (which I can then watch with totem).

However most often pages now embed the video directly, not displaying the hosting URL to me. Taking wget and grep it is not difficult to find it nevertheless, however this is inconvenient. Well, actually it was already inconvenient to copy the url to the terminal for clive.


Screenshot of epiphany with the video download extension on

So here is a small Epiphany extension (more here) derived from the Creative Commons license viewer-extension. It displays a small icon on the status bar if the page embeds (currently also if it contains a links to) a youtube video (more sites should follow). If you click on the icon it downloads the video via clive. Even if you have flash this might be useful to you if you want to watch the video offline or in fullscreen-mode.

Limitations are that it currently only works with the gecko backend and if a page has more then one video it downloads all (if you hover the icon it will show how many videos are present). Oh and epiphany does not know anything about the downloading (e. g. download manager).

So if I got you interested please download it (that is actually a bzr git repository) and tell me what you think.

Update: clive currently has two different branches. This extension was developed for the 1.x branch which should be available from your favorite distribution. I didn’t test the 2.x branch yet, however the extension doesn’t require the dropped features, so it might work (if you tested it please post a comment). By the way really feel free to post comments (especially if you are having problems or had problems, it is unlikely that I didn’t forget to explain something). If you are interested in newly added features, here is a Follow-up post.

Troubleshooting: When you click on the video-icon the video(s) should be downloaded into the download folder (as set in epiphany). If that doesn’t happen, than you most likely haven’t installed clive. If the icon doesn’t even show up, then the problem is in the extension itself (most likely a bug).

Bugreports: I screwed up the downloading process for, I think about a week on my computer, which I uploaded 3 days later. So a broken version was available for 4 days. Sorry, for the inconvenience.

Paradoxically, during this time I got more visits (the number of visits is to low for this to be anywhere close to statistically significant, but still). However nobody complained. This is very sad. You can post comments here anonymously without any hassle of registering and I now added my e-mail address to the about-page. If there is anything else I can do to make communication more pleasant, let me know: I know your time is precious.

Warning: There is a bug in epiphany which is giving major problems in this extension. Please read howto temporary fix it.

Warning: Ubuntu’s clive is currently broken (see #418891). Install the jaunty-bleed version to fix (discussed here and here).