The only Internet Explorer 7 add-on you'll ever need
The free IE7Pro enhances the popular browser's security and customizability, and it makes downloading YouTube videos a one-click affair.
Dennis O'ReillyFormer CNET contributor
Dennis O'Reilly began writing about workplace technology as an editor for Ziff-Davis' Computer Select, back when CDs were new-fangled, and IBM's PC XT was wowing the crowds at Comdex. He spent more than seven years running PC World's award-winning Here's How section, beginning in 2000. O'Reilly has written about everything from web search to PC security to Microsoft Excel customizations. Along with designing, building, and managing several different web sites, Dennis created the Travel Reference Library, a database of travel guidebook reviews that was converted to the web in 1996 and operated through 2000.
The tech community's love affair with the Mozilla Firefox browser shows no signs of waning, but the fact is, most people still use Internet Explorer. If it's such a terrible browser, why does it remain so popular? Part of the reason may be that it's so tightly integrated with Windows: It takes an effort to download Firefox or another alternative browser, while the little blue "e" icon is omnipresent on the desktop, start menu, quick launch toolbar, and elsewhere in Windows.
Never in a million years would I try to talk you out of using IE, but I will do my best to convince IE users to download the free IE7Pro add-in (download) that adds a spell checker, ad blocker, and other useful features to Microsoft's preeminent browser.
IE7Pro benefits from a community of developers who write scripts for the program, similar to the folks who offer add-ins for Firefox. You'll find bunches of these scripts at IEscripts.org. The one I've been fiddling with lately adds a Download Video link to YouTube videos. Unfortunately, you have to convert the file to .flv to save it, and the MiniDM download manager in IE7Pro 2.0 doesn't give you that option. The workaround I found is to copy the video's URL, browse to YouTubeLoader.com, paste the URL into the link box, click Download, right-click the resulting link, choose Save Target As, rename the file in the Save As dialog box (be sure to give it the .flv extension), and click Save.
Before you can view the video on your local system, you have to install a player for .flv files. I use the free FLV Player from Martijn de Visser.
Tomorrow: Change your default save-as folder in Windows.