Farkie is a free online tool that lets you extract and download multimedia content from websites and social networking services, including videos from YouTube and MP3 files from MySpace playlists. The web-based file downloader has been in public beta for about two months now, works without the need to register and is easy as pie.
All you need to do is copy-paste e.g. a public YouTube video URL, and Farkie will offer the video file to you in a variety of formats (MP3, AVI, WMV, WAV MOV or FLV). I converted the video of Susan Boyle’s performance in the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent and was able to download it in just a matter of minutes, albeit with a bit of quality loss. Firefox users can install an add-on that will dock a toolbar with which you can easily download videos by merely inserting the public URL and hitting a button.
Likewise, by entering the URL to a public MySpace profile into Farkie and clicking download, you can easily extract the playlist from the page and display all of the songs found in the list, ready for download in MP3 format. You can also use Farkie to download scripts, stylesheets and images from any website, or to scrape Flash games from the multitude of online gaming sites out there.
While this tool can come in handy quite a lot, I’m pretty sure some people – particularly at Google and MySpace – are not going to be happy with it. YouTube, for example, has in the past made it clear that it intends to crack down on services that allow for video downloads from the site – we should know -, especially now that it’s rolling out a video program of their own along with several of its partners.
Enjoy Farkie while it lasts. Or check out similar services like File2HD.com as an alternative.