Friday, June 13, 2014

Go Google Yourself

There are a lot of things I like about the Chrome browser, but I've been wondering why it doesn't allow me to use Realdownloader to download videos from YouTube.  Now I find that Google has disabled this, and any other extension not in their Chrome Web Store.  They won't allow me to re-enable it unless it's added to the Web Store, which requires the developer to apply and pay a fee (not a lot, but multiply it by the number of browser extensions out there...)

It is obvious from the postings on the Chrome forum that I am far from the only user annoyed by this policy.  If Google want to flag extensions as potentially dangerous to alert the user, that's fine.  But what gives them the right to decide what software the user can add to his system, and to irretrievably disable anything they don't like?  Oh well, back to Firefox.  Realdownloader works fine with that.


Anonymous said...

Any user knowledgeable enough to be installing extensions from random sites whose security is questionable can still easily do so. All you need do is download the extension locally, then install it. I did so less than 24 hours ago.

Better this than Firefox, with its appalling memory leaks and feature creep.

Private Beach said...

Point taken, but I wouldn't characterise Realdownloader as "from a random site whose security is questionable" - it's been around for years, and comes from the people \behind RealPlayer, which has been around even longer.

Anonymous said...

The folks at RealNetworks have a long history of untoward behavior (adware, spyware, illicit tracking of user behavior), which is precisely why RealPlayer died.

I wouldn't expect any better of them now they're desperate nobodies scrabbling to make a buck, given their behavior when they were the dominant name in streaming.

I do think Google should be making this slightly more transparent to override (I forgot that you also have to enable developer mode), but otherwise it's hardly the nightmare it's been made out to be.

IMHO, people are just overreacting because it seems like an Apple move, and they don't want Google to build the next walled garden.