Download Star, a Down Them All alternative for Firefox

Download Star is a relatively new browser extension for Mozilla Firefox which you may use to download multiple files on web pages in one operation.

DownThemAll is a long standing very popular download add-on for Firefox. The author of the extension announced some time ago that he would not port the extension to the new WebExtension format.

Mozilla plans to drop support for legacy add-ons in Firefox 57 which means that the add-on will stop functioning when that happens for the majority of Firefox users.

Download Star is a WebExtension, and that means that it is fully compatible with Firefox 57 and future versions of the browser.

Download Star

download star firefox

The extension is compatible with Firefox 48 or later, and will add an icon to Firefox's main toolbar when it is installed.

It requires one extra permission, and prompts users to accept this during installation. The extra permission it requires is "download files and read and modify the browser's download history".

The core functionality that Download Star offers replicates that of DownThemAll. Whenever you want to download files from the active website, click on the Download Star icon in Firefox's toolbar to initiate the process.



The extension lists all links on the page by default in list form.  The type of content, e.g. HTML page, image or video is listed there as well.

If you are interested only in images, you may switch to the image download list instead which filters out all content types but images.

You may use the filtering options and search filter at the top instead to filter the list of files. Download Star comes with six presets -- images, video audio, archives, excutables, documents -- that you can check to filter the listing.

Read also:  Cookie AutoDelete for Firefox (WebExtension)

You may filter multiple types, e.g. images and video, to get all image and video files linked on the page.

The search may also be used to filter results. You may enter names or file extensions for instance to filter by those, or use regular expressions after checking the regex box to search using more sophisticated rules.

The core difference between using filters and search, and switching between links and images, is that the former highlights files that are displayed, while the latter changes which files are displayed.

The remaining options let you select a different download directory for the selected files, to change the conflict solution from skipping to renaming or overwriting, and to clear the history.

Comparison to DownThemAll

Download Star supports the same core functionality, but it lacks some features that DownThemAll supports. There is no option to pause or resume downloads for instance, you cannot modify download parameters such as the number of simultaneous downloads or speed, and there is no option to rename files automatically.

Last but not least, there is also no option to have the download accelerated, to use multiple mirrors to speed up the downloading of files, or to download from all open tabs in Firefox and not just the active tab.

Closing Words

Download Star is a promising add-on that replicates the core functionality of DownThemAll. It is a well designed extension for Firefox that is probably the best replacement for the soon defunct extension.

Summary
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3 based on 9 votes
Software Name
Download Star
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Responses to Download Star, a Down Them All alternative for Firefox

  1. wolf September 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    "[...] no option to pause or resume downloads for instance, you cannot modify download parameters such as the number of simultaneous downloads or speed, and there is no option to rename files automatically.
    [...] no option to have the download accelerated, to use multiple mirrors to speed up the downloading of files [...]"

    For me, these were the core features of DownThemAll. So, not really an alternative. Maybe they are going to implement those things though?

    • dta September 4, 2017 at 8:53 pm #

      It's still new, still on experimental stage.
      But if those features can be implemented, I'll give 10 thumbs to the author because the DTA author said that DTA can't be implemented in WebExtension.

      • Jody Thornton September 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

        There you go. I think there more options in the new WebExtensions world than users and developers think..

        I am looking over Appster's list of things he's losing in deprecated legacy extensions. For example, one feature in Tab Mix Plus allows him to duplicate a set of tabs (and its entire back/forth history), so I'm not sure how else that can be accomplished. I guess there's a wee part of me that thinks that, "Well I don't need it, so who cares?" But that's not right. I can understand his frustration.

        Still there are things I would lose from Pale Moon as well, but overall, Firefox performance improvements outweigh it. Now I know Appster's answer to that is, "Then why not use Chrome"? But the answer to that is, I hate Chrome's UI, and I can make Firefox 57 look like I prefer it to - and reap the gains in speed.

    • Julian Alarcon September 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

      The multiple streams to download it's why is not possible to port DownThemAll to WebExtensions. BUT they know about this, and the developer of "Video DownloadHelper" addon (Michel Gutierrez) is helping to deploy the new Stream Download API.

      Look for (remove the spaces):
      github .com/mi-g/webext-stream-download-support-proposal
      bugzilla .mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1323414
      wiki .mozilla .org/WebExtensions/Filesystem#Streaming_downloads_into_the_downloads_directory

  2. Django September 4, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

    If the author stays motivated, this add-on will go beyond what it is right now and get closer to DownThemAll. The author talked about a bunch of features he could do.

    I would wait for Firefox 57 before installing it though, it is still in kind of a beta status at the moment, or so I hear.

    • wolf September 4, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

      Sounds good, thanks for the info!

    • Your Username September 5, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

      thats a fantasy and you know it, the webExtention API doesn't support half of the features needed by downThemAll, and to make matters worse, Mozilla is actively promoting people to "be creative" with the API instead of implementing support for things that developers need, sounds like some php-type nonsense to me.

      This addon, no matter how hard it tries, will never have the features that we have now with DownThemAll, and we're going to be forced into using a third party download manager again like its 2006 or some crap. if they had any decent developers left working on the mozilla codebase, we'd have a shim to try and make up for the lost features, but if your addon isn't in the top10 (and in some cases even if it is), you're pretty much being left in the cold with no support. we're going to lose a lot of cool features we take foregranted due to this nonsense.

  3. Yop September 4, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

    I've tested many download add-ons and they're all missing this handy option: "Set file time to last modified time (server) or time of queuing".

    • jupe September 4, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

      It's a standalone app not an extension, and I know its probably not convenient in all situations, but a tool I use for certain downloading tasks has the feature you mentioned, it's called INetGet, it's command line only though, the switch is --set-ftime

      http://muldersoft.com/docs/inetget_readme.html

      • Jerry September 9, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

        There are tons of other apps that can achieve this (wget, aria, Net Transport, Free Download Manager, to name a few). Basically it is a common feature of 3rd-party download managers. But regarding extensions, there is only DTA.

  4. JaySee September 4, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

    The reason I use DLTA is to download through multiple streams and resume, so this is not an alternative at all.

  5. neil September 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    MD5 checks is the most important thing for myself and seems to be the most missed feature in many download apps and browser extensions

  6. ramsam September 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    I use flashgot- best for downloading streaming videos also

    • AAA September 4, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

      FlashGet, not got. :-\

      I just right click, view the page elements and get the link for the video I want to download, cuz I don't want some download app/plugin to know what i downloaded. :)

      • Dr Faustus September 4, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

        At least FlashGot still gets updates and soon it will become a WebExtention unlike FlashGet which at this point is pretty much an abandonware (last update was in 2013)

  7. Robert September 4, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

    DownThemAll still works great with Waterfox. If the author (Alex Kontos) comes through with Waterfoxe's own repository as stated in a recent blog then maybe the author of DownThemAll will continue update the extension as needed through the
    Waterfox fork. Some of those features missing come in handy when I am staying at a hotel where the internet sucks. Such as when a download continually drops because of a poor connection, I can resume from where it dropped instead of starting all over again.

  8. Tom Hawack September 4, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

    'Download Star' may not be feature rich as DownThemAll but what it does it does it correctly. I needed something like that (as someone I knew would say when discovering a new dress or new shoes!). Adopted.

  9. archie September 4, 2017 at 10:58 pm #

    Not an extension per se but FDM (free download manager) has been around for eons with all the pause/resume/batch/mirrors and so on that an honest geek like yourselves require. It has been quite popular. Also came as a legacy extension for FF (and others), which did not hold up to DTA standards. The standalone app is very capable though and I would encourage everyone to have a copy handy. Careful with sources: lots of scams and fakes through the years. Do your research.

    I also keep a older version (before a major overhaul) which behaves quite differently.

    I still won't update Firefox until I'm happy with the extensions catalog, which might very well never happen, it seems.

    • Robert September 4, 2017 at 11:19 pm #

      IDM (Internet Download Manager) is what I use on the Windows version of Waterfox. It's updated regularly but the xpi extension must be installed manually. But in Linux Mint I found DownThemAll to be the best option and is nearly as good as IDM.

    • Darren September 5, 2017 at 9:11 am #

      Yes! FDM Light working in conjunction with Flashgot have been my favorites for a long time. I hope Flashgot gets some FF57 love but I don't know how likely or even possible that is. Last update was Dec 2016.

      • BuzzyBee September 5, 2017 at 10:06 am #

        "FlashGot will indeed become a WebExtension, but Giorgio is prioritising NoScript, since security is more time-critical. I'm not sure exactly how long it will take him to do both, but it will happen"

        https://forums.informaction.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=23209

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