youtube-dl and Video DownloadHelper


Online video streaming is a very common activity for the current availability of the Internet service. Downloading the video from the web service such as YouTube is one of the common activities among the Internet users.

There are two powerful tools I am using for downloading these videos: youtube-dl and Video DownloadHelper.

youtube-dl is a command-line utility which allows to download various formats of the video available on the webpage; Video DownloadHelper offers similar feature as youtube-dl, yet it is a Firefox addon. Both tools support various websites, not only YouTube alone.

In my opinion, youtube-dl though is a command-line utility, it is more powerful than Video DownloadHelper. Firstly, it can download video from YouTube by choosing different combination of video format and audio format, then it will merge the video and audio together as one file. This provides a freedom to decide our own video format. Secondly, youtube-dl is able to use “generic” method to download the video from a website, if the website is not supported. That means, if Video DownloadHelper cannot detect the streaming video, then we can try to use youtube-dl.

Evernote in Linux


Previously, I used Zotero to take note all my favourite quotes, academic studies, and some other information discovered when surfing net. Recently, when using Zotero in my academic writing, I found that it is messy due to those non-academic notes. This makes me feel that my Zotero is not purely academic. As a result, I want to purge my Zotero notes to make it purely academic for citation. In order to achieve this plan, I have to move my non-academic notes to somewhere which is similar to Zotero that allows synchronisation, taking note from the web (using web browser), automatically stating date and time, URL, and allows writing extra notes. At the end, I have no better choice but Evernote.

I have used Evernote previously. But due to the limit of the monthly upload bandwidth, I was reluctant to use it. That is why I choose Zotero over Evernote.

There are several possible solutions to solve my problem or fulfil my requirements: synchronisation, taking note from the web, date and time, URL, and writing notes. This can be done by combining any text editing or word processing software with Dropbox. Besides that I have tried Tomboy, a notetaking software. It can also use Dropbox for synchronisation. Furthermore, there is also Android version available. However, these methods cannot state the date and time automatically, or state the URL automatically, or take note from the webpage by selecting the text of interest. As a results, Evernote is more promising to my problem.

In order to run Evernote in Linux, there are several ways: Evernote Web, NixNote and NixNote 2, and Evernote using WINE or PlayOnLinux.

I have tried NixNote and NixNote 2, comparing to Evernote, there is the problem to change the password in NixNote, and synchronising in NixNote 2 is very slow. As a result, I have to use Evernote with WINE.

To make the installation easy and separate from my default WINE, I choose PlayOnLinux to run the Evernote. Running Evernote without installing any Windows component works fine, yet the text at the search bar is invisible and the CJK characters are not supported well due to the font problem.

To solve the text invisible problem, I installed riched20 from PlayOnLinux. In order to solve CJK problem, I imported the following to the regedit,

REGEDIT4
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\Fonts\Replacements]
"PMingLiu"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"SimSun"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"NSimSun"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"MS UI Gothic"="TakaoGothic"
"MS Gothic"="TakaoGothic"
"MS PGothic"="TakaoGothic"
"Arial"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"Courier New"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"MS Sans Serif"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"Tahoma"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"Times New Roman"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"AR PL New Kai"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"AR PL New Sung"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"AR PL UKai CN"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"
"AR PL UMing CN"="WenQuanYi Micro Hei"

The next problem is to work with Evernote using web browser. My primary web browser is Firefox. However, the Evernote Web Clipper addon is almost useless. Finally, I found the solution by using Evernote Web Clipper beta version.

Now, Evernote is my primary non-academic webpage note taking tool.