Chrome and Spool

A couple months ago I made the switch from using Firefox to Chrome.  It's taken some getting used to, but overall I've found the two comparable, although Chrome's developer tools are ususally more intuitive for me, and I think they are more comprehensive as well.  I also love the Chrome store.  There are thousands of apps and plugins you can install with Chrome, and I actually plan on blogging a bit more about that soon.  In day-to-day use, one of the plugins I missed  from Firefox was Download Helper.  Download Helper is a tool which lets you save video content from a web page to your computer.  I used it a lot because some of the places I travel either don't have Internet access, you have to pay a bundle for it, or it is so slow it's simply not worth it.  How it works is that you download the video you want to watch, use the plugin to convert it to Quicktime for your iPhone, and then it's available even of the web is not. So I went to the Chrome store in search of a similar offering.

What I found was Spool.  Now it's not exactly the same thing as Download Helper - it's much better.  The spool plugin, once installed in Chrome, places a small icon on the top right side of the browser's toolbar.  When you navigate to the page your video is on, just click the Spool icon, and the magic begins.  Spool downloads your video to the cloud and then makes it available to all your mobile devices (if you have the Spool app, of course).  Before, with Download Helper, I had to convert the video, save it, and copy it to each device.  With spool it's always available, on any of my iOS or Android devices, and even if I'm not connected.  Shuh-weet!  Here's a screen grab of Chrome.  You can see the Spool icon in the upper-right corner, and a few of the videos I spooled.

Spool App - Chrome

Spool also has a social media feature (strange, I know), and it works for more than just video.  It also allows you to save text and images, much like Evernote's Web Clipper (which is another Chrome app I love, by the way).  I haven't explored the social media part of it, nor do I plan to.  I archived my Facebook account probably close to a year ago, and the only social media I partake in these days is pretty much Twitter, and a rare ping on Google+.  For me, Spool rocks because it delivers video on all my devices.  The only device they don't have an app for that I'd really like is my xbox.  I'm working on that though!

Spool does not currently have a public API, but they plan on launching one in coming months.  As soon as they make it available, I plan to build a ColdFusion interface for it.  Seems like it would be a great example of a CF10 project!

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