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.
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.
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.
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.
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