Developing a project of one’s own: Manga Downloader


If my college had allowed us to submit application-based projects, this is something that I’d have submitted, no matter how wacky it is.
But since it’s not happening, this is my own personal crusade – developing a Manga Downloader for manga/manhwa/manhua lovers living in slow-internet-network areas like me.

Here’s a few facts about Mangas online:
1. Manga pages are basically individual images scanned from magazines (aka raws) and then translated by dedicated fans. (Hence, Scanned + Translated = Scanslated).
2. Which is, well, illegal. But unavoidable and in fact necessary for fans living outside Japan/China/(N&S)Korea and do not understand the native language.
3. These scanslated mangas can be accessed in two ways:

  • Individual pages (images) hosted by free manga-hosting sites such as Mangafox.com, Mangahere.com, etc
  • Compressed in bundles of chapters or volumes from Manga-sharing sites such as MangaTraders, and from public torrent trackers like Bakabt.

Torrents are the friendly neighbourhood saviours for internet speed victims like me. But bakabt doesn’t share many titles. And that’s when you’re in trouble.

  1. MangaTraders has almost all the files you need, but it does not allow Download Helpers. And since the compressed zip/rar files are huge, there is a chance that your network might get cut off, and then you have to start the download all over again.
  2. In those cases, reading online seems like a better choice. But if your internet speed is already slow, then the pages take a very long time to load. Especially because of the multiple advertisements littering the page.
    • In this case, it is a MUCH better idea to right-click on the manga image and choose to view image in new tab.
    • And then increment the page serial number in the address bar to view the next page. Since it’s just the manga image deviod of unnecessary elements, it is much faster to load.

My Manga Downloader project is based on the above logic. I’ve observed that the Manga-hosting sites more often than not name the uploaded images according to their page numbers (e.g. 001.jpg, 002.jpg etc.) , so applying a simple parsing logic to get the page number, and then incrementing it by one to get the next page, I can download the Manga chapter wise.

I’ve already developed to this point, and will be working on the following problems:

  1. Till now I’ve been getting the URL to the first image by opening the image in a new tab. Will try to make it more user-friendly.
  2. Will add customised folder-facilities for individual chapters and volumes.
  3. Add a compressing facility for those who would wish to save these files permanently.
  4. Oh yes, and fix the unattractive interface. (it IS a prototype right now, after all)

I hope to add these features ASAP, and then make it available free for download online very soon!

There’s however, an unavoidable disadvantage. For those who are accustomed to very high quality scans, the images downloaded by this program is definitely of lower quality since Manga-hosting sites reduce image quality to decrease size and increase loading speed…

More updates, later.

3 thoughts on “Developing a project of one’s own: Manga Downloader

  1. […] « Developing a project of one’s own: Manga Downloader […]

  2. […] If you want to know more about how this project came to being, check this out: Developing a project of one’s own: Manga Downloader […]

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