When you download an app, whether it’s VLC player or iTunes you don’t get a direct link to where the file is actually stored. You will in most cases see a Download button that you click and the file is then fetched from it’s location so that it can be downloaded. In some cases if you visit your browser’s download manager you will be able to get a direct link to a file. If however you want to make this infinitely easier give FileChef a try. It’s a very simple web app that sends a search query to Google using search parameters to find the direct download link of a file.
Visit FileChef and type in what you want to search for. You can open the dropdown menu and specify the file type you’re looking for to refine the search results. Enter the name of the app (or whatever) you’re searching for and hit enter.
A new tab will open with the search sent to Google.com. The search query will look nothing like what it would had you entered it directly in Google yourself. It will be heavily modified with search parameters that Google supports. Your search results will direct you to FTP servers and other locations where the file you’re looking for resides.
This app is incredibly useful provided you use it ethically. It can be used unethically though to find and download copyrighted material. We were able to use it to find and download the first episode of the first season of Breaking Bad. The app itself isn’t doing anything wrong. It merely sends a search query to Google and that’s perfectly legal. It’s an entirely different story that some files that shouldn’t be available are showing up in Google Search.
It’s also worth mentioning that not all links point you to the official source for downloading the file so be careful where you download a file from and run a scan on it to be safe.
One super awesome use for this app is you can use it to download a Windows 7 ISO image (assuming you have a valid license) and do a fresh install if you’ve lost or broken your installation disk. Use it well.