Firebug basically a firefox addon that's used to develop and debug webpages. For web developers the value of this program is huge. and for someone interested in getting into developing for the web, it's an invaluable tool. Plus it's free.. I'm not gonna get into what it can do, let's just say that it's a little bit more detailed than the view source option that comes with Firefox. It's especially useful for someone who develops and codes webpages. From tweaking your CSS to inspecting html, to seeing how fast each element of a page downloads to seeing where the errors are on your page, it's a pretty powerful tool. So check that out, and play with it, remember, learning is fun.
Net Transport on the other hand is actually shareware, but they don't call me blackbeard for nothing. filestube.com yo! Yarrr.. But at the heart of it, it's a download manager. You plug a url into it, it downloads whatever that link is. I know there are probably other download managers out there, maybe some that you even use, but what i like about Net Transport is that it can do the url stripping for you and get to the actual media that you're trying to acquire. Say like an mp3 on some band's website that's hidden behind a flash wrapper. We all know how irritating those flash wrappers can be. Some of them even prevent you from right clicking on a page. That's what Firebug is for. Run firebug, inspect a webpage, find your file, plug that url into your download manager, et voila! A new reason to plug in your superexpensive headphones and listen to some tunes. winky_face.gif
That's the beauty of the internet. People try to cram so much stuff into it, music, video, text, and my philosophy has always been if it's on the net you can make a copy and if you can make a copy, you can carry it anywhere. There are powers that be that don't like library-ing. Building a library of media for personal consumption. But there in lies the rub, Information wants to be Free. and with the net there's really nothing you can do to stop that from happening. At the very least with the Firebug/Download Manager combo you could probably pick up a couple of NPR podcasts that you've always wanted to listen to and that's not a bad thing.
One more word of advice, i haven't looked into say hulu code or anything like that with firebug, so don't come round asking how to download your favorite shows off of hulu or the broadcaster's website. Cos i wouldn't know what to tell ya. and there are other sources for those kinds of things. but as with everything, try it out, if you don't like it move onto something else that tickles your fancy. all in all though, use this information at your own risk and be safe out there.