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What's the deal with Google video?
August 24, 2005 7:37 AM   Subscribe

What's the deal with the Google Video interface? More specifically, how can I grab frames from videos that aren't playable, like this funky site does?

I'm curious to know how Google's "ThumbnailServer" works. The url makes it look easy:

http://video.google.com/ThumbnailServer?
chan=KNTV
&year=2005
&month=5
&day=13
&hour=14
&minute=13
&second=0
&millisecond=0
&itag=qvga
&urlcreated=1124893747
&sigh=r3JnJpAEO_K_rVPg2pLmJ4kyEDU


Change parameters such as chan, year, month, day etc. to get different frames of video, right? Except when I do that, I get a "Bad Request" error. I've checked the docs but no mention of this. I didn't find anything in the Google Labs Discussion Group either. Is there a hacker in the house? ;-)
posted by tommyc to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
 
Perhaps the sigh variable is a checksum of the others?
posted by odinsdream at 8:15 AM on August 24, 2005


The 'sigh' is probably a hash of the other variables, potentially combined with something like an API key. The other Google services use the API key idea to limit and control who's using the API and to prevent abuse. I'd say you would be a lot better off just asking the author of the couch potato site rather than trying to figure out the hash.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:33 AM on August 24, 2005


Hmm...interesting...I had read of the pagerank checksum being cracked, but I presume this is something different, and if they've hashed it then they really don't want it to be broken?
posted by tommyc at 8:46 AM on August 24, 2005


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