How to get a flash app from a webpage?
January 23, 2009 6:06 PM   Subscribe

How can I save a flash program from the internet?

Alright so I'm taking a Chinese class and it has a really cool flash card program for learning words thats linked to the chapters. I just want to download it so I can use it offline from my computer. I've scourded the net but all I ever find is how to save movies and audio flash files. Mine needs to be interactive because you click on what chapter you want. I tried using safari to make it a dashboard widget (which is how I get started thinking about this problem incidentally) and it didn't go through right on dashboard. If anyone out theres knows an easy way to do this let me know.
The link's here
Just click on "Vocabulary Flash-cards" to see what I'm talking about.

P.S. I use a Mac and safari
posted by sumobob to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Paste in:

I don't use a Mac, but something like File->Save As. Or paste it into a download manager.
posted by demagogue at 6:11 PM on January 23, 2009

1) View the HTML source. Note where they store the SWF.
2) Create a very simple HTML page with a link to the correct URL to the SWF
3) Launch your page in a browser, then right click to save the SWF.

Or -- just right click here for your your example SWF.
posted by maudlin at 6:13 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

This one can't be completely downloaded for offline use without a lot more research. It downloads MP3s and JPEGs on the fly for the various flashcards--with Firebug's Net panel running, opening various flashcards you can see it downloading content.
posted by tgmayfield at 6:16 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

thanks, I didn't think it was just a simple matter of finding the swf.
is there any way to convert that into a dashboard widget?
posted by sumobob at 6:16 PM on January 23, 2009

I just found out what tgmayfield has found: that SWF pulls in elements from other locations, so all you're getting in the downloaded SWF is a shell with lots of content missing. You might ask your prof or Pearson if there's any way you can get your own full copy, since you own the text.
posted by maudlin at 6:25 PM on January 23, 2009

is there anyway to download all that separate content so I can have it completely offline?
posted by sumobob at 6:25 PM on January 23, 2009

Yes and no. You might be able to de-compile it and use some string processing to grab URLs for all the elements it downloads, but then you're moving into an even grayer region for propriety. Assuming you went that far, you'd need to download the SWF, then replicate the directory structure.

What do you define as a desktop widget? Is a bookmark straight to not sufficient?
posted by tgmayfield at 6:30 PM on January 23, 2009

Install firefox and firebug.

Browse to the page with the flash embedded on it. Start firebug (vlick the brown beetle icon around the borrom right of the firefox status bat, near the resize handle of the window) and on the 'console' section of the panel that appears, enable the 'Net' checkbox. This will monitor all the communication the embedded movie performs. Click the 'apply' button to confirm it.
Go to the 'net' tab in the firebug panel. Watch as you browse around the flash movie. If it reads in extra resources from the net, they will be added here. If you need to, you can context-clic them and copy their address to the clipboard, which you can then paste into another tab and save. If you do require a number of different files, you will need to preserve the same directory structure - don't just dump them all in the same folder, as this will not nescessarily work. Examine the URL and if there is, for example, an 'assets' folder the extra files are coming from, create it in the same folder as your main movie and store the extra files in there if their url mentions this as part of the path.

This may not work; if the developers embedded absolute (rather than relative) paths to their assets, the embedded movies will always either expect a web-hosted environment, or refer to the original online files, but the chances are this isn't the case, as it reduces wiggle room for the developers.

Good luck with your unauthorized and non-sanctioned use of other people's assets!
posted by davemee at 1:46 AM on January 25, 2009

This is most certainly more trouble than it's worth, but here's a shot at it. You will need to use Firefox with the FlashGot extension installed. This will involve downloading 5324 images to your hard drive, so proceed with caution and patience, don't be surprised if it doesn't work, and don't be surprised if your browser and/or computer crashes when trying this.

The SWF file links to an XML file which in turn contains links to all the image files. First, right-click these links and save flashcardsquiz.swf and questions.xml to the same folder on your hard drive. Create a new folder in the same location named "images".

Open Firefox and click Tools - FlashGot - Build Gallery. Paste this into the Preview box:[001-022]_t[001-121]_trad.jpg

This will cause FlashGot to generate a web page containing half of the images used in the Flash app (the "traditional" characters). The gallery will contain a lot of broken image links, but that's okay. Wait for the page to finish loading, then right-click anywhere and choose FlashGot - FlashGot All from the context menu. Type in the location of the "images" folder you created on your hard drive, and click OK. Wait for FlashGot to download about 2662 image files. Some of these image files will be empty (FlashGot is downloading all possible filenames and some of them don't exist). I closed Firefox after it had downloaded the first 1000, which took about 10 minutes. Your computer will not appreciate you trying this.

If you've gotten this far, repeat, pasting this into the FlashGot - Build Gallery - Preview box:[001-022]_t[001-121]_simp.jpg

Once you've created all 5324 image files (only 2602 of these are actually working images), open the flashcardsquiz.swf file you save on your computer, and voila! Flash player flash card flashiness. It does actually work. The audio links don't work as I haven't figured out where the audio files are stored, but there's no reason you couldn't download all of those using FlashGot the same way.

As davemee pointed out, this is probably not something whoever created the Flash app would appreciate you doing, but yes, it's possible.
posted by oulipian at 10:24 AM on January 25, 2009

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