Video Capture from secure database?
August 21, 2009 12:06 AM   Subscribe

I would like to capture/download streaming videos and be able to burn them to DVD. The only problem: they are on secure-access educational databases that I can only get through my University's library website. The two databases are Theatre in Video and Films on Demand. Films on Demand has 3 players: Windows Media, Quicktime, and Flash, while Theatre in Video uses a Flash player. Any way to do this? No nefarious or profit-motivated reasons; it is just far more convenient for me to have either files on my computer or on a DVD to watch for my research.
posted by Saxon Kane to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are various Firefox plugins to help you do this. Download Helper is one.
posted by TheRaven at 12:28 AM on August 21, 2009

Snapz Pro is a screen-capture utility that will also record audio.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:41 AM on August 21, 2009

If it's streaming information, usually, you're SOL; the server is only sending (and you're storing) only a small part of the video.

If it was a progressive download, the video would be in the cache of the local computer. While there are various FF plugins - Streaming video (like HULU) only really responds to a 'brute force' solution. "Screen Capture" is that brute force.

If you're logging into a library machine, particularly, that it's older and you can't install software, you may be SOL. Even installing Screen capture software is a pain - you have to wait in real time for the video to be finished; it creates a large file; you have to then convert it to 'something else"
posted by filmgeek at 4:53 AM on August 21, 2009

Try asking the campus IT staff for copies of the files. They're generally more interested in the system than the data, and you just might be able to get source copies that have not yet been formatted for streaming. Also worth checking to see if the titles are available for checkout from the A/V catalog in the library.
posted by EnsignLunchmeat at 5:03 AM on August 21, 2009

If all else fails, don't forget you could always just shoot the screen with any DV/HD/video camera if you have one. This would happen realtime but it would give well enough sound/picture for research archive purposes.

Doesn't do much good if you want lots of stuff faster than realtime though.

Bonus points if you film the screen with a tiny lense in your glasses and hum the Mission Impossible theme quietly while entering the library.
posted by gmm at 9:15 AM on August 21, 2009

Try asking the campus IT staff for copies of the files.

2 notes:

1) Campus IT doesn't have anything to do with the files -- they exist far away in proprietary databases.

2) Seeing if the videos are held locally by the library (or can be ordered via Interlibrary Loan) is an excellent suggestion.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:36 PM on August 21, 2009

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