Extracting a video from Flash site
April 9, 2006 12:37 AM   Subscribe

I licensed my short film to the CBC program "Zed" and it showed recently. They also put the video, along with a nice little host intro, up on their site. I'd love to have a copy of this and would like to download it, but the video is deeply embedded in flash and I can't figure out how to download a copy or find it in my cache. Any ideas? The video is here. Thanks for any help! (I have OS X running Firefox.)
posted by debris to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
I'm confused - you licensed your short film, yet you want to download a crappy embedded flash copy? Don't you have the original?

Anyway, you might want to try Download Embedded for Firefox. I have no idea if it'll work on a mac, however.
posted by nitsuj at 1:21 AM on April 9, 2006

Best answer: The URL of the actual FLV file is rtmp://flash.zed.cbc.ca/zed_flvplayer/mainStream/users/s/speedracer/files/204Act_of_Faith_and_link.flv.
"rtmp:" is a proprietary protocol used by Flash. In theory it should also work as "http:" but I tried that and got no response, perhaps because it requires the User-Agent of the flash player. The next step would be to snif the connection with something like ethereal and see what User-Agent it wants.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:23 AM on April 9, 2006

Response by poster: I do have the original. What I'm wanting to get is the little host intro the CBC created, plus the film itself - all in one little video file. Sorry I didn't make that clear up front. I'll try download embedded (appears to work for Firefox).
posted by debris at 2:50 AM on April 9, 2006

I found that download embedded failed to work once I upgraded to Firefox 1.5. If you're having the same problem try using Firefox 1.0.
posted by XSteveMurphy at 8:10 AM on April 9, 2006

Assuming that you're able to get ahold of the .flv file somehow this seems like a pretty good FLV player.

if all else fails, you can use Ambrosia Software's SnapzPro X 2 to do a screen capture of the movie. The version that's able to record movies is $69.00, however. The bonus for using SnapzPro is that you could save the movie in a format that's more convenient for you like .mov or .avi or whatever.
posted by ssmith at 8:10 AM on April 9, 2006

Best answer: Have you tried asking the CBC if they would provide you with a copy of it?
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:34 AM on April 9, 2006

What SteveInMaine said. Call the CBC and ask them. I can't imagine they'd have a problem with it.
posted by dobbs at 8:47 AM on April 9, 2006

Gotcha, debris. I couldn't imagine why you'd want that crappy copy! But it makes sense now.

On another note, I just tried the extension I reccomended, and it wouldn't pull it. :(
posted by nitsuj at 8:54 AM on April 9, 2006

I easily capture flash movies and files using Ambrosia's Snapz software. It's like a screenshot, only it captures all the motion on your screen until you tell it to stop.

(It's great for putting together tutorials too).
posted by visual mechanic at 10:08 AM on April 9, 2006

Response by poster: I tried a demo version of Snapz - but I can't get the movie function to work. Probably have to pay the $69 to get that functionality. But of course, as SteveInMaine and Dobbs point out, the simplest solution is the one Occam and his razor suggested - go straight to the CBC. :) I will contact them Monday.

Interestingly, I tried for many hours last night to extract the rtmp stream as Rhomboid pointed out. Then I came across a few comments on some tech message boards - **there is currently no way to extract an RTMP stream**. All tools that suck video streams from Flash currently don't support RTMP.

In fact, one site describes RTMP this way:
"This is referred to as RTMP Streaming (Real Time Messaging Protocol). When content is streamed off of the Web server, it is not saved to the viewer's computer hard drive. This means that less memory and hard drive space is required to play the content (MP3s, FLVs, and so forth), and because the content is not saved to the viewer's computer, it is considered to be fairly secure as well (meaning that it would be difficult for average computer users to take the content that they just watched and use it for their own purposes)."

So rather than hit my head against a wall, I'll contact CBC. Thanks all!
posted by debris at 3:37 PM on April 9, 2006

btw - Congrats!
posted by raedyn at 8:22 PM on April 9, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks raedyn!
posted by debris at 11:17 PM on April 9, 2006

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