Can I download Flash Videos from the internet
June 29, 2006 11:09 PM   Subscribe

How do I download videos on the web that are embedded inside Flash Players. For example, I want to download this video : http://news.com.com/1606-2_3-6089260.html?part=rss&tag=6089260&subj=news I check in the IE cache and there's no swf or flv file ? Please let me if it is possible ? Thank you.
posted by labnol to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could give keepvid.com a shot. Not sure if it works with your URL but I use it all the time for YouTube and Google Video.
posted by chef_boyardee at 11:21 PM on June 29, 2006


Try File-Save Page As, and save the complete page to disk. Look in the (pagename)files directory that is created and it should be there, unless they use java to keep you from doing just that.
posted by IronLizard at 12:28 AM on June 30, 2006


I don't think you can get it through normal methods. I got the src and found no embeds or objects.

I found a js reference for a vidFile="..." as a parameter to a js script employed by the site located elsewhere on the server...

http://news.com.com/html/bb/n/MMFlashAkamai.js

...so I downloaded the js script itself and opened it in notepad, found the reference to the video player..

http://news.com.com/av/n/NewsVideoAkamai.swf

...and the script call on the page the movie appears on calls for other parameters such as the vidFile ("6n0629checkout") as well as other stats like browser ID, IP address, and whatever a CID is ("6089260")

My best guess was that...

http://news.com.com/av/n/NewsVideoAkamai.swf?vidFile=6n0629checkout&ua=[[your_browser_id]]&ip=[[your_IP]]&cid=6089260

... (minus [[]]'s) should have downloaded it, but all I get is the player that is too small in filesize to contain the whole clip. I tried entering command-line parameters into the shortcut line, but the server is probably running on a different OS. I couldn't grab it.

Perhaps if someone knows how to edit SWF's, they can input specific parameters manually?
posted by vanoakenfold at 1:07 AM on June 30, 2006


vanoakenfold: Sending the variables as querystrings was a decent idea. Adding them as command parameters wasn't, you don't execute anything over HTTP like that. You could try playing with curl and send the variables as HTTP POST stuff.
posted by floam at 1:29 AM on June 30, 2006


You can reduce it down to just http://news.com.com/av/n/NewsVideoAkamai.swf?vidFile=6n0629checkout&cid=6089260. But that still doesn't get you an actual .flv file that you can save. I checked with Etherreal and the flash player doesn't do HTTP progressive downloading, it uses the proprietary RTMP and this makes it almost impossible to capture the stream. Sorry. I think you're just out of luck. You could try blocking RTMP in your firewall to force it to try to downgrade to HTTP, and then you might be able to find find a URL of the .flv that you could save, but that's more work tham I'm willing to do at the moment.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:49 AM on June 30, 2006


I don't know a lick of js or proper http whatnot, I just know basic html in notepad, and have some good experience save-downloading movie trailers from apple's site, some of which requires downloading placeholder files and extracting parameters similarly. I guess I was misemploying my win-based shortcut editing ;-P heh
posted by vanoakenfold at 2:32 AM on June 30, 2006


try flock with the video download extension
posted by Pasa la bola chetu at 2:38 AM on June 30, 2006


Try the Video Downloader Plugin for Firefox.
posted by fvox13 at 6:57 AM on June 30, 2006


How about Snagit? I believe that records anything on the screen. Not the same as saving the file in its native format, but you may not care about that.

Here are some others.

.
posted by kookoobirdz at 7:03 AM on June 30, 2006


Using etheral/wireshark I found that the flash file itself makes the request for the second video (after the ad). Using the same URL the flash file requested returns a CNet 'page unavailable' page.

Why not just do a screen capture of some sort? Windows media encoder will allow you to do so - and if you select your WAV out as the audio device while recording you'll get the synced audio as well.
posted by datacenter refugee at 7:41 AM on June 30, 2006


The issue is a built-in feature of Flash video that is designed to prevent exactly this kind of saving. When you use Flash video (the .flv), you essentially link the Flash movie (.swf) to the video, as Rhomboid mentioned. But using any of the normal techniques to grab the .swf won't get you the .flv needed to actually see the video - again, this is by design as part of the new Flash video format. So sorry, I don't think there's a way to do it, short of some sort of screen capture ap to basically record the movie as it plays.
posted by robhuddles at 8:03 AM on June 30, 2006


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