downloading video : Java Glossary


downloading video
aka video recording means keeping a local copy of a video you can view online on the Internet. Often you need to download a video, either to keep a copy in case the original is withdrawn, or to transcribe it. Sometimes all you have to do is click a download button. Usually those hosting the videos don’t want you to do that. They are worried you will pirate the video, put it on your own website and get the associated advertising revenue instead of them, or look at it yourself over and over without having to wade through the ads on the front. People hosting the videos go out of their way to make it difficult for you to keep a copy.

How To Download

Use the free trial versions to give various hacking tools a crack at downloading your video. They will have the best chance of success on the famous hosting sites such as YouTube. There is no guarantee they will work in any given situation. It is an escalating war game between hosters trying to stop you from downloading and the crackers attempting to defeat their defences. Most tools with only one with one or two formats of video stream. To confuse you, hosters often lie about the type of stream they are feeding, for example they will claim it is Flash when it is really Microsoft or claim it is Real Audio when it is really Quicktime. Browsers automatically see through the lie by paying attention to the MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) type the server sends.

Possible Video Formats

Video Links Legend
streaming or downloadable
Click corresponding icon to download player.
Apple QuickTime click to watch
BitTorrent click to watch
DailyMotion click to watch
DivX click to watch
DVD click to watch
Flash animations click to watch
Google click to watch
HTML5 click to watch
Microsoft Media Player click to watch
Microsoft Power Point click to watch
mpg click to watch
mp3 click to watch
mp4 click to watch
Real Player click to watch
Shockwave click to watch
VHS tape
Vimeo online video click to watch
YouTube click to watch
unknown click to watch
lyrics click to listen
transcript click to watch

Manual Cracking Steps

If none of the commercial cracking tools you try work, you can attempt some simple manual cracking on your own. It is not that difficult, but it is not something for a novice. This essay is by no means a fool-proof recipe, just some general hints on how to proceed. Your steps are:
  1. Find the true name of the actual video file you want to download.
  2. Convince the server you are an ordinary browser desiring to play the file online and download that file, usually in some special streaming protocol, not HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) or FTP (File Transfer Protocol) e.g. using NetTransport
  3. Convert that file into the format you prefer, e.g. MP3, e.g with GoldWave.
  4. Feed that local copy into a player for viewing, e.g. with VideoLAN.

Browser View Source

View source the web page where the video image appears. Look for URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) that end in .swf or other video extensions. Try playing them directly. Your might be able to download such a file you find with :
java com.mindprod.filetransfer.Download -jar filetransfer.jar whatever.swf
download is part of the FileTransfer package


Run Wireshark with capture filter tcp port 80 and display filter of http.request.method == GET. Then let it watch you start up the video in your browser. Once it has started playing, stop the Wireshark capture. This will give you a list of all the web pages and files your browser downloaded. Some of them will be the videos you want. Right click a candidate to see the details of the download request. Then use the download utility, part of the FileTransfer package to download them.

You may end up downloading a lot of frogs before you find your prince. Check the Mime entry to find the likely file name extensions for the sort of file you are looking for.

Russian Dolls

You may see .asf files being downloaded. These are Microsoft playlists. They contain XML (extensible Markup Language). Download them and look inside to find the URLs of the actual video files. They will contain URLs of the form mms:// Unfortunately, the server likely won’t let you download them with ordinary browser HTTP protocol. You will need some special program, such as, NetTransport, to speak the mms: protocol to the server to download instead of play. NetTransport can speak:

Loopback Audio Recording

loopback mini audio stero plug
loopback mini audio stero plug
Conceptually you could capture the audio-only from a video, by playing the video in your browser and tape recording what comes out the loudspeakers. Then you could play that back into the microphone to some sound capture software like GoldWave.

You could do that more elegantly with a patchcord that loops the output of your sound card back into the input port. Then you don’t need a tape recorder. You record live.

You can do that even more elegantly (and with less static) by electronically looping the internal digital output of your sound card back into the input using a software utility.

Adobe Flash test
Audacity: record any audio in Windows or Linux
CinemaForge Windows convert to other formats
FLV Recorder: to download Flash video
GoldWave: editor, converter, capture
iSquint: Mac Flash convert to other formats
JaviMoya VideoDownloader: Firefox extension
KeepVid: to download Flash video
Make your own audio loopback cable
NetTransport: aka NetXfer, Net Transport: streaming downloader
Tips on Downloading Flash Videos when there is no download button
VideoLAN: open source player for many video formats. download

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