Thu Jul 2 19:41:10 PDT 2015

How to Save Any Video

Occasionally I find myself watching a video, like a Houses of Parliament committee meeting, that really ought to be not hosted by a government. So occasionally, I take it upon myself to try to figure out how to obtain a local copy of such video.

However, it seems to me that there may be a quite extensive army of software engineers generating ever more complicated javascript wrappings of their videos in an attempt to thwart ther efforts of the innocents among us who simply want a local copy of what is being distributed anyway.

But, there is always 'ngrep', which lets you examine your currently open connections and communications, and see which flash and other file streams you have open, and then if appropriate grab them in a convenient manner for subsequent viewing. Here is what you have to do to use ngrep, assuming your are using an Ubuntu like Linux environment.

First get a copy of ngrep into your environment.

sudo apt-get install ngrep

Then fire up ngrep, play the video you are interested in, in your browser, and then sort through the ngrep output for the file that you are looking for, in this case streams that are in the '.flv' format.

sudo ngrep -d any '.flv' port 80 | tee ngrep.out

Here the output is being copied to ngrep.out as well as to the screen - so that you can edit through that output and find the complete URL of the obscure sources of the .flv file, which you can then fire up 'wget' with to copy the file to your hard drive.

Once this is done, you can then make use of your own local copy of that video stream...and ifappropriate make that video which was formerly hosted by some terrible government web site, in some terrible Silverlight-like format, available on YouTube, as a general service to the taxpayer.

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Posted by ZFS | Permanent link | File under: bash
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