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Some websites have Flash content that plays music or videos. Most of the time they don't show you the URL of these music or videos, but for example, you can sniff a YouTube webpage and find the flv file that YouTube is actually requesting and playing.

Right now I'm using Orbit Downloader, which has a feature called Grab++ that does just this; you start it, and then you refresh the page, and it shows you all files of certain types (image, audio, video) that the webpage requests, and then you can select one or more and download and it downloads them. But, I don't like Orbit, it installs plugins and has the whole download manager thing which I don't really want.

What is a good alternative program? I'm not looking for websites like kickyoutube.com, I want a URL sniffer I guess. HTTPGuideDog used to be my Firefox add-on that did exactly this, but it hasn't been updated even to FF3 (and yes I know I can hack it to load anyway, I'm looking for something natively available preferably).

I vaguely know of WireShark but last time I used it, I believe it captures individual packets, which is a little too fine-tuned for me. I just want to be able to see what's happening, and download something that the webpage downloaded.

Oh, and I'm using Windows 7. Linux probably has some fancy command-line tool, but it just won't cut it for me. :-\

Edit: Oh, and something free please. Feel free to mention paid solutions though.

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Though it's not my intention to download illegal music, that does seem to give some good Google results... Can anyone verify freemusiczilla.com (i.e. that it actually doesn't have spyware or viruses as they say?) - it might do what I need. –  Ricket Jul 29 '09 at 22:27

7 Answers 7

up vote 3 down vote accepted

http://www.downloadhelper.net/ a very good firefox addon

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I like! Firefox add-on is a big plus, I installed it and it works for all media. It automatically adds any content 1mb+ and you just open a drop-down and click a file, and it downloads. Works for me, thanks! –  Ricket Jul 29 '09 at 22:47
    
Just to check in, since someone else added another answer just yesterday... I am still using this extension and it's still working well. –  Ricket Jan 26 '10 at 13:49

You can try out Tamper Data, an extension for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/966

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Well, it shows the URLs but some URLs don't give valid files to wget (or other downloading technique) and somehow Grab++ gets around that, possibly by using the same referer or something. –  Ricket Jul 29 '09 at 22:25

My method is to use Firebug and turn on the Net panel, which shows you everything that the browser and all plugins are downloading.

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hmm, that seems to work, but just as with Tamper Data, I wish it had a download button that would handle any secret referer requirements. :( –  Ricket Jul 29 '09 at 22:29

If this is downloaded in a normal way via HTTP Fiddler can help.

However, I've seen some Flash video players which fetched the data in individual 64 KiB chunks which would be quite unwieldy to download separately.

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Replay Media Catcher is a commercial product for Windows that can record flash videos from the web, or provide the URL to the original content that is being streamed. The demo version doesn't really work well for recording, but it does provide the URL (right click a stream and select the copy URL menu item).

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Due to my work, I am using packet sniffing software, wireshark is great tool.We are using commercial license of capsa, I have tried it, I can see the exact urls of those sources on the website you have visited.

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A combo has has pretty much always worked for me is URLSnooper + rtmpdump.

URL Snooper is donation-ware, and portable. Doesn't require a browser. Uses WinPCap for packet capturing. It will capture HTTP and RTMP URLs. For RTMP, you can use the open-source package rtmpdump.

For example, to download the Silicon Valley PBS documentary for offline viewing during a flight:

  1. Launch URL Snooper
  2. In a browser, open http://video.pbs.org/video/2332168287/
  3. The rtmp:// URL you care about will be at the top.
  4. At the command prompt, run rtmpdump -o documentary.mp4 -r rtmp://sdwfchwqitj2v.cloudfront.net/cfx/st/mp4:cove2.0/american-experience/575b4a47-b763-44b1-9490-e11104c29127/hd-mezzanine-16x9/SILC0000_mezz16x9-mp4-800k-16x9.mp4

By the way, the documentary gives an excellent perspective on the history of the Valley, and I recommend buying the DVD.

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