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I am trying to capture and download a Flash video from cooksillustrated.com site but all I get is a small swf 'shell/no video' file with Sothink Web Video downloader Firefox extension. NetVideoHunter is unable to capture it.

Is there a 'HollyGrail' web video capture utility which can get anything? It doesn't have to to be a Firefox extension. A desktop application is fine.

example: http://cooksillustrated.com/byissue/default.asp?docId=20628&selDate=151&currentVideo=y

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6 Answers

One option is to try the Live HTTP Headers Firefox addon. Open the plugin, load the page and start the video playing.

Somewhere there will be the request for the video file, usually with the extension .flv

It can help to save the headers to a text file, then open it in a text editor (so you can use it's text-search)

Another option is to let the video fully load, then prod around Firefox's cache directory for the file. "How To Save Flash Video From Firefox Cache Folder" explains this well:

  1. Wait for the flash video loading completely, i.e. able to play MTV to the end

  2. Open a new tab / window of Firefox and enter about:cache as an URL

  3. Take note of the Firefox cache folder path specified in Cache Directory: and browse to this folder with Windows Explorer

  4. Sort the cached files by file size and try to open the biggest file with Storm Codec-MPC or FlV Player. (The biggest file is likely to be the cached YouTube video)

OK. If you want to know what those files in the Firefox cache folder exactly are, here we go:

  1. While in the about:cache page, click the List Cache Entries link of the Disk cache device section

  2. Press CTRL + F to search for Key: (URL) with the get_video keyword and also with the biggest Data Size: (YouTube doesn’t cache the flash video in FLV extension. For other flash video hosting site, you may save time by trying to search for .FLV extension).

  3. Right-click the URL and select the Open Link In New Tab and refer to the File on Disk:

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The FlashGot and DownloadHelper Firefox extensions may be useful.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I found a product called Replay Media Catcher which works very well.

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It's actually Reply Video Catcher –  Tony_Henrich Aug 23 '09 at 17:02
    
dang.. it's Reply Media Catcher. –  Tony_Henrich Sep 2 '09 at 19:59
    
for the matter... it's Replay Media Catcher. –  bubu Jun 14 '11 at 13:52
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Check out this link:

http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic%5Fid=296503

one user apparently developed something that runs well in IE. I left you with that original link just in case you run into some troubleshooting issues.

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The Hulu Downloader works fine with this website, but unfortunately, it's not free ($39.95). But I find it's worth the cost because it has a nice user interface, basic video conversion features and works with many sites with video that cannot be captured with the standard Firefox add-in. It's available at http://www.getflv.net/hulu/.

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I personally use firebug for this purpose - there you can monitor network activity which flags all the files the system downloads and how long it takes, as soon as I see the video file, I grab the absolute URL and snag it with wget.

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You can't use that method for certain streaming protocols like rtmp which the video I mentioned uses. These protocols were developed for better protection. –  Tony_Henrich Aug 23 '09 at 17:06
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