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I have some internet radio stations which I can listen to inside a browser; but to play them in media players like VLC I need the URL of the actual audio stream. How can I get my browser (chrome or firefox) to tell me what that URL is?

I can't find the URL because it is not encoded on the webpage, but rather calculated by external javascript. I suppose I could snarf down that java script, and try to decypher it, but that sounds very painful, when my browser knows the answer all along.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Use something like Firebug to monitor the connections the browser makes, and capture the URL there.

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I had an idea that Firebug might be come to the rescue here, but I am a complete nOOb with it. Can you help me with how to "monitor the connections"? – Adrian Ratnapala Jan 17 '12 at 5:14
Switch to the "Net" tab, then read. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 17 '12 at 5:15

You can use Wireshark to capture traffic on your network card, and filter for any requests to URLs.

Use the following in the filter bar:


This will show only HTTP requests, one of which will be the stream being accessed.

It is possible that some streams will use the RTMP protocol for the stream, so you may want to look for this using the following filter:

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Ok, I am installing wireshark as I type, but it seems over the top. The browser knows the answer, it should just tell me. – Adrian Ratnapala Jan 17 '12 at 5:18
Yes, but some (often it seems these days) online streams use flash, so the browser won't necessarily have visibility. Try the firebug approach first... – Paul Jan 17 '12 at 5:32

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