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SailsOnBlue 06-30-2009 08:55 PM

Are there reliable plugins to capture Flash and similar streaming web video?
I'm sure this has been asked before a dozen times..but I could not the info I needed.

What I want to do:
Capture and play back Web video, primarily embedded Flash but also whatever other formats are commonly embedded with the some quality as the stream (not a screen capture). There's typically not an option to right-click and save the file.
I would use Firefox, Chrome or IE7 - it would be good to have something that works with IE since there as still a few sites that require it.

Web chatter shows many programs and plugins to do this, often with comments that 'it doesn't work'. Those could be user error or an issue with the software.

admin 07-01-2009 05:52 AM

Yes, what you want can be done. I do it myself.

I want to preface this, however...
  • In years past, I had spent unreasonable amounts of time -- time I didn't have to spend or "waste" -- trying to download the various streaming formats, for whatever project or articles I may have been working on. In earlier days, these ranges from MOV to WMV to Real to early-era SWF Flash. I'd have to read HTML source code, try to download videos, etc. Sometimes you could hunt through hidden system temp folders or cache. IT WAS FOR THE BIRDS!!!!
  • As time went on, and FLV became the dominant format, sites as Youtube and Metacafe and whoever else could have videos downloaded from sites like and many others. How well these worked, and how many sites they worked with really ranged. Again, I'd have to sometimes spend time hunting down the right site to save from the right side. ALSO FOR THE BIRDS!!!
  • While software for this task had long existed, it was always wholly unreliable. With the addition of FLV, it seemed to have improved some, but was still usually unreliable. I tried, for example, the Orbit Downloader, a freeware tool. It's great that it's free and all, but it was just as unreliable as those download sites. I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR ALL THIS!!!
What I finally found to work, at least 99% of the time, was the Replay Media Catcher from Applian. It's more or less a no-name company, and it does cost $40, but that product is idiot-proof to operate, and it just works. I've been using it for more than two years now, and I no longer have to hassle with download abilities. I do check available tools out there, both sites and software, and everything is just as miserable in mid-2009 as it was 2007.
  • NOTE: Yes, the above link is an affiliate link, we do get a teeny tiny cut of the sale. But I suggest this product regardless of affiliation, and have for a long time now. Don't think I'm suggesting it based off a commission of a couple of bucks. It truly is an awesome time-saving tool that I could not do without.
All that it requires is that you start the software, then it asks if you'd like to start "recording". Yes, start recording. Then load your webpage with the embedded video, or reload it if you're already there. Replay Media Catcher starts to record it to your hard drive. You can change the folder it writes to in the options. By default, I think it goes to one of the My Documents folder (something I NEVER use, hate those folders).

Funny enough, RMC usually has the video download finished before the video is done downloading or playing in the browser.

The only time I've seen it fail is on those double-secret pay-per-view download sites, like MLB.TV or WWE. I'm not readily away of anything that is necessarily successful at downloading the for-pay content from some of those sports sites. RMC does work for the NHL site, if I'm not mistaken. It can be hit-or-miss. But for everything else, including both free-to-view and for-pay content, it's a real winner at grabbing the content you want to save.

SailsOnBlue 07-01-2009 05:41 PM

"I had spent unreasonable amounts of time ..."

Amen.. the hours wasted on computer fiddling... wish I could get those back!

Does RMC save in the original file format of whatever was being downloaded? It sounds like it's _not_ doing screen capture , which is good. $100 is a bit much for the few videos I would watch though, is there a "lite" version?

admin 07-01-2009 10:19 PM

I've gone back and edited my previous post, as the cost I quoted was incorrected. The Replay Media Catcher is only $39.95 for the base software -- $99 if you want the "Suite" edition. I don't have the suite, I use the base version.

Files are saved in the true format. For example, an FLV wrapped in SWF will be saved as an FLV. Youtube FLV would be saved as FLV, MP4 as MP4, etc.

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