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How to capture Real Video oto my Hard Drive?

There is a Real Video stream I want to watch that is forever caught in the middle of buffering - is there a way I can download and view the file on my local HD?

Ram Dass
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

http://www.videoguys.com/ 

If it isn't there it probably isn't worth knowing... ;)

BigRoy
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I'm a little out of date on Real, but the legal answer is unless it's flagged as "Recordable" you can't.  By default it's not recordable and most people don't know the option is there.  Plus, you need Real Player Plus to record.

In reality, I have seen tools that will do it anyway, but they're on the shady side.

At least that was the answer 2 years ago when I was semi-proficient in streaming; I could be wrong.

Lee
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

You can save just about any other media file by dragging and dropping the icon in the Windows>Temporary Internet Files directory; but not Real files.  You get instead a shortcut of about 50 bytes that points to the original URL.

However, there is an app called Total Recorder (http://www.HighCriteria.com) that will record audio from any internet media stream as well as the usual external input sources.  Maybe someone will provide a similar app for video?

jdm
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

http://www.videoguys.com/ <-- without the strange character after it

www.marktaw.com
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

While not saying its "impossible", its certainly a very hard problem. Total Recorder (the audio capturer) has a much easier job, it simply has to intercept the audio stream going to the sound card. Thats completely clear and unambiguous.

Video, however, is much harder. Even if you could capture the data going to the video card (which I'm sure is extremely difficult), you have no idea which bytes correspond to the film image (unless its in full screen mode, perhaps).

Chris Welsh
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Wow. You guys are *amazing*. Classic "to change a light bulb, first you'll need some carbon thread and a way to melt sand and blow it into a bulb" type answers...

*If* the real stream is opened from a .ram link, then right-click, Save As.
Find the file - it will be, as someone else mentioned, about 50 bytes. Open it in notepad - you'll see a URL to a .rm file. Copy that URL.

Get a download manager (FlashGet works well for this). Tell it to "start a new job" (or the equivalent) and give it the URL you've copied.

It will then download the real file to your hard drive for your viewing pleasure.

NOTE that there are ways to keep this from working, most notably popups that prevent you from even getting at the .ram url.

In addition, note that this saves the file as real video. That solves the original question of "how can I save the file and watch it over and over" but does not address "how can I save the file in any format other than Real?" - then you're back to stream recorders and converters.

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Philo, I'm sure it's a little more complicated than that. I've tried to save .rm files before, and just having the URL doesn't necessarily work. IIRC, the Real players may use their own streaming protocol. Bit difficult to grab the file if your URL fetcher doesn't support the protocol. But I might be wrong.

Adrian Gilby
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I've got several realmedia files on my hard drive that say you're wrong. ;-)

As I indicated, there are various ways of obfuscating the issue, and other ways of locking down the stream. But in my experience a great many webmasters either don't know or don't bother to do this, so it's well worth being the first thing to try.

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

There's a program called streambox that might help too. It's capable of restarting downloads. Of course, what you are doing may or may not be legal.

!
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

>> "other ways of locking down the stream"

That's because people don't understand what streaming really is. Many webmasters think that plonking some Real Media or Windows Media files on a web server is "streaming." That's not streaming, it's "downloading." Proper streaming involves using a streaming protocol -- the one I have experience with is Windows Media: the mms:// protocol (Real I think uses something called RTSP). The major difference with a streaming protocol is that if the client clicks pause, or does some other random access to the stream then the client communicates the movements to the server which stops moves the "playhead" to the appropriate place - kind of like a server-side cursor. With HTTP you're just getting the whole file and can only fast-forward etc to parts you've already downloaded (although HTTP does have the ability to request certain byte ranges now).

Duncan Smart
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

... oh yes forgot to mention that if you want to download a Windows Media file that is streamed via the mms:// protocol then there's a great utilty called ASFRecorder out there which google should give you a link for (ASF was the acronym for what is now referred to as WMV).

Duncan Smart
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

A different way of solving the problem, albeit one that will probably yield lower quality video and larger files (at least to start with), would be to use a screen recorder program like Camtasia to record the screen playback of the video.

I haven't tried this myself, so I don't know what kind of quality you're going to get, but I am just about certain that it will work.  Just start the Camtasia-recording at or before the same time as you start the play of your real media file.  You will then be saving not the bits that are being streamed to your computer, but the video that's being displayed on your monitor.  So if you have a poor connection and your video stutters Camtasia will record exactly that.  You would also want to be sure to have the video sized at 100%.

I'm also pretty sure you can get Camtasia to record the audio stream, but it might require looping a cable from the headphone to the mic jack.  Maybe not, though.

Like I said, this solution would likely yield lower quality video than a direct capture of the streamed file, and you're going to end up with large files that you may have to render into smaller formats.  But at least it's a method that will work. 

I believe there's at least one free Camtasia work-alike.  Not sure what it's name is, but if you search around for Camtasia reviews you'll probably turn it up.  Camtasia may also have 30-day demo that would work for you.

Herbert Sitz
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Sorry, just noticed that original poster wants to be able to download because when he tries to view the Real player is "forever in the middle with buffering".  The method I suggested obviously won't work if you can't view the video using a Real player.  But then again it could well be that there's something else wrong and that nothing would work if you can't view it in the Real player under any circumstances.

Herbert Sitz
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Almost all of the RealVideo / RealAudio files I've wanted to record have used RTSP. Very frustrating, a relative of mine was analysing lots of programmes from a certain large news site as part of their dissertation. I couldn't find any way of downloading them, so we had to brute-force record them using EAC's "spool audio to hard drive" feature, in realtime.

Anyway, looks like there are products that will capture RTSP, if you're willing to pay. Quick google threw up this:

http://emoney.al.ru/streaming/winreal.htm

Adrian Gilby
Thursday, September 18, 2003

For what's it worth. I use this software it only cost me ten bucks and you can try it out for free.
Nothing special, it just works,
got it here http://www.easyscreencapturevideo.com

Jake
Sunday, June 20, 2004

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