Major updated post (21 Sept 2012) on how to download streamed video, esp for Linux users

Okay, I turned my back for just one moment, and suddenly downloading streaming video has all changed about. So I’ve decided to write a post with up-to-date info, rather than adding another update to my original post on the subject. So, if you have that post bookmarked in your web browser of choice (Use Firefox!! Use Firefox!! It’s the best browser on the web!!), maybe you ought to bookmark this post as well (keep the original link too, because this isn’t a tutorial, just an update.

So, what’s new in the downloading streaming video world? Quite a bit, I think. Maybe I’ve already posted on some of this, but I think it can’t hurt to repeat myself. So,let’s look at it bit by bit.

Youtube is being mean again, swapping stuff round to make things difficult for us. For instance, the Firefox addon VideoDownloadHelper doesn’t seem to work anymore with Youtube. I think I have already told you that PWNYouTube wasn’t working as well as its website www.deturl.com claims. Well, I thought I’d better check it out before publishing this update. I didn’thave time to try all of the features it boasts, but I could not download a Youtube video by adding “pwn” to the video url or by typing the url into the requisite box on deturl.com. So I think it doesn’t work. But please, try it for yourself. YMMV.

youtube-dl seems to be okay still (Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install youtube-dl), and I’ve also been using a web-based solution at savemedia.com – it’s a similar set-up as PWNYoutube: you get the url of the video you want to download (eg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTcz-etqwKg) then replace the http://www.youtube part of the url with “savemedia” (in this case http://savemedia.com/watch?v=wTcz-etqwKg). It offers a number of different filetype options, and it’s got a GUI, so command-line phobics need not worry.

There have been problems with host sites (eg megaupload.com being closed down by the US authorities) and also sites that don’t actually host any files but just provide links (eg the owner of surfthechannel.com, Anton Vickerman, from Gateshead, UK, was sent to prison for 4 years for “facilitating” copyright infringement”). Project Free TV is still working, though it has changed its url, probably to try and avoid shutdown (working url at this time is http://www.free-tv-video-online.me. The site tv-video.net is still up, but no longer gives access to “pirated” media – now it’s a pay-to-watch site, doubtless because of the draconian measures being used by US and European governments.

The get_iplayer program apparently still works for some, but not for me (on 64-bit Ubuntu 12,04), giving me RTMP header-reading errors. The get_iplayer program has been forked due to the original developer giving it up – new developer’s site here. It’s a command-line program, but not too unwieldy, and I believe it is used as the back-end for some GUI iplayer-downloading apps (no personal experience of these GUI apps unfortunately, but if you Google “get_iplayer” you will find a heap of resources).

The wget method of downloading from Project Free TV still works (remember, this method is for Linux users.  I don’t know if there is a Windows alternative for wget, but I doubt it – Linux, as a Unix-like operating system, has always been developed with networking in mind.  Windows hasn’t). So: If you are using Firefox and have the VideoDownloadHelper add-on, go to Project Free TV and select the TV show/movie you wanna save. Start watching it; when it’s started properly, the DownloadHelper icon will become all colourful and rotating. Click on that, and select Copy URL. Now, go to a terminal and type in something like wget -c -O movie.flv then, before hitting Enter, right-click and select Paste. That will paste in the actual URL of the movie you want. Hit Enter, and wget will start downloading the movie.flv file (or whatever name you chose) to your Home directory. Note: in that wget command, the -O is a capital letter O, not a zero. Once you’ve got wget downloading the file, close the Firefox tab that’s playing the movie. Otherwise the download will take much longer.  I’ve used this method to download files via other sites too, but Project Free TV is the only one this work for consistently.  But please, try and use it elsewhere – and if you have success, let us all know via Comments.

This update is in no way exhaustive – I know there are loads of sites and methods that I haven’t even tried. This is just a small contribution to the subject. If any readers know of other methods or sites, please share them via Comments. It is paramount that we keep up to date on this, as governments are closing down sites and jailing site owners at an alarming rate on behalf of the so-called “legitimate” media industry, and we must not let that industry win this war. The best way to keep free downloading possible is by sharing news and by actually downloading stuff. As long as there is a demand for downloads and streaming, people will continue to offer the services. And I’ll keep up my little contribution on the subject for as long as possible. Never surrender! :p

ANOTHER UPDATE, ABOUT PWNTUBE, 7 MARCH 2014

Nicky has dropped this info into the Contact Form:

There’s a much easier way to use pwnyoutube than the one that you were talking about. You don’t have to add pwn to the video url or type the url into the box on deturl.com. There’s a pwnyoutube bookmarklet link that you add to your favorites list and whenever you’re watching a video on Youtube all you have to do is open your favorites list while on Youtube and then click on the pwnyoutube bookmarklet and a list of download formats will show up at the top of the screen on Youtube. All you have to do is right click on the one that you want and click save target as and then click save. Here’s the page for the bookmarklet:http://deturl.com/bookmarklet-to-directly-download-videos-from-youtube.asp. There’s also another very easy way. There’s a program called YTD Video Downloader. Just install it, open it, and when you’re on Youtube and you’re watching a video that you want to download just copy the link and then mouse over the url bracket on the YTD Video Downloader and the link will automatically paste itself then all you have to do is click download. It has always worked flawlessly for me every time on Youtube and it works with other sites as well. I guess that I should have mentioned earlier that the pwnyoutube bookmarklet hasn’t been working for me very recently for some reason but I wanted you to know that there was an easier way to use pwnyoutube than the way that you were.

Cheers for that Nicky.  Any more downloading tips, let us know via Comments or the Contact Form.  I try to keep info here as fresh as possible, but it distracts me from my porn and online gambling activities!!  😉

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6 Responses to Major updated post (21 Sept 2012) on how to download streamed video, esp for Linux users

  1. Martin X says:

    Ooh, here’s another site I came across – http://www.tv-links.eu. I haven’t had a proper look round yet, but I figured I’d tell you now so you can try it too, and maybe report back any results? It looks like the VideoDownloadHelper add-on will work here, and also the VideoDownloadHelper/wget combo trick. Check it out – that’s what I’m doing right now!!

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  3. Fidel says:

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    • Martin X says:

      If you scroll down to the bottom of one of the emails, there should be an unsubscribe button. If you do this for all the extra unwanted emails that should do. I think…

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