Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Is it possible to save streaming movies to the hard drive?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Yes - what you need to do is get hold of a program called Streambox VCR. This will enable you to keep a permanent copy of Real Media movie and audio files on your hard drive once they have been streamed to your computer.

Tracking down the program via the web is easier said than done as it has never been publicly released, however, it is available on all the popular file sharing networks. For legal reasons, the project was terminated whilst in the beta stages of development, and since it was 'leaked' rather than released, it is technically stolen software - this is why no home page exists from which to download it.

To use SVCR you first have to save the .ra shortcut file of the movie or audio file you wish to 'capture'. To do this, right-click on the link and select the 'save target as' option from the menu. Once this file has touched down, open it in Notepad using the 'open with' command located in your right-click context menu. You should now be presented with the address of the server where the file is located, for example...

ptsp://streamingmovieland.com/streamingmovie.rm and pnm://streamingmovieland.com/streamingmovie.rm

The one with the pnm prefix is the one we're interested in, so highlight it and copy it into your clipboard using the right mouse button. Now open SVCR and select 'edit' and then 'paste link' from the menu. Paste the address into the location box and choose a directory to save the file to. All that remains to be done now is to stab the OK button with your pointer and Bob's your mother's brother.

Note that no matter how fast your internet connection is, you can only capture streaming files at the speed they were designed to be streamed at. If the video you're trying to save is an hour long it will take you at least an hour to download. Obviously if your transfer speed is inferior to that of the streaming movie it will take you even longer than this.

Update: 'ASF Recorder' will perform the same function as Streambox VCR, yet is nowhere near as elusive - again, use Google or your favourite P2P client to track it down. My advice is to grab it while you still can as the project has now been abandoned!

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