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Save non-streaming QuickTime movies from Safari Web Browsers
A friend asked me if she could save a QuickTime movie from the web to her desktop, even though the "Save As" option was greyed out.

I thought it would work if she found the movie's URL and opened it from within the QuickTime application itself. Finding the URL for a movie on a webpage is not too hard. Using Safari or IE, open the page that contains the movie and pull down the View menu, where you'll find "View Source." Search that page for ".mov". That text string will likely be at the end of a web address in quotes. Copy that entire address, minus the quote marks.

We then pasted that address into QuickTime's "Open URL" dialogue and opened the movie in its own window. But without QT Pro, you still don't get an option to save it.

Just for kicks, we tried opening the URL in a new Safari window. After the entire movie loaded, we could save it under Safari's File menu. I don't know if this works in IE, but it's a great workaround for downloading movies that are meant to be streamed.

[robg's update: I changed the title, as it originally referred to streaming. As the comments clearly note, I screwed up in not changing this when I posted the original article.]
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Save non-streaming QuickTime movies from Safari | 32 comments | Create New Account
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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: vogunaescht on Oct 06, '03 10:54:59AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if there's an url to the whole movie on a webpage it isn't a movie that's coming to you as a stream.
Usually, you just have to wait until the movie is done loading in your browser, then the "save as" option becomes available.



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: LarryL on Oct 06, '03 11:02:34AM

Also, keep in mind that many http download movies use a 'reference' movie that redirects to the actual movie (that probably depends upon your QT plugin settings if they are serving separate movies for different bandwidths). An easier way, especially if the site uses frames, is to use the 'Activity' window to determine all of the page's contents & urls. Double-click an url in this window will open it in another Safaro window; then copy & paste this url into the QuickTime Player.



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: xteph on Oct 06, '03 01:14:11PM

This hint has nothing to do with streaming. Au contraire:

Streaming content can't be saved at all, but progressive content can. That's why Apple added some extra's to the QuickTime file format and to the QuickTime plug-in embed code.

If an author of a webpage doesn't want you to save a movie he/she can disable saving in the embed tag.

This hint helps bypassing this by scooping the source page for the direct http url of the movie. Some webpage authors use perl or php to obfuscate the url of the movie even further, so you'll need a network sniffer) try tcp dump in the command line) to find out the URL.

You can also enable caching in the QuickTime preferences and look for the .mov file somewhere on your harddrive, I bet there's already another hint about this subject.

If an author of a quicktime movie doesn't want QuickTime Pro users to save the movie he/she can disable saving using authoring software. Happens a lot with enhanced trailers. So even if you could manage to save the file, you can't strip the extra's and save the plain movie.

About streaming:
If a QuickTime movie is hosted on a streaming server, the URL starts with rtsp://, not http://. Sometimes a reference movie is used which points to the rtsp:// url but itself resides on a webserver, so it's got a http:// url of it's own. If you save this movie, all you end up with is this ref movie (a few Kbytes) instead of the original movie. Yes, you could play or email this reference movie but you'll never physically have the content on your harddisk.

Some people have written rtsp savers in the past: small applications that pretend to be a streaming client but instead of sending the content to the screen, these apps write the content to disk and try to build a new file from the stream. Your mileage may vary. I haven't seen modern versions of these hacks, but try google if you're desperate :-)

Stef



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: alarj on Oct 06, '03 10:57:04AM

Easiest way to save this kind movie (or audio) is just to use some separate download manager where you can paste found URL



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: j0nathan on Oct 06, '03 11:12:24AM

It's likely here that the HTML tags embedding the movie have a flag set to prevent the save. By opening the movie directly (i.e. refering to the .mov file) avoids the tags and therefore allows the save - this would be the case in any browser. Also, it is likely the movie is a progressive download rather than a true streaming movie - attempting to save a stream will only save a reference to the streaming movie which will attempt to reconnect and stream when played.



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: joestalin on Oct 06, '03 11:18:57AM

You may be able to find the movie in your browser cache, as well.



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: elmimmo on Oct 06, '03 11:23:04AM

Just load it full in Safari, take a look at /tmp/502/Temporary Files/ (or was it 501?) for any file beginning with QT, copy it to your desktop and add a .mov extension.



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: seven5 on Oct 06, '03 11:31:04AM

1. view source
2. search for .mov
3. open terminal
4 . curl [paste url] > myMovie.mov

done.....


I've been doing this for years...



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: JoeGrind on Oct 06, '03 12:21:46PM
curl -O [paste url]

...and you don't have to direct it to a file.

From the man page:
       -O/--remote-name
              Write output to a local file named like the  remote
              file we get. (Only the file part of the remote file
              is used, the path is cut off.)


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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: seven5 on Oct 06, '03 06:41:51PM

wget [URL]

even faster with no options ;)



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Shameless plug here but...
Authored by: Cantus on Oct 06, '03 11:39:33PM

You can try Simple cURL to ease up the process.

Simple cURL is an AppleScript Studio app that will use cURL to download files.

You open it, paste the URL and click Download, and the file is saved to your Desktop. You can resume as well.

You can also send the command to the Terminal, instead of downloading from the app itself. This saves quite a few CPU cycles, because the progress bar seems to suck up a lot of CPU. I haven't been able to fix this yet.

If you keep it in your Dock, click to open, paste URL, check "Send to Terminal" and click Download.

Done.

No more opening the Terminal and typing 'curl -O etc....'

I always download QT files like this.



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: fbitterlich on Oct 06, '03 11:40:10AM

An easier way to find out the URL of the QuickTime movie is to simply open the "Activity" window (from the Window menu) - it will list all components of the currently displayed page, including images and movies. Even Flash animations. :) A double-click on any item will open it in a new tab or window.



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More Easiest way to Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: @@ on Oct 06, '03 11:45:59AM

1) Command-Option A to open Activity Window
2) Double-clic on the movie link.
3) Command-S to save it.

VoilĂ  ;-)



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: cello on Oct 06, '03 12:06:34PM
Why not just getting "iGetMovies" from http://homepage.mac.com/djodjodesign/? It's a french site. You find the app as the last item at the end of the page. This app works great for me! Just wait until the movie loaded in your browser, than start the app and click a button, and the movie comes to your desktop!

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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: kerouassady on Oct 06, '03 12:21:54PM

If you can save the movie from your cache or anything like this, its not really a "streaming" movie, now, is it? In fact, "streaming" movies don't end in the .mov extension since they are the actual file and not the stream.



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: divinevelocity on Oct 06, '03 12:24:34PM

agreed. come up with a way to do this - and you have more than just a mere hint...



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Streaming QuickTime suffix
Authored by: j0nathan on Oct 07, '03 08:51:19AM

Actually, they still end in .mov but are in accessed via rtsp as opposed to http - the pointer file in the web directory also ends in .mov



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Interesting
Authored by: jakacmar on Oct 06, '03 08:19:48PM

I was recently trying to save some video clips that were on AOL that I was viewing using Safari. I have QT 6 Pro but Save was greyed out, yada, yada. I ended up finding the file in /private/tmp. The files there are all titled "WebKitPlugInStreamxxxxxxxx" There's a few of them in there but I just picked the one that had the correct file size and moved it to the desktop and added a .mov extension. It then played fine if QT.
Interestingly, I just loaded a trailer from the QT site (which allowed saving) and then checked to see if it too resided in the /private/tmp directory, and it didn't. It is found in /prviate/tmp/501/Temporary Items/ and named "QTPlugInxxxxxx" as stated in a previous post. Are these other files really a cahce of "streamed" files? Not sure, It'd be interesting to test this on a movie that was posted disallowing saving that is definitely not streamed, but set to progressively load, and then see where the file ends up. Sorry this was so confusing but if you're looking to save a movie that won't allow it and can't seem to find it, try /private/tmp



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Or is it a HTML vs QT setting
Authored by: VRic on Oct 06, '03 08:44:45PM

Maybe a stream could be cached, but to me the "webkit" and "QTplugin" cache locations sound more like consequences of options triggered by a HTML embed "fast start" vs a QT file option "fast start".

Anybody knowing better or willing to experiment?



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Or is it a HTML vs QT setting
Authored by: elmimmo on Oct 07, '03 07:49:48AM

The QTPlugin movies in /tmp/501/Temporary files appear there only if "save movies in cache" is on in QT Prefs, I believe.



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This hint should be corrected
Authored by: VRic on Oct 06, '03 08:33:41PM

Read near the top (xteph on Mon, Oct 6 '03 at 01:14PM). He covered the issue: this hint's title is inappropriate and should be corrected.

If you manage to save the movie without deep magic and dedicated apps, then it's not a stream (a stream would save as a very small reference file, not the movie itself).

If it's playing before DL is complete, then the author allowed the "fast start" option, this is different from streaming (streaming plays in real time and requires dedicated server software, fast start lets the client start playing as soon as it believes to have received enough data to finish DL in the background before playing the end of movie).

You can tell the difference by looking at the timeline: it fills while loading a non-streaming file. You have to wait till it is full before saving it.

If you registered QT Pro but can't save a complete non-streaming movie, then the author of the page didn't want you to save it, or the author of the movie didn't want you to edit it.

Those can still be found in the cache or downloaded like any other file, just not edited if the authors didn't want that.

Streams are a whole different animal: the QT streaming server is designed to adapt to the network conditions, as is MPEG-4, so that in theory the data you get doesn't reflect the content of an existing file, but rather a subset of it based on the available bandwith and your renderer capabilities. You can't download a stream because it's not handed by a download protocol, it's a "push" protocol with client feedback. Saving the data requires dedicated hackery disguised as a stream client, and then again the data shouldn't be the content of the file on the server. The only "real" way to save the original would be to hack your way into the server storage to copy the file, not play it.

Other streaming protocols are dumber and simpler because they really are just "sequential downloaders".



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This hint should be corrected
Authored by: kman on Oct 07, '03 12:54:01AM

Absolutely! This method does not work with true streams. Go to Apple's QuickTime movie trailer webpage and try this. The hint about looking for hidden QTPluginTemp### files does seem to work with everything though.



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: agamemnon on Oct 06, '03 08:42:40PM

There are really 2 different types of QuickTime movies; true streaming media, which require a separate program to "rip" them to disk. I personally haven't had any need for this type of program, but they are out there.

The other type are static files (normally with the .mov extension) that typically use QuickTime's "fast start" option to start playing before the entire file has been downloaded. As a previous poster mentioned, some files are marked as "not savable" (even with Pro), but you can grab the cached copy of these files from /private/tmp/<uid>/Temporary Items/ from the Terminal or any other program that lets you browse the whole disk. The file should be pretty obvious; just make sure to grab it while it is displayed in your browser. Note that <uid> = your unix user ID, which on OS X is probably 501 or slightly higher -- 501 is the uid for the first user created on OS X, they go up sequentially after that.

If you really care, you can get your uid with the "id" command in Terminal.



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: plasma on Mar 08, '04 04:35:07PM

I used the shell to search out the tmp files, but was unable to find any for the XXXXXX_ref.mov i was accessing. downloading it and opening it it contains links with protocols like "frtsp" and extensions such as
movrmdr



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Save streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: plasma on Mar 08, '04 04:38:25PM

there is something severely glitched with this page, the tags do not work under the modes instructed and cut off msgs regardless of "code" or not. meh, oh well, enough of the message got through.



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Save non-streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: seven5 on Oct 07, '03 01:37:57AM

i hate all these little unix guis. Sure a network app that collects 5-6 different unix apps/commands in one might be useful. Or a cd burning app that uses different apps to make one nice gui app is cool. But when its just a gui wrapped around ping, curl, or traceroute, whats the point? Open the terminal and type the command.

I usually have my terminal open anyways, and its much easier to just do that. And even if terminal wasn't open, just use that, its just one less app on your system or in your dock. Don't be scared of the shell, its way more powerful than you think. Just cause in 1984 the GUI revolution was started, don't think the shell's power stopped.

Its not intimidating and theres just no point to these little one stop apps. The terminal already does this!! and more!!

myPost.endRant();



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Save non-streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: iJak@mac.com on Oct 07, '03 01:38:35AM

It only works for direct references,

This is a ref movie, for which it does not work. ...

<http://www.wwpp.org/users/0000028/gems/media/shinerREF.mov>


---
50% of all the people on this planet are below average in I.Q., even Americans.



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Save non-streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: matta2k on Dec 01, '04 06:55:46PM

It's possible to save streaming Quicktime media even when the website is using reference files.

Save the _ref.mov file to your hard drive and open the file using a text editor (for Windows, I use WordPad). You should see one or more URLs for .mov files within the garbled text. (Multiple URLs are the same video, but various qualities for various connection speeds.)

Copy the URL you want to your browser or Quicktime app and download the movie. You can now Save As the *actual* video to your drive.



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Save non-streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: arglborps on Oct 07, '03 03:26:05AM

Easiest way:

Open page with embedded QuickTime movie. Open the Activities window (COMMAND+OPT+A). Click on the disclosure triangle of the web page you want to get the QuickTime from.

OPTION click on the item in the list that is the QuickTime movie. Voila saving to harddisk.



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Save non-streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: elmimmo on Oct 07, '03 07:55:32AM

There are some movies that will not let you do that. You will only be saving a tiny movie which downloads the real one when playing it. I am not talking about "click to play" covers, those nasty "got you" movies are usually found when the movie has a custom GUI. The QTPlugin### hidden file will still be there, though.



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Save non-streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: eclectic on Oct 07, '03 08:06:59AM

Option *Double* Click



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Save non-streaming QuickTime movies from Safari
Authored by: chyna4xena on Dec 02, '04 12:32:30AM
My technique:

Non-streaming, non-reference
(these are normal http .movs that have saving disabled)
1) Open the activity monitor, open the triangle for the webpage with the movie.
2) Double-click the .mov component while holding the option key.

Non-streaming, referenced
(these are small files, but still http .movs)
1) Go through the steps above to download the reference movie.
2) Open that movie in TextEdit, and copy the movie URL out of that file to the clipboard.
3) Paste into the Downloads window in Safari.

Non-streaming, no explicit URL
As others have noted, through the use of PHP and Perl etc, authors can effectively hide the originating URL - in this case, assuming the page source returned by the PHP or Perl code doesn't contain the movie URL, your only two chances are to check the /tmp/ hierarchy for likely files (rarely having the .mov extension, but obvious due to size - rename with a .mov after copying) or to discover it in your browser's cache.

Streaming movies
(these are rtsp .mov URLs)
The only reliable program I have found that can save movies streamed over the rtsp protocol is mplayer - but you'll have to build a version yourself from source that has the rtsp & streaming code included. If you also include the Real libraries when building this mplayer, you'll be able to save RealPlayer streams as well (these are rtsp .rm .ram etc URLs). Sometimes, the streamed movie's rtsp URL is inside a normal http .mov reference movie, so you'll have to use the steps above to extract it.


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