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  • Adam Behringer

    Seattle, Washington USA

    Adam is the founder of BEEDOCS, an artisan software company that makes great timeline software for Mac OS X.

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Downloading Quicktime “Live 8” Concerts

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Many of the songs from this week’s Live 8 concerts are available as Quicktime videos from AOL.

I was checking them out but I don’t like to wait forever for a video to download only to have it go away when I close my browser. So, I figured out how to download the videos with the Automator application from Mac OS X Tiger. I thought I would pass this along as a tip and as an example of the cool things you can do with Automator.

Here’s the steps to take (if you are on Mac OS X 10.4)

  1. Navigate your web browser to the AOL Live 8 video web site

  2. Click the play button next to the song you would like.

  3. A new window will open for the video.

  4. When the video window has loaded all the text (you don’t have to wait for the video to load), view the source code for the web site. In Safari, you do this by selecting “View Source” in the “View” menu.

  5. Find the URL to the Quicktime movie file. This file will end with “.mov” so you can search for “.mov” in order to find it. Click the screenshot for a bigger view and you will see what this looks like.

  6. Paste the URL in a text editor to save it for the next step. Go ahead and grab some other movie URLs if you want more songs.

  7. Launch the Automator application. Click the Safari Library in the left column. Find the “Get Specified URLs” and “Download URLs” actions and drag them to your workflow in that order.

  8. Create a URL in the “Get Specified URLs” action for each one of the movie URLs that you copied from the AOL source.

  9. Select a download location in the “Download URLs” action and click the Run button.

That’s it! Go have lunch or read a book while the movies download. After they are finished downloading, you can watch them at your leisure with the Quicktime player or iTunes and you can save them wherever you want on your hard drive.

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Anonymous AnonymousJuly 06, 2005 5:07 PM

I tried something similar to this method the other night, pasting the .mov URLs into Safari and using File > Save As upon completion of the download. The resulting movie files were less than 2k (much smaller than ~5 minute videos should be) and would not open in QuickTime Player. Are others getting different results?

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 06, 2005 5:20 PM

This is awesome! Just got Sgt. Pepper, now trying for more U2, Pink Floyd, and maybe some REM. I wonder if this automator trick will also work with movie trailers that disable the download as Quicktime option?

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 06, 2005 5:45 PM

you saved the files as a reference, you need to "save as source"
This option is only available in qt Pro, I think.

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 06, 2005 5:51 PM

Just a alternative is once you view the source and find the URL just highlight it and drag it to the download window. That is pretty much it. Safari will automatically begin downloading the file.


Blogger Adam BehringerJuly 06, 2005 6:02 PM

I didn't know about dragging a URL to the download window. That's a pretty cool trick.

However, I still tend to accidently quit Safari in the middle of big downloads. Automator is nice for running long downloads overnight. It seems to do a good job of downloading groups of files at a time without trying to get everything at once.

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 06, 2005 8:16 PM

YES, I did both methods.
Very cool; thanks guys!
Great intro to Automator.

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 06, 2005 8:53 PM

Another method.

Open up the terminal.app

curl -O theURL.mov

by default it will download it to your home directory and you can move it where you want.

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 07, 2005 1:47 AM

just open Download window in Safari and press command + V

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 07, 2005 6:23 AM

Too bad you can't burn em to a DVD...

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 07, 2005 7:31 AM

Yes you can. Have a look at the (free) video conversion tool ffmpegX ( http://homepage.mac.com/major4 ) which will do the trick.

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 07, 2005 9:24 AM

great! appreciate all the input!

now, why doesn't one of you who's doing this do us all a favor and get all the urls and create the automator script and share it somewhere? :)

thanks if you do!

Blogger Adam BehringerJuly 07, 2005 9:50 AM

If someone does come up with a list of direct links or a way to bypass the AOL page completely, please DO NOT post it here.

I am not interested in attracting the ire of AOL's legal department. Bypassing their content and their ads would probably do that. That is why I wrote the tutorial the way I did which requires you to visit each page before downloading the movie. Thanks!

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 07, 2005 4:36 PM

Thanks, but it seems they changed the movie (or presentation?) format, no more .mov URLs in the source code :-/

Cheers, Tom

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 07, 2005 5:54 PM

When I drag the url to safari download window all down loads fine BUT when I go to play it I get a quicktime notice like "you may experience problems playing a video track in MY PLACE Live 8 becasue there was an error in the program

then there is a close or continue box

when I press continue the viseo seems to play fine BUT every time you open it you get the quictime error box

any ideas running 10.3.7 and qt 6.5.2

Maybe this is just a 10.3 thing?

Does it happen in tiger with qt7?

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 08, 2005 8:30 AM

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 08, 2005 4:13 PM

Yes, the highlight the .mov link and drag on over to the downloads window is an excellent tip.



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