Record streaming video

Now the world is broadband-tastic, you can get a lot of video via the Internet. Some of it you can download as you wish, but much is "streaming", meaning you watch it kind-of live within your media player as it is pushed piece by piece down towards your computer.

This is good because you don't have to wait for the whole thing to download before watching it. However it is bad because a) you have to be on the Internet to watch it, b) you either can't fastforward it or, if you can, you suffer big delays, c) if your network connection isn't good the video might be unwatchable and generally d) you can't get your own copy to do as you will with.

However a program called SDP Downloader is a good solution to downloading certain types of streaming media into a nice wmv file on your computer. It was developed as a method of understanding the proprietary Microsoft Media Server ("mms" - but nothing to do with mobile phoneage mms picture messages) protocol. You'll know MMS is in action if the URL of your video is something like mms://whatever.com/video.wmv.

Now it can also support more formats, including "Http v1.0 streaming protocol, Http progressive (simple http download) ... mms, mmst and mmsu over both TCP and UDP transport protocols."

It's not over-pretty but it's definitely simple and effective. Just give it the address of the streaming video, wait a bit, and there you go, a nice portable video file is yours to do as you will with. It does seem to record in real time, so should your video clip be an hour long, it will take an hour to generate the resulting video file.

Obligatory disclaimer: Don't be naughty though, sometimes the reason you can't download the file might be because the copyright holder doesn't want you to.


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