Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Saving streaming Quicktime video using iTunes

I potentially found a way of saving streaming Quicktime videos to my own computer using iTunes itself. This started because I stumbled upon the old short film made for Pink Floyd's Final Cut, released on their website as streaming video. I can still remember the hoops I had to jump through as a relatively money-deprived South African in the early eighties to get my hands on the VHS tape of this movie, so naturally I had to have it immediately.

This time I felt more confident: I know you can save Quicktime movies by getting at the embedded file's name, copying that into the URL and saving the page. This did not work, since all that got saved was a 200 byte link to the Quicktime streaming video site. I don't have QT Pro, so in desperation I figured I'll copy the little link video to iTunes, at least for future reference. It copied fine and clicking on it brought up the video well enough, but still streamed from the Quicktime site.

Then I did the potentially cool bit: I right-clicked the file in iTunes and chose: Create Apple TV Version, and -- whaddaya know: iTunes proceeded to convert the streaming video into a massive local copy in .m4v format.

I've tried this with two files and it worked both times. Because of the ridiculous, artificial bandwidth cap in South Africa, I'm going to get hell from the network guy as soon as he checks his logs, but screw it.

I searched around to see if anyone else had ever reported on this and couldn't find anything, so I decided I will.

PS. The Final Cut movie deserves a retrospective review, but not today.