Firefox: Download Brightcove videos

Editor’s note, November 22, 2018: Since this post is still steadily picking up search engine traffic, I’d just like to point out that it was originally published in 2008, and the method described might not still work. I haven’t tried it myself lately. More information in the comments, below.

Brightcove is a streaming video service similar to YouTube. A Google search reveals that several people wonder how to download videos from it. Regular website based methods, such as Video Downloader and File2HD, will fail. You can download files from it using Firefox plugins such as VideoDownloader, but here’s a method of doing it without having to install any plugins or external applications.

1. First, you’ll want to open the video you want to download. Let’s say we’ll get the latest Dear Prudence, the Slate video column: Slate V – Dear Prudence: Well-Endowed Dilemma. Let the commercial play through, and pause the player when the video you want to grab has started playing and seems finished.

2. Next, type about:cache?device=disk in the Firefox address bar. This will give you a list of all files currently in the Firefox cache.

3. Search the list for the video file, which will be in the FLV (Flash video) format. Search for .flv, and you’ll find a video link looking something like this:

4. Select and copy he link up to and including the .flv: — this means you won’t want to select the rubbish after the file name.

5. Go to Media-Convert. Select “Conversion from URL” and paste the file name you just selected. You will now be able to download the file in MP3 or AVI format.

The method described here should work for other video sites as well.


Excel file in weird format

Did you ever get an Excel, .XLS, file in a weird format? Something like this:

% ¦Š’
4 0 obj
/Width 1656
/Height 2339
/BitsPerComponent 1
/Filter /CCITTFaxDecode
/DecodeParms <</Columns 1656 /Rows 2339>>
/Length 68298

The reason is most likely that it is not an Excel file — it’s a PDF file named XLS! Rename the file to .PDF instead, open it in Adobe Reader or a similar PDF reader, and, hey presto, there you go.