posted by editor on Mon 16th May 2005 23:05 UTC
IconYou know what's really laughable? When you visit launch.yahoo.com with Firefox and tells you that you need Netscape 4.7 to view its music videos, even if Firefox is perfectly capable of doing so! And when you open a bug report ticket with them, you get canned messages how to make your IE work with their service! It stinks! Therefore, here is a quick how-to on how to rip down their music wmv/asf videos and save them on your hard disk to view with the player of your choice. In fact, their videos are streamed in QVGA, making them an excellent choice for Pocket PCs that are used as multimedia devices too.

1. Download this file. Unzip it.
2. Navigate on launch.yahoo.com's alphabet page and choose a page that contains the videos of your favorite artist.
3. Run the getYahooMusicUrls.vbs from step 1 and give it the URL of the alphabetical page you want videos from. The vbs script will generate an .html page after opening and closing lots of command windows (don't get scared ;). Open that newly created web page with your favorite browser and copy the url of the video you want to stream-rip.
4. Download SDP Downloader 2.0 from here and install it.
5. Open SDP and click "open". Paste the URL of the video you want in it and then click "Go" from its toolbar.
6. It will take up to 10 minutes to finish the ripping, depending on the speed of your CPU.

Madonna - Ray of Light

That's it. You can now watch the saved video with Windows Media Player or any other media player that supports .wmv or .asf. Using SDP you can save down streaming videos from other sources too, without the usage of the VBS file (which was created for Yahoo's Launch only).

I don't have a clue if video ripping is an illegal action or not (I don't see how this is different than saving down a web page or a graphic found on the web), I just know that Yahoo Support should have replied in a better manner than their stupid canned messages and support more browsers in the first place. I am fighting with Yahoo support for this issue for 2 years now (Safari is not supported either, this is how my gripes started). I had enough of their practices, and so I am now starting my own.

In the US the "fair use" doctrine is weak. In France at least I believe that this falls both under "fair use", "home use" and "compatibility fixing", and it's similar to the rest of Europe too. So, it's really not clear if video ripping is illegal or not, depends where you live.

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