You 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.
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.
Don’t upset da girl in arms! 🙂
launch really sux with that. theyre not doing anything to support other browsers
Using firefox with the “Play Launch” extension on fedora 3 with the Mplayer plugin I can watch the videos just fine. Tried the extension a couple of weeks ago and it works great. I’m not sure if it works with the Windows version of Firefox.
it doesn’t work… i get a runtime error on the script
no, it’s not supported on windows.
The author of the extension says “go bug yahoo” too.
mmm ignore previous post… i think its a problem at my end… i can’t even play videos through IE.. think its a proxy problem
It would be better if this just worked in Firefox. I understand that it’s more Yahoo’s fault that this doesn’t work, but the reason why I bring this up is to illustrate why more people aren’t using Firefox, and by extension, Linux – it’s because of little things like this that just don’t work well without a lot of dicking around with user agents, extensions, vbscripts, etc.
Sure, you would think “Ahhh, who gives a shit if this works or not?” But some people really do. I have a friend who swears by Launch, mainly because it comes free with her SBC DSL subscription. She even likes it better than my XM radio, even though it’s not portable.
What a pain, especially when they say their site works with Netscape. The last website that said FireFox was not supported was staterbros.com. What is weird, is that it works fine on Linux, but using FF in XP will not work.
And then there’s Amazon not supporting the ability to listen to their music samples on Linux.
I get this error message in Safari:
We’re sorry, but you must use Netscape 4.7x to use this application on a Macintosh. Download NOW. Please use the following error code when writing to Yahoo! Help. (Error Code: 4)
Sorry, but I’m not installing Netscape, even in OS 9 Classic. I guess I’ll have to do without. Of course, I don’t listen to “Top 100” formula music anyway, however I’m sure many Mac users do and Yahoo is missing out on potential ad revenues.
I have the extension “User Agent Switcher” and when it is turned on to telling the host site that I am running IE many sites work just fine that cannot handle FF. This Yahoo service seems to work as well for me when FF tell Yahoo that it is IE. I cannot be sure as I do not have Windows Media Player on this Win2k computer. However it does stop giving me error messages about the browser and tell me that I don’t have WMP when FF declares itself to be IE on XP.
This has been a problem on a hand full of sites. FF does not work if it declares itself as FF but is it lies to the site and declares itself IE then all is well and everything on that site works just fine. Somehow I don’t think this is a FF problem.
Huh, that might be new, because in the past changing the user agent DID NOT work with Launch, because they were using activex controls. Now, it seems to work, but still…
How about a txt with the location of these video downloads… Some of us don’t have anything to run vb scripts…
there are thousands of these videos, I don’t think anyone will sit down and write these and extracting them with a script is not really that simple.
I love the show contender but can’t seem to get them to play in ff in linux. The commerical will play with the mplayer mozilla plugin but then nothing. And when I go to it’s setup it says I have wmp, quicktime, realplayer, but none work.
Even on the windows side you can’t go fullscreen except while in IE. In FF the options for pause, slider, fullscreen don’t appear.
But if I can grab them in linux and watch fullscreen, that would be great.
I’ll try in a bit, but if anyone can show me any method, I’d appreciate it.
Based on what I have seen FF forums and personal experience, I think the handling of streaming video is one of the top complaints about Firefox. The FF community needs to improve the situation because mainstream users don’t put up with this kind of technical mumbo jumbo. Even if some obscure solutions already exist, they don’t know about them, and others are too complicated for the mainstream user to understand.
Launch isn’t bad for videos. There’s some metal videos on their site that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Interesting thing about Launch, and a few other sites that use the Windows Media Player is that I can use the multimedia keys on my keyboard to skip commercials even if the player has toolbars hidden/disabled.
<rant>I am sorry but Yahoo has a worst support I’ve ever seen on any big portal nowadays. They have a pleanty disinformation on Yahoo about some of the countries (including mine), and despite of thousands of email sent to them with complaints they are sending the same mail template to everyone and not really doing anything about the problem.
Same on the tech side. I don’t remember a meaningfull feedback from Yahoo support employee in any way. All they write is just 2 simple line which tell abolutely nothing. Wake up, firefox is the only browser I can trust and I love nowadays, fix this before it’s too late.</rant>
Ya, I agree with the above comments about just give us a freaking text file if you feel the need to share this with other people. I mean even if my browser doesn’t work, if I sit down and spend 20 minutes I can usually dig out the url, and by then, IT HAD BETTER NOT SUCK. Usually it does though, but they were so sure it was going to get copied and not get credit, they had to hide it in embedded. Come on. Just give a link to mov, mpg, avi, mvp, whatever, we can watch it as it downloads. Why do I even need a plugin to watch this stuff? Yes, to protect their ownership of it. Well once it is in my head, I have NEWS for you. You don’t own it anymore. If you think you do, you better come put a bullet in my head. If I like it ya I may buy it 4 or 5 times, and after that, yes I will “pirate” it over and over and over. There is only so much “tolerance” you can show, when you are not the bad guy in the first place. Also, when you’ve spent over $250 on a certain thing and they still think you are not entitled to listen to it and just need to go buy another one. HAHA
Why would anyone want to watch that pop crap for anyways? Oh well. Thanks anyways for writing the script for everyone to use!
Actually there’s lots of good indie/alternative stuff hidden at Yahoo Launch, if you care to look for it…
I download streaming stuff with Mencoder. All you have to do is find the download link in the page source (usually mms://something) and then just do:
mencoder “address” -ovc copy -oac copy -o outfile.avi
It’s a bit hacky, but the hidden bonus is that the resulting file does not skip at all. Mencoder load the entire clip frame by frame even if you are on a slow and laggy link.
To all the MPlayer people: You guys are amazing! Keep it up.
its really cool, thnx Xchequer for info. Its only bad that it does not work with yahoo radio
I just use “StreamBox VCR Suite”, apparently you can’t use this legally anymore (in the US) I’m pretty sure fair use laws in Belgium have got me covered though.
For a good overview of stream ripping software for windows check out http://emoney.al.ru/save-streaming-video-and-audio-to-HD/saving-str…
I like how the article is posted anonymously, but how the author refers to France. I wonder which editor would know about French laws 😉
There is a Firefox Greasemonkey script for Yahoo launch that works really nicely – http://dunck.us/collab/GreaseMonkeyUserScripts
Will that transcode the stream or does it just save it in the same format as the stream? You can also use mplayer:
mplayer -dumpstream -dumpfile <filename> <url>
Also, the -playlist flag is very useful when the url points to a playlist file. Here’s more info: http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Rip_Streams_With_MPlayer
Great Article very useful.
this “video-tool” works great, thank you, thank you, thank you!
There is an excellent extension specifically to solve the Firefox and http://www.launch.com. It is at
This works on Linux only. I have used it and it makes the launch site “just work”.
I did not write the extension btw. I am just a happy user.
I have the same issue. The issue is with mplayerplug-in I think. I remember there was some discussion on mplayerplug-in-devel mailing list where the same problem (for a differnet site) was reported and it was fixed. Maybe you can try sending an email to that mailing list.
So how about a tutorial for this for step 2 – 3?
Is there a FF extension or a greasemonkey script that will allow me to listen to music samples at Amazon? There’s the windows and real player samples, but with real player it has more to do with a couple of codecs that restricts listening.
Great trick, I downloaded few videos for fun. I would have loved to be able to watch them with my Palm T5 (without needing to buy another player). But definitly Palm doesn’t care to provide multimedia support to its customers. By the way, the Yahoo FAQ tells they can’t sell videos, it doesn’t really tell it’s illegal to copy them (can it be illegal to make private copy of free content?): http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/launch/videos/videos-09.html
Windows Script Host
Error :Object required: ”
Source:Microsoft VBScript runtime error
I’m no programmer but this error popped up.
works fine here with XP PRO SP2.
I would imagine that you could http://greasmonkey.mozdev.org a filter that will render the page in situ with the correct url’s for clikcing.
• Mac OS 8.5 to 9.x
• At least 200MHz PowerPC or better (iMac OK)
• At least 96MB RAM; 64MB dedicated to Netscape
• Netscape Navigator 4.5 to 4.78
• Windows Media Player 10
one problem there’s no wmp 10 for mac os 8.5 – 9.2.2 not even for mac os x (netscape 4.xx doesn’t work with mac os x)
Found this site for those who can’t run the VBS script or like me couldn’t figure out what to give it.
Thanks for the tool.Now i can watch the movies even when i am not online when i want to.It works nice with windows XP fo sure!.