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How to save an ASX/ASF? - tricky problem, plz help... what's an mms:// URL?

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How to save an ASX/ASF? - tricky problem, plz help... what's an mms:// URL?

Old 09-25-01, 09:34 PM
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How to save an ASX/ASF? - tricky problem, plz help... what's an mms:// URL?

Hello. I'm trying to save a couple of Windows movie files - .ASX/.ASF format.

Get your mind out of the gutter, f00. They're from the A.I. online game that occurred last spring/summer.

The problem I'm having is this. The links are .ASF files, which apparently are some kind of shortcut to the actual media. So saving that link doesn't help. Furthermore, if you save the .ASF and look at its contents (it's like 200 bytes), it's a funny URL - begins: mms://...(ip address)...(something-else).asf.

Now I dunno what tf an mms:// thing is - any idea? Oddly, when I try making a link to that that I could right-click/Save-As from, it immediately comes back with a "download failed" message. It doesn't even try downloading the file.

Your thoughts?

- David Stein
Old 09-25-01, 10:17 PM
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maybe install a program like getright.. and set it to automatically download asf files

the asx is the playlist.. they use as copyprotection

i believe you can download the asx file.. then open it with notepad and get the location of the asf file.. then stick that into some type of downloading application.. (dont think you can just put it in your browser and download it though)
Old 09-25-01, 11:49 PM
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mms stands for MultiMedia Stream. This is the way I do it. With most files like quicktime and such there is usually a temporary copy that is loaded onto your computer. To find out if there is a temporary copy is easy: if after downloading/watching the file you set the player to the beginning of the file and click on play and it immediately starts playing then you know there is a temporary copy of that on your computer. If that is the case, you can search for the file. But Windows is tricky... when you tell it to search it will NOT search the Temporary Internet Files directly. You have to EXPLICITLY select that directory to search in. So to find the file first make sure that "Show Hidden Files/Folders" is checked in your Windows Explorer settings. Then go to Search and choose the Internet Temporary Files directory (in Win2K it's driveletter:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files

Then in the box that you tell what to search for do: *.asf. The reason you want to do that is because when downloading a temporary file I have seen Windows rename the file to something like video[1].asf if the original filename was video.asf.
Old 09-26-01, 12:04 AM
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http://non-standard.net/asf/
Old 09-26-01, 12:32 AM
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I'm not too familiar with the specifics of ASF, but in general it's a proprietary format designed by MS to offer a range of video download/streaming options.

At it's simplest, it can be a progressive download hosted on a regular web server. HTTP GET requests will allow you to download the file. Just playing it will save a temporary copy somewhere on your hard drive, so the various methods mentioned above would work fine.

Unfortunately, there's also the option for the producer of the file to enable various forms of digital rights management that, AFAIK, are quite effective. When served from a Windows Media Server, there is no actual "file" that is downloaded. The server simply fires a stream of packets at your machine and lets the client render the video from whatever packets it manages to receive.

Along with lots of error correcting and out of order processing, I'm guessing the protocol also allows for encryption and digital signatures to enforce DRM. Trying to save a replayable file from such a stream would be difficult to say the least.

Theoretically, the weak point of any such system is that it always has to be decoded at some point for display to the screen. Like the audio capture programs that hook into DirectSound to trap the audio after it's been decoded, it's probably possible to try to hook into DirectX(?) and try to capture the video from the frame buffer as it plays. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any such utility at this time.
Old 09-26-01, 02:51 AM
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Use ASFRecorder. Link provided in Blake's post above. Since you know the address to the file, you can stick it in asfrecorder and it will output the replayable "hard copy" to your HDD.

--HN
Old 09-26-01, 09:20 AM
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Holy sh*t, ASFRecorder is GOLD. Wonderful app, and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks muchly!

And thanks to everyone else for the info. It's good to learn how to do something; it's better to learn what you're actually doing as well.

- David Stein

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