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  1. I was given a click by click method using ffmpeg to download pbs videos. I will later post this method with screenshots for anybody who is interested.
    For now, I am using this command:

    Code:
    ffmpeg -i http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/videos/nature/e1a35d94-fd17-4615-99c3-f22db7f5cc41/123507/hd-mezzanine-16x9/naat-mybionicpet-0516x9-16x9-hls-64-800k.m3u8 -vcodec copy -acodec copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc pbsvideo.mp4
    When I pasted this into ffmpeg, it downloaded the video.
    (See screenshot.)

    I have experimented around with this method, and it takes about 2 hours to download a one hour video. You can see in the screenshot that it is converting at 13fps.
    My question is this: Why does it need to convert? I just want to download the video, and it seems that should not involve converting. If I use Internet Download Manager, a 1 hour pbs video will download in 10 minutes, while this ffmpeg method takes 2 hours. Is there a way to use ffmpeg to download in a shorter time? If so, what would the above command be?
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    Last edited by jimdagys; 14th Apr 2014 at 19:41.
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  2. Member
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    Originally Posted by jimdagys View Post
    Is there a way to use ffmpeg to download in a shorter time? If so, what would the above command be?
    In the other pbs thread, in post #11, it was explained how to adjust the m3u8 url to the direct mp4 url. From post #11;
    Code:
    or you can download it directly from site just change hls-800k.m3u8 to mp4-800k.mp4
    The direct mp4 url will almost always download faster, especially using a download manager/helper/extension, compared to using ffmpeg.

    If you need a really easy way to download from pbs, install firefox without flash (or uninstall flash for firefox). Then, various extensions (or IDM) will detect the direct mp4 link when you load the pbs page. It will be loaded as html5 video rather than flash video, although the video might not play - the mp4 link will still be detected.
    Last edited by blimey; 15th Apr 2014 at 17:00.
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  3. I understand about the method you described (ie just change hls-800k.m3u8 to mp4-800k.mp4).
    I just wanted to use ffmpeg to get some experience with it.

    If you need a really easy way to download from pbs, install firefox without flash (or uninstall flash for firefox). Then, various extensions (or IDM) will detect the direct mp4 link when you load the pbs page. It will be loaded as html5 video rather than flash video, although the video might not play - the mp4 link will still be detected.
    Can you explain in more detail the above? Preferably with screenshots. I'm not sure what you mean about "flash". Which one do I uninstall? How do I uninstall it? See 2 screenshots. Is it possible to just choose "never activate" in red circle? Since Adobe Flash is commonly used, I would like a simple way to reinstall it. What extensions will detect the direct mp4 link? I prefer not to use IDM. If you could provide click by click details, that would be useful.
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    Last edited by jimdagys; 14th Apr 2014 at 20:24.
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    You probably shouldn't uninstall flash if you haven't any experience with doing so. It appears that your OS is XP. Flash is installed separately for IE (that is the reference to ActiveX in Add/Remove Programs) and other browsers. You could just disable flash in firefox via the interface in your screenshot.
    Last edited by blimey; 15th Apr 2014 at 17:00.
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  5. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I was able to download 2 different pbs videos from the information you provided. No software needed, no dos window, no ffmpeg, no user agents, no iPhones, no ad blockers, no extensions, no addons needed.
    How to do:
    1) On Firefox, go to Tools>addons>plugins> Shockwave Flash
    and change from" Always Activate "to "Never Activate" (see screenshot 1 , red circle).
    2) Go to pbs website and choose video. When you get the "play arrow", right click on it and choose "copy link location".
    (See screenshot 2).
    3) Paste the link into notepad. In my case the link is:
    Code:
    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/videos/newshour/0eb2e451-70d0-48f3-912e-b9cc56f6d4dd/127210/hd-mezzanine-16x9/pnwe000164_forweb-16x9-mp4-baseline.mp4
    You can paste this link directly into Foxfire to download.
    You can also change the word "baseline" near the end of the link into "400k" or "800k".
    So the modified link becomes (using "400k"):
    Code:
    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/videos/newshour/0eb2e451-70d0-48f3-912e-b9cc56f6d4dd/127210/hd-mezzanine-16x9/pnwe000164_forweb-16x9-mp4-400k.mp4
    Using "400k" or "800k" in this case gave a bigger file size. (60mb vs 83mb vs 173mb for a 30 minute program).
    I suppose it is good to have 3 different links, in case one of them doesn't work.
    I do have a question: will this method (disabling Flash) work on any other websites besides pbs?
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    Last edited by jimdagys; 14th Apr 2014 at 23:31.
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    Originally Posted by jimdagys View Post
    I do have a question: will this method (disabling Flash) work on any other websites besides pbs?
    Yes, it will work for some other sites that I can't think of at the moment.
    Last edited by blimey; 16th Apr 2014 at 00:00.
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  7. Do you know if there is any way to get/extract/capture the closed captions (cc) on the pbs videos?
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    Search the page source for the dfxp file.
    Code:
    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/captions/newshour/d0676e24-cfe1-441a-ac28-9660dfa38c32/captions/235237_Encoded.dfxp
    Last edited by blimey; 16th Apr 2014 at 00:00.
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  9. Can you explain in more detail with a screenshot how you got the above url for a given video? What do you mean by "page source"? I put the url into firefox and it downloaded a 252kb dfxp file.
    EDIT: It appears that the dfxp file that I downloaded from your above url can be converted to srt with Subtitle Edit. But something doesn't seem right.
    Here is an excerpt of the srt file:

    1
    00:00:11,999 --> 00:00:12,999

    DECADES OF SECRECY, MEDICARE
    UNVEILED WHAT IT PAYS INDIVIDUAL
    DOCTORS.


    2
    00:00:12,999 --> 00:00:14,999

    UNVEILED WHAT IT PAYS INDIVIDUAL
    DOCTORS.
    AND THE DATA SHOWS A TINY


    3
    00:00:14,999 --> 00:00:15,999

    DOCTORS.
    AND THE DATA SHOWS A TINY
    FRACTION OF PHYSICIANS EACH


    4
    00:00:15,999 --> 00:00:17,999

    AND THE DATA SHOWS A TINY
    FRACTION OF PHYSICIANS EACH
    RECEIVED MILLIONS IN A SINGLE


    5
    00:00:17,999 --> 00:00:17,999

    FRACTION OF PHYSICIANS EACH
    RECEIVED MILLIONS IN A SINGLE
    YEAR.
    Last edited by jimdagys; 15th Apr 2014 at 01:42.
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    I'm not sure why it is doubled-up like that.

    The subs for the recent episode of 'Ask This Old House' seem ok;
    Code:
    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/captions/old-house/4d84ebb1-bbc1-42a8-9221-11e3a9bca852/captions/235329_Encoded.dfxp
    Last edited by blimey; 16th Apr 2014 at 00:00.
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  11. The dfxp subtitle file that you just sent (you said "Ask This Old House") seems fine when converted with Subtitle Edit. Can you tell me in more detail how you get the dfxp file? A screenshot would be helpful.
    Excerpt of srt file:
    1
    00:00:04,999 --> 00:00:07,999
    KEVIN: Today on
    "Ask This Old House"...
    2
    00:00:07,999 --> 00:00:09,999
    We'll show you how to build
    a simple table
    3
    00:00:09,999 --> 00:00:12,999
    and how to finish it
    the right way.
    4
    00:00:12,999 --> 00:00:15,999
    MAN: And you can see
    that our top portion,
    5
    00:00:15,999 --> 00:00:17,999
    closest to us...nice and even.
    6
    00:00:17,999 --> 00:00:19,999
    KEVIN: Look at the blotchiness
    that we've got down there.
    7
    00:00:19,999 --> 00:00:20,999
    MAN: Look at the blotchiness
    we're getting down there.
    8
    00:00:20,999 --> 00:00:22,999
    When you cut down a tree,
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    An easier way than tracing through the source paths is just to use the video ID# with videoInfo.

    So, for example, if the video url is;
    Code:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365222277/
    Take the video ID# (2365222277) and use it with the videoInfo page;
    Code:
    http://video.pbs.org/videoInfo/2365222277/
    Load the videoInfo page. The captions url is near the bottom of the page.
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  13. I would like to know how you knew that adding the word "Info" to
    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365222277/ ie http://video.pbs.org/videoInfo/2365222277/
    would get a whole new page of detailed info, including the subtitles url. Do you work for pbs? Does this method work for other websites?

    At any rate, I want to add some instructions for anybody else looking for subtitles on pbs videos.

    1) Go to pbs website and choose a video ( screenshot1, red circle). Shortly after you click on the video, a number will appear on the url at the top (green circle). Copy the whole url, in this case:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365216243/
    2) Paste this url into notepad and add "Info" (note capital I) so that you have
    http://video.pbs.org/videoInfo/2365216243/
    3) Paste this into Firefox and get a page full of info. The subtitle url is in the middle (see screenshot2) after
    the words "closed captions url".
    In this case the subtitles url is:
    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/captions/old-house/e533a42b-0bbc-4257-8ea0-24a7b6ded0f3/ca...2_Encoded.dfxp
    4) Put this url into Firefox and download the dfxp file.
    5) Input this into Subtitle Edit and save as subrip (srt).
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    Last edited by jimdagys; 15th Apr 2014 at 12:43.
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  14. Originally Posted by jimdagys View Post
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I was able to download 2 different pbs videos from the information you provided. No software needed, no dos window, no ffmpeg, no user agents, no iPhones, no ad blockers, no extensions, no addons needed.
    How to do:
    1) On Firefox, go to Tools>addons>plugins> Shockwave Flash
    and change from" Always Activate "to "Never Activate" (see screenshot 1 , red circle).
    2) Go to pbs website and choose video. When you get the "play arrow", right click on it and choose "copy link location".
    (See screenshot 2).
    3) Paste the link into notepad. In my case the link is:
    Code:
    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/videos/newshour/0eb2e451-70d0-48f3-912e-b9cc56f6d4dd/127210/hd-mezzanine-16x9/pnwe000164_forweb-16x9-mp4-baseline.mp4
    You can paste this link directly into Foxfire to download.
    You can also change the word "baseline" near the end of the link into "400k" or "800k".
    So the modified link becomes (using "400k"):
    Code:
    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/videos/newshour/0eb2e451-70d0-48f3-912e-b9cc56f6d4dd/127210/hd-mezzanine-16x9/pnwe000164_forweb-16x9-mp4-400k.mp4
    Using "400k" or "800k" in this case gave a bigger file size. (60mb vs 83mb vs 173mb for a 30 minute program).
    I suppose it is good to have 3 different links, in case one of them doesn't work.
    I do have a question: will this method (disabling Flash) work on any other websites besides pbs?


    I tried to do the shockwave tip you suggested.

    I keep getting the error

    Error loading player:
    No playable sources found

    What could I be doing wrong? I am using FF latest version and windows 8.

    I was able to see the other front line someone else posted and use download helper to obtain the link. I am trying to get this link below.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207128/
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    Originally Posted by pbshelp View Post
    ...tried to do the shockwave tip...

    I keep getting the error

    Error loading player:
    No playable sources found

    ...I am trying to get this link below.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207128/
    The link can also be obtained from the redirect link in the info page, as noted earlier in this thread.

    So, for the video you asked about (2365207128), the redirect from the info page is;
    Code:
    http://urs.pbs.org/redirect/61d86ebb811c4b1bb128199400c20526/?format=jsonp&callback=jQuery
    Load the redirect and change the result for better quality (if desired), as noted earlier in this thread.

    Also, if needed, subtitle link;
    Code:
    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/captions/frontline/ef468623-4c4b-4a47-a317-ba1ed38fddde/captions/143342_Encoded.srt
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  16. Questions for Blimey:

    In the above post, we are talking about the link:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207128/

    Question #1:
    You said
    So, for the video you asked about (2365207128), the redirect from the info page is
    So in this case, is the info page:
    http://video.pbs.org/videoInfo/2365207128/
    Is this correct?

    Question #2
    You said you could get the following url from info page:
    However, I could only find this (ie. does not have appended (?format=jsonp&callback=jQuery) on that info page:
    http://urs.pbs.org/redirect/61d86ebb811c4b1bb128199400c20526/
    So. how did you get the whole url that ends in "jQuery"?
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    That is the correct video and its corresponding info page. You can use the redirect url exactly as it is found on the info page. The additional parameters were used in the reply for illustrative purposes only --- so that the url wouldn't immediately redirect and its output could be more easily seen on screen. But nothing is required beyond the url exactly as it occurs on the info page.
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    Hi folks, Im new to the site and was following this thread. I was looking for closed captions for the movie below;

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365206680/

    Everything was fine, but the subtitles appear to be out of sequence and sometimes truncated.

    Would like to know how to correct it. Is there any other place where I can find subtitles for this movie?

    Below and excerpt of the subtitles:

    1
    00:00:07,999 --> 00:00:07,999
    >>

    2
    00:00:07,999 --> 00:00:08,999
    THIS WEEK ON

    3
    00:00:08,999 --> 00:00:09,999
    LOCAL, USA

    4
    00:00:09,999 --> 00:00:10,999
    ,

    5
    00:00:10,999 --> 00:00:12,999
    PORTRAITS OF THE HUNGRY IN

    6
    00:00:12,999 --> 00:00:13,999
    AMERICA.

    7
    00:00:13,999 --> 00:00:14,999
    MEET FARMERS

    8
    00:00:14,999 --> 00:00:15,999
    WHO CAN'T GET

    9
    00:00:15,999 --> 00:00:15,999
    ENOUGH TO EAT.

    10
    00:00:15,999 --> 00:00:17,999
    >> OUR FREEZER IS

    11
    00:00:17,999 --> 00:00:17,999
    TOTALLY

    12
    00:00:17,999 --> 00:00:18,999
    EMPTY.

    13
    00:00:18,999 --> 00:00:19,999
    SOMETIMES IT'S HARD TO SEE

    14
    00:00:19,999 --> 00:00:20,999
    WHAT WE'RE GOING TO

    15
    00:00:20,999 --> 00:00:21,999
    HAVE FOR

    16
    00:00:21,999 --> 00:00:22,999
    DINNER.

    17
    00:00:22,999 --> 00:00:23,999
    >> THE FAMILIES THAT ARE

    18
    00:00:23,999 --> 00:00:24,999
    FEELING THE PINCH.

    19
    00:00:24,999 --> 00:00:25,999
    >> WE JUST MISSED

    20
    00:00:25,999 --> 00:00:26,999
    A

    21
    00:00:26,999 --> 00:00:26,999
    REALLY

    22
    00:00:26,999 --> 00:00:27,999
    STABLE, TYPICAL

    23
    00:00:27,999 --> 00:00:29,999
    MIDDLE CLASS

    24
    00:00:29,999 --> 00:00:30,999
    EXISTENCE
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    Originally Posted by pirgah View Post
    Hi folks, Im new to the site and was following this thread. I was looking for closed captions for the movie below;

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365206680/

    Everything was fine, but the subtitles appear to be out of sequence and sometimes truncated.
    They look different to me. Maybe you converted them funny or something.
    Code:
    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/captions/local-usa/5667341e-c2f5-43c9-ae73-c5aba8853482/captions/143158_Encoded.srt
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  20. Member
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    Thanks blimey for your quick reply. I follow strictly all the instructions given here, but when I found the dfxp file it gave me that big mess. Really dont know what happened, but thank you for your contribution. Unfortunately
    Ill never know how to get the correct file on a pbs movie. Maybe Im too dumb for it.
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    Just add 1 to get srt instead of dfxp. For example, if you find;

    143157_Encoded.dfxp

    change to for srt;

    143158_Encoded.srt

    Keeping the beginning part of the url the same.
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