Two tools from Master Nirsoft to help you download streaming videos (and audios) off the internet

URL Snooper is a pretty popular software for allowing you to download streaming videos/audio off the internet. However lately I have been having a problem with URL Snooper and YouTube videos. So I went looking for other tools and I came across two more masterpieces by Nirsoft.

VideoCacheView

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You see whenever you watch a video on the internet, the video is downloaded into something known as your browser’s “cache”. VideoCacheView simply views your browser’s cache and tells you about the videos in there. Then all you have to do is right click it…

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…and select “Copy Selected Files To…” to save the video else where on your computer. The advantage of using this grab-video-from-cache method is you do not have to re-download a video you just viewed – it is already existing in your cache. The problem with this method is the video names will not be properly generated (this is not the program’s fault) so you may have to guess a couple of times to find the correct video (just do “Play Selected File” before saving it to a permanent location on your computer).

A couple of things more to note:

  • VideoCacheView works with more than videos:

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  • VideoCacheView supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Chrome:

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WebVideoCap

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WebVideoCap takes a different approach to downloading streaming videos off the Internet. Similar to how URL Snooper works, WebVideoCap monitors and sniffs your network traffic looking for Flash (FLV, MP4, and SWF) and WMV video traffic and RTSP/MMS streams. When it finds such traffic/stream it automatically saves the video onto your computer.

Since WebVideoCap monitors network traffic, it is browser independent. However I would like to point I am having trouble getting it to detect streams while using Firefox (I plan on doing more troubleshooting later). However it works just fine when I try when I use Internet Explorer. WebVideoCap now works just fine for me while using Firefox and Internet Explorer both. One thing to keep in mind with WebVideoCap is since it monitors your network traffic, it may take a minute or two for it to detect a streaming video so be patient; it will not be as fast as VideoCacheView.

Another thing to keep in mind is as files are downloaded with WebVideoCap, they will be automatically named with a naming scheme (see “Filename Prefix”). So be sure to rename them as you get them or else you may have a problem identifying which video is what if you download many of them at once.

Last thing to note about WebVideoCap is if you are using Vista SP1 and higher you will need to download the WinPCap driver.

To conclude this post, I highly suggest you download both these programs and keep them in your arsenal to help you download streaming videos/audio from the internet. Since they both take a different approach, between them you will hardly ever miss a video/audio you need. If you are worried about wasting hard drive space, don’t worry. I bet your math homework takes up more space on your hard drive: both of the portable versions of VideoCacheView and WebVideoCap are less than 100 KB each after you unzip them. However if you do plan on downloading and using both, just be sure you are not downloading the same file with both programs – that will waste hard drive space.

You can download both programs from the following links:

Click here to download VideoCacheView | Portable version here

Click here to download WebVideoCap | Portable version here

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18 comments

  1. Giovanni

    Well, Ashraf, I think you should update this article asap….LOL!!

    Why?? Because a brand new revolutionary browser-based video/audio recording and conversion program has been released on the market, enabling you to save and even convert any kind of videos from over 1000 sites.

    And it can also automtically create MP3s files from ANYTHING you hear on your PC, including radio, worldwide TV channels and, of course, Skype calls!!

    And guess what?? It’s FREE!!

    http://applian.com/freecorder4/

    FULL TUTORIAL:
    http://applian.com/freecorder4/help.php#video

    Amazing, isn’t it??

    Enjoy!!

  2. Jeanjean

    @ Ashraf

    Is there a reason you deleted the sentence: “However I would like to point I am having trouble getting it to detect streams while using Firefox …” ?

    I ask this because I have the same difficulty with VideoCacheView : the same videos appears with IE but not Firefox.

  3. Merlin

    Ashraf,

    All these Nirsoft stuff as well as Systernal could be found conveniently regrouped in a Freeware called WSSC (Window system control center). I have been using it for ages and it is very convenient, much more than the alternatives.

  4. etim

    @Bill S:

    From the nirsoft blog from 4.31.10–
    People who blame me for distributing Trojans and Viruses: As you may already know, most Antivirus programs show false Virus/Trojan alerts for my utilities, especially for the utilities that extract passwords or other sensitive data from the operating system.
    Because I already warn about false virus alerts in my Web site and also posted about the problem in my Blog, most people understand that the Virus alerts are false and my software is clean from any Virus or Trojan.

  5. howard

    It should be mentioned that, to save a file from a browser’s cache, the entire file must be in the cache. But files go in and out of that cache, and it may easily be too small to store an entire streaming video of some movie, etc.

  6. Dunc

    @Bill S:
    I remember years ago when Nir Sofer was just getting going, his reputation for one reason and another got a tiny bit tarnished.
    Once he out his software onto a web host that was controlled by himself, his reputation got to where it should be and is now … highly respected (his early free hosting used to apparently add their own bits and pieces)
    Norton used to have a superb reputation and WAS highly respected …

    Draw your own conclusions about which one to trust and appreciate that many of the utilities contain methods that go deep into the system itself to provide access.
    Personally I’d switch off Norton and get the download.

  7. david roper

    Nirsoft is a genius. Anything he writes is valuable to have. His website is full of valuable utilities and they are so small, too.

    All Freeware.

    Hulu is operated by the big money guys and is protected quite well. Forget them for a while.

    Don’t let Hulu protection stop anybody from grabbing this software for 99% of the other stuff out there.