How To Get the URL of a Media Stream

Usually the URL of a media stream is hidden in a small text file called metafile. The metafile may have the following file extension: .RAM, .RPM, .ASX, .WAX, .WVX, .SMIL, .PLS, etc. Some other methods like disabled right-click can make it difficult to find stream URLs. In such cases the following methods can be used to get the hidden URL of a media stream:

Getting Windows Media, Real Audio, Real Video stream URL with ease the best

WM Recorder can automatically get the URL of a stream played by your Windows Media player or/and Real Player (RealOne Player). It can also automatically find QuickTime .MOV video HTTP URLs and Flash .FLV video HTTP URLs. Besides WM Recorder can automatically record all above mentioned audio/video streams.

Getting stream URL using URL Finder (URL Snooper, URL Sniffer) software the best

URL finder (URL Snooper, URL Sniffer) can be a part of a stream recorder (WM Recorder, Replay AV, Replay Media Catcher, NetTransport, GetASFStream, DownloadStudio, WebStreamRecorder) or a standalone program (Project URL Snooper, URL Helper).

The majority of URL Finders are based on the winpcap library. If you experience problems with winpcap, you should try alternative solutions.

How to use a URL finder (Applicable to the majority of URL finding software. See a corresponding user guide for more):

  • Download, install and Run URL finder
  • Select the appropriate network adapter (dial-up adapter, ethernet adapter, Bluetooth adapter, …)
  • Start sniffing network packets
  • Play a media stream in your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera,…) or media player (Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, QuickTime Player, Winamp, VLC, MPlayer, …). Please do not surf the net while playing your stream to avoid excess URLs to be found.
  • Copy the URL and paste it in your favorite stream recorder (for standalone URL finders only)

Getting stream URL from metafile with text editor

A metafile contains URL(s) pointing to the corresponding media stream(s) or to another metafile. Structure of some metafiles is rather complex for newbies, so it could be hard to get a stream URL using this method.

First of all you need to save a metafile to your hard disk:

  • Open a web-browser. Navigate to a page that has a link to the metafile.
  • Find the link to the metafile and make a right click on it.
  • Select “Save target as …”.
  • Change a filename and location (if necessary).
  • Click “Save” button.

After saving the metafile, open it with a text editor (for example: Windows NotePad). Then try to find the URL of the actual media stream.

If the saved metafile has only a URL pointing to another metafile only: Copy the new URL, paste it in your browser, download the new metafile and try to get a stream URL from it.

Getting stream URL from player

If a metafile is password protected or protected by JavaScript, Flash, etc. try to get stream information from your media player (such as Windows Media Player, Real Player). Real Player, for example, allows you to get some information about a clip by clicking [View]->[Clip]->[Clip Info] or [View]->[Clip]->[Clip Source].

Getting stream URL from embedded player

If you want to get the URL from an embedded Real player: Right click on it and select “Play in Player”. After that you may get the URL from the Real Player using the above mentioned instruction.

If you wanna get the URL from an embedded Windows Media Player: Right click on it and select “Properties”. The URL of a stream can be found on the “File” tab.

If right click on a page with an embedded player is disabled, you may try a different browser or you may use Proxomitron filter to enable right-click. Most probably you will find other methods much easier.

Please note that some stream rippers like WM Recorder and Replay Media Catcher can find stream URLs and record them automatically.

Getting HTTP/RTMP stream URLs from Adobe Flash player

Replay Media Catcher can find .FLV video and .MP3 audio stream URLs from Adobe Flash player and record them automatically.

You may also find RTMP and HTTP flash stream URLs with URL finders. Most of them can find HTTP stream URLs. But Project URL Snooper can find flash .FLV video stream URLs starting with both http:// and rtmp://.

CooJah is a freeware URL finder for HTTP and RTMP streams.

rtmpdump comes with two freeware command line tools rtmpsrv and rtmpsuck. They allow to get RTMP and RTMPE URLs as well as additional parameters needed to download such streams.

Getting HTTP/HTTPS stream URL with Proxomitron

Proxomitron is a free HTTP/HTTPS proxy for Windows that can help you to find stream URLs for HTTP/HTTPS streams as well as user-agent and cookies. To find stream URLs, user-agent and cookies with Proxomitron:

  • Start Proxomitron and Click “Log Window”.
  • Go to the browser and start the stream playing.
  • Open the “Log Window” and analyze request and reply headers.

P.S. After finding a stream URL, copy it and paste in your favorite media stream recorder. My recommendations about stream recorders can help you to choose the best one.