Posts tagged: rtmp

Jun 23 2009

rtmpdump is a Finalist for the SourceForge Community Choice Awards

Despite being the subject of a DMCA takedown notice at SourceForge.net, rtmpdump has been short-listed for ‘Best Project for Multimedia’ in the SourceForge.net Community Choice Awards 2009.

Please show your support now by voting for this project if you value the contribution it has made to free software and if you want to see the continuance of the project. Voting ends on 20th July 2009 so get clicking!

Jun 09 2009

get_iplayer gets Live BBC iPlayer Stream Support

After many requests I have eventually given in and added Live stream support for BBC iPlayer TV and Radio. So now you don’t need to playback TV in a browser – you can use the video player of your choice. The Radio streams are of fantastic quality especially when not played back in adobe flash player – well done BBC! The Flash AAC radio quality is between 128-192 kbps and the TV is either 512×288 or 640×360 resolution at between 512-800 kbps.

Remember that you do need a TV License to legally record or watch any Live TV streams in the UK. The Live support does require flvstreamer v1.8 or later(rtmpdump v1.6 is not as reliable with these streams). The below examples assume that the tool is in your path already. If not then add it using ‘–flvstreamer=/path/to/flvstreamer’. As a side note, rtmpdump 1.5/1.5a, albeit somewhat unreliable, will work only if you want to record the live streams or listen to Live Radio – direct TV playback does not want to work on those older versions.

Live BBC iPlayer TV

To watch BBC iPlayer TV channels via mplayer, for example, use:

get_iplayer –pid tv:bbc_one –stdout –nowrite | mplayer -cache 512 –

Or

get_iplayer –pid tv:<iPlayer Channel URL> –stdout –nowrite | mplayer -cache 512 –

Or to record a Live programme:
Where <iPlayer Channel URL> is a URL like: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/radio/bbc_radio_one or http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/playlive/bbc_radio_one/

get_iplayer –pid tv:bbc_one

The ‘vmode’ used by the BBC iPlayer TV Live streams in ‘flashnormal’ so you may need to add ‘–vmode=flashnormal’ if you don’t normally have that in your vmode list.

Live BBC iPlayer Radio

To listen to BBC iPlayer Radio channels via mplayer, for example, use:

get_iplayer –pid radio:bbc_radio_one –amode=flashaac –stdout –nowrite | mplayer -cache 128 –

Or

get_iplayer –pid radio:<iPlayer Channel URL> –amode=flashaac –stdout –nowrite | mplayer -cache 128 –

Or to record a Live programme:

get_iplayer –pid radio:bbc_one –amode=flashaac

Please not that the recording and streaming will not stop after the end of a programme – it is perpetual.

Other Media Players

The recorded live streams will playback on any media player that can decode flv streams. So far I’ve successfully managed to get them playing back on xine, vlc and mplayer on Linux. I’ve not tried the various players on Windows or MacOSX.
I tried to playback th live TV streams directly with those players and found that both mplayer and xine were successful. I had trouble getting vlc to work without stuttering because I couldn’t figure out how to set the buffer/cache size. For xine use: ‘| xine stdin:/’.
The direct audio playback seems to work on mplayer and vlc only although vlc does result in slightly glitchy playback compared with mplayer.
Let me know below if you manage to get other media players to work.

Converting flv Streams

Convert Audio losslessly:

ffmpeg -i infile.flv -vn -acodec copy -y outfile.m4a

Convert video flv to avi losslessly:

ffmpeg -i infile.flv -vcodec copy -acodec copy -y outfile.avi

May 24 2009

rtmpdump can be used to download copyrighted works – Like a web browser

This is the reason adobe have issued the DMCA removal request for rtmpdump – the tool which allows saving of downloaded rtmp streams from sites that use the rtmp streaming protocol. I’ve had some more clarification. The DMCA removal request by adobe does not claim that rtmpdump infringes any copyright of adobe, but it claims rtmpdump can be used to infringe copyrights of others. It says in the letter:

The rtmpdump utility hosted on SourceForge.net (see URL below) can be used to download copyrighted works, such as those on www.channel4.com.

Well isn’t this kind of like saying that web browsers can be used to download copyrighted works – and almost all web site content is copyrighted; Maybe adobe should issue a DMCA removal request on mozilla.org? Does the fact that rtmp is used necessarily mean that the user cannot save the stream for time-shifting, fair-use or legitimate archiving purposes? The content could even quite possibly come under a creative commons license which can allow indefinite storage, copying and distribution with the right attribution.

As ever, I wonder what adobe’s motivations are here. Maybe adobe just don’t want their highly obfuscated protocols to become widely implemented in open source projects? Or maybe their protocol is sold on the basis of rtmp streams being secure and non-downloadable and now they must face the fact that it was not the case? Who knows? Is this just another example of the Emperor’s New clothes?

It would appear that the rtmp and rtmpe protocols have now been documented in detail according a story that just broke on slashdot.

I’d like to encourage readers who value such tools to nominate rtmpdump for Best Multimedia Project on Sourceforge. Just click the icon.

Update 24th May 2009: The entire letter can be now be viewed at chillingeffects.org

May 21 2009

Adobe has issued a DMCA removal request for rtmpdump

I’ve just found out today that the author of rtmpdump has received a DMCA removal request via Sourceforge for rtmpdump which is was hosted by them. This is rather curious since Adobe publicly and officially announced earlier this year that they will be releasing the specification of the RTMP protocol on its public developers site.

Get your copy now from the very many downloads available on the internet. Looks like Adobe will have their work cut out for them given the sheer number of sites that host this software globally. There is no doubt that this highly dangerous piece of code will also turn up on many bittorrent trackers and file download sites.

Maybe Adobe should try to understand that if you publicly hand out the decryption keys for the streamed media that you have encrypted then trying to prevent the decryption of such data is somewhat futile. This is really just an elaborate obfuscation technique that the big media bosses clearly believe works.

Adobe, as you probably know, has a history of restricting open interoperability and free speech. Remember the Dimitri Sklyarov case?.

Update see this post for more info…

Apr 16 2009

BBC iPlayer HD 1280×720 now supported by get_iplayer

The BBC now provide HD 1280×720 resolution (720p) flash streams!!! And, OMG, the quality is awesome. get_iplayer also supports this as of now.

The even better news is that if the flash version determines that your broadband link is too slow for this HD content, get_iplayer will still record it for you to watch at your leisure on the player of your choice.

I’ve managed to get this working with get_iplayer on ‘Dr Who – Planet of the Dead’. (Thanks to Andrew who pointed this out)

  • Resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Video Codec: H.264
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Bitrate: 3200 kbps
For BBC HD content please use get_iplayer –vmode=flashhd … with get_iplayer v1.61 and rtmpdump v1.4. The fedora, ubuntu, MacOSX and Windows binaries on this site are already at v1.4.
Do be warned that a one hour programme will consume approximately 1.4GB.
Interestingly enough, my desktop PC suffers badly when trying to playback even the 640×360 programmes in flash player but using get_iplayer and mplayer to playback works perfectly even with 1280×720!
Update 20th April: It seems that the BBC were a little premature in their earlier announcement. They launched the HD iPlayer today properly.
Mar 17 2009

BBC Readies new iPlayer HD 720×404 streams

It would appear that the BBC have started to serve the new High(er) Definition iPlayer streams with the following stream quality:

  • Resolution: 720 x 404 pixels
  • Video Codec: H.264
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Bitrate: 1500 kbps

I’ve managed to watch some of the content and the quality looks excellent and a marked improvement over the existing 640 x 360 / 800kbps content.

So, to stop all the speculation, yes, it does seem that this new BBC iPlayer HD (well not quite 720p) will be served via the web based flash player.

Also, please update to the newest get_iplayer because flashhigh support has now been fixed after the BBC changed it today.

Update: For BBC HD content please use get_iplayer –vmode=flashvhigh … with get_iplayer v1.47 and rtmpdump v1.4. The fedora, ubuntu, MacOSX and Windows binaries on this site are already at v1.4.
For the programmes that have this new mode available this seems to work mostly reliably now.
Another Update (16/04/2009): You probably already noticed my newer post and that the BBC have released 1280×720 3.2Mbps HD streams now – and that the SD stream is now 832×468 (no longer 720×404) but still 1.5Mbps

Feb 19 2009

Hulu kicks Boxee – No more Hulu in get_iplayer for now

Today Hulu.com kicked Boxee off their system by, from what I can tell, changing the algorithm/method that is used to determine the playlist PID from the Hulu content-id. This means that get_iplayer will not be able to download Hulu until this is worked out again. I’ve looked at all of the latest Hulu javascript and the algorithm doesn’t appear to be in there. I’m supposing its now done in ActionScript inside the some swf. If anyone has better tools for getting at the algorithms inside of the flash player then please have a go and let me know!

Dec 25 2008

get_iplayer gets High Quality Flash BBC iPlayer RTMP Downloading Capability

Merry Christmas!

Another great feature has been added to get_iplayer. You can now download programmes from the high quality flash version of the BBC iPlayer (640×360 resolution) using the optional rtmpdump tool. This means that you will be able to download ANY programme as soon as it is available on the iPlayer Flash web page.

Andrej Stepanchuk has very kindly written and released rtmpdump. If installed, get_iplayer (v1.04 or above) can use it by adding the –vmode=rtmp option to any TV download. This feature is currently an alpha test.
Pre-requisites are:

  • Installation of rtmpdump
  • ffmpeg (to convert the flv file into mp4 format)

You can get rtmpdump here (compiled for Linux/x86-32bit, MacOSX/x86 and cygwin). The Home Page and C++ source is here. I recommend you compile your own – it is very easy – just make sure you have the boost libraries installed.

In get_iplayer you’ll need to specify the location of rtmpdump binary (using –rtmpdump) if it is not already in the path.

Let me know how it goes.

Update (28th December 2008)

Andrej has released rtmpdump-v1.1 this addresses issues with 64-bit Linux and adds download resume support. Use in conjunction with the latest get_iplayer 1.05 or newer.

If you come across problems specifically related to rtmpdump (i.e. not get_iplayer) you can post them at the Sourceforge page for rtmpdump.

Update (2nd January 2009)

For get_iplayer 1.09 and above to use the RTMP features you’ll need rtmpdump-v1.2+ this addresses issues with Normal quality RTMP Flash downloads and adds download resume support for this quality.

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