Capture & Save Any Type Of Streaming Content Using Media Sniffer [Windows]

Craig Snyder 19-06-2012

When we find something we enjoy on the Internet, we often want to hoard it for ourselves and keep it forever (be it legal or not). The most frequent and obvious of this type of behavior is when people are begging to know how to save YouTube videos My 3 Favorite & Easiest Ways To Download Videos Off The Web It seems that every year a promising new video service emerges (most recently, perhaps Vevo) and another hits the dust (most recently, MegaUpload/MegaVideo). As the trend continues, we storage junkies must adapt. We've talked a... Read More to their hard drive. You’ve probably done that once or twice by now through means of browser extension or a third-party website.

Using those sort of services is completely fine, but you’ll eventually run into a snag. There are a lot of websites that support YouTube’s format and it makes the downloading of files extremely easy. Then there are other video and information networks that don’t allow you any practical way to snatch what you want. For these types of websites, I recommend Media Sniffer.

Media Sniffer sniffs your traffic at the network level, ensuring that any piece of media you experience (since downloaded and cached) show up as available for keeps. You’ll need to install WinPcap to allow Media Sniffer to work properly.

best streaming video capture software

It’s important to know which network interface to sniff and analyze. Generally, the interface that displays your local IP address is the right pick. At this Preferences window, you can also determine exactly what network traffic is being captured. If you want just movies, you can limit those separate file extensions. If you want just zipped archives, that’s fine also. Port 80 is the default port for HTTP traffic.

capture streaming video

More than just the narrowing of filetypes, you’re also able to determine what specific URLs the media can be found from, and under what user agent (or browser). That means you can be browsing casually using Chrome, and sniffing using Firefox.

capture streaming video

Once you’re comfortable with how you’ve got it configured, take it for a spin. If movies are being whitelisted in your settings, go sit through a few seconds of a YouTube video. You should then see something like the following:

capture streaming video

From there, you can copy the URL to directly access the file. Keep in mind that certain websites (like, as we’ll see in this failure of an example, YouTube) use a CDN with expiring keys and other forms of encryption and protection. Pasting the URL into your browser will cause nothing more than an empty video object to show up. This does not happen very often and you’ll only notice it as a problem with huge media networks such as YouTube. The smaller fish are easier to pick off.

how to capture streaming video

I think it’s nice to keep Media Sniffer up (or docked in the system tray) when browsing around online, allowing it to catch everything that you may eventually want to save and keep. It’s a very small application that doesn’t take up many resources at all.

We’re able to make a much better example out of Twitvid, a smaller video-hosting website. Go to Twitvid (no longer available)>, start capturing, and play any video. You’ll instantly notice it pop up in the captured URLs.

how to capture streaming video

Again, just right click, copy, and paste into your browser. It’ll take you to the raw MP4 file. Depending on what browser plugins you have installed, you can either play it through your browser, or it’ll automatically prompt to save. If it plays in the browser, just go to File and you can save it from there.

best streaming video capture software

Anything that comes through your browser makes it through the network, and is therefore open to manipulation through Media Sniffer. It doesn’t matter if it’s streaming audio, video, Flash content, etc. It’s as simple as starting Media Sniffer up, allowing the media to play, and then copy/pasting the parsed URL into your browser and hoping that the raw content isn’t obfuscated in some crazy way that won’t allow you to save it. Keep your fingers crossed.

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  1. Alibaba
    July 31, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    "TubeHunter Ultra is not free yet it is free to try and will download most ANY video including streaming long running movies."

    It works for one second.

  2. jessemanalansan
    June 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you for this one! Might come in handy someday.

  3. Shehan Nirmal
    June 26, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Is it compatible with Linux platforms...???

  4. venkatp16
    June 22, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Super cooooool toool... can't stop using this

  5. shaurya boogie
    June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    yeah that is cool

  6. illegal3alien
    June 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Fiddler2 also works well, but you'll probably need to add some filters if you have a lot of traffic to find the right thing.

  7. Aaron
    June 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Thank for sharing this software!
    If you don't want to download software, here is free way to save online streaming videos.

    Also I check this tool to record streaming video from Hulu, CBS, there didn't work, because videos from hulu, ABC etc are streamed in RTMP.

    This tool works with RTMP video from hulu, spike etc.

  8. druv vb
    June 19, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Nice little tool for streaming media. I use JDownloader or File2HD for all of them.
    But this one seems to give a little more edge when getting from different sources.

    • Ravi Meena
      June 24, 2012 at 4:15 am

      I too use Jdownloader, and it is enough for what i want to achieve (downloading youtube videos).

  9. Aleks
    June 19, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Awesome. This will come in very handy. Can't wait to give it a go.