Websites such as Deezer, Pandora, , Last.fm (and others) all serve free streaming music – often bundled with certain restrictions that reduce their convenience to users. A number of separate various applications exist to download music from specific sites (such as Freezer which exists to download from Deezer, Jiwa, and imeem only. Or tools like VidToMP3 that can convert Youtube videos to MP3.), so their range is limited.
Today we’ll show you an all-inclusive method that can download songs from Pandora and most, if not all, websites. The drawback? No automatic naming, the files are in FLV format rather than MP3, and you’ll have to drag them out of the cache yourself. However, user input is minimal, especially on playlist type websites.
BEFORE YOU PROCEED! : The following instructions described below may violate the Terms of Service of the aforementioned websites (and also have various moral implications). This tutorial is provided for your convenience only – all actions you undertake using this tutorial are yours alone and MakeUseOf cannot be held liable for any damages incurred.
The basic premise of the method is to kill the HTTP headers that tells the content to expire so that the content will be cached – where you then drag it out of the cache, convert it to MP3, and add it to your library. We’ll be using a small program called Proxomitron, and as usual, we’re focused on Firefox.
Set up Proxomitron
- Download and install Proxomitron. When you first run it, you’ll be greeted by a rather interesting (eye stabbing) interface. To change this, click Config and select Don’t use textures.
- Uncheck Web Page Filters, we will not need them. If you want, you can take a selective look by clicking Web Page under Edit Filters, but at least one of the default options interferes with the ability to use music streaming websites.
- Click Headers under Edit Filters. Check the following, but uncheck everything else:
- Cache-Control: always cache (in)
- Expires: always cache (in)
- Hit OK. At this point, Proxomitron is all configured. The next steps will deal with setting up Firefox to use Proxomitron.
Set up Firefox and Download Songs
- Open up Firefox. Head over to Tools â†’ Options… â†’ Advanced â†’ Network â†’ Settings, and hit Manual Proxy Configuration. Set it to use localhost and port 8080. Also check that the cache quota is sizable based on the amount of music you want to download at once (I have mine set at 50MB).
- At this point Firefox is configured to run its connection through Proxomitron, which will filter out the unwanted HTTP headers. Head over to a music streaming website of your choice and load up a song.
- Head over to the cache folder once it’s finished loading. You can do this step after loading a bunch of songs, as long as the number of songs you’ve loaded doesn’t grow beyond the cache size, at which point files start getting automatically pruned.
- On XP it’s C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[random].default\Cache
- Vista: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[random].default\Cache
- Portable Firefox: \FirefoxPortable\Data\profile\Cache
Sort the list by Date Modified so that the most recent files end up at the top. Generally the Date Created is when the streaming was initiated, while the Date Modified is when the stream finished downloading. Make sure the size is realistic (you generally want something above 1000KB), then copy/paste the file to a different folder and rename it with a .flv extension.
- Convert the .flv file to .mp3 with a program of your choice. I prefer WinFF. You may also use online FLF to MP3 converter like FLVto.
That’s the process in a nutshell. Find a website that defies this method? Any easier method to download music from Pandora and alike music streaming sites? Tell us about it in the comments.