Few days ago I got an email about a sneak peek at System of a Down's BYOB video. I could resist the temptation. But today I decided to watch the real thing, after I got another email stating the full version was available for watching. I visited the site and saw several formats: Real Video, QuickTime, Windows Media (56k, 300k, or 450k). Since I have a slow connection and didn't like the quality of the 56k version, I looked around for a way to capture the stream and save it as a file.
I never had captured a Windows Media stream before, so I first had to look around a bit (to say the least) using Google. The first promising candidate, ASFRecord, was not able to give any result I could use. I tried even to use wget to download the media files, because at first I thought the several redirection levels were causing a problem. But alas, this was the output I got:
Parsing URL: 'mms://wm.sony.global.speedera.net/wm.sony.global/ Columbia/SystemOfADown/SOAD_BYOBVid_Explicit_450.wmv' Resolving host: 'wm.sony.global.speedera.net' connecting to: wm.sony.global.speedera.net sending request [342 bytes] waiting for reply... unknown content-type: application/vnd.ms.wms-hdr.asfv1 reply: 200 - OK
A Google search for more information on the unknown content-type resulted in a message describing how someone patched the source of ASFRecorder and ended up with a file without video. In that, I was not interested. There is a video, so I want to see a video.
So I decided to Google a bit more, and somehow ended up on a page of Softpedia, offering a free version of WM Recorder version 7.0. I already had found the official WM Recorder site. How I found it was quite a sad story: when I used Google to find ASFRecorder, a sponsored link suggested an "ASFRecorder update". However, the demo of WM Recorder can only record 2 minutes, and I am sure BYOB is a bit longer. I mean, if one has to bring his or her own bombs, one expects the party to last for more than 2 minutes.
So I downloaded the first Softpedia entry. Sadly, this so called mirror is under control of the current owners of WM Recorder, and the zip file I downloaded contained only one HTML file, which after a quick peek was just an ad for a more recent version of WM Recorder. Prepared for the worst I tried the second link, the SoftPedia (RO) mirror one, but in this case the download took more time. And indeed, the zip file (MD5SUM: a1dc0793d940c81d6a3e7f931876382b *WMR70.zip) did contain an executable program (exe).
Note: I have no idea if files downloaded from Softpedia.ro can be trusted, so download at your own risk.
I extracted the WMR70.zip file. Next I started WMR70.exe and a Window popped up. I selected URL mode. A very small window with hard to read green text popped up. I used FireFox to go to the System of a Down page with the official links, and copied the location of the 450k link using the mouse menu. This links is as follows: http://systemofadown.com/Videos/SOAD_BYOBVid_Explicit_450.asx (so you can copy it from this page).
After I pasted the link in the WM Recorder program and selecting "record" an error message was displayed: "Cannot open C:\MRecord\New.wmr". So I created the directory, and selected "record" again, and the download started.
Important: when the download is complete, a file called New.wmr is created (unless you picked a different name) in C:\MRecord. This is not the finished file. You have to select "play" in order to convert the file to asf. Select New.wmr in the file dialog after you selected "play", and a file called New.asf should be created. When the conversion is finished, Windows Media Player starts, and plays the file. If everything works ok, I recommend to quit the Media Player and rename the file to "BYOB (Explicit).asf" (without the quotes). The file size should be 14.924.897 bytes (MD5SUM: 62c502b49f9b265e6014aeaca0a1e699 *BYOB (Explicit).asf)
So finally I was able to sit back, relax, and have a good look at the video. It reminds me a lot of the Toxicity video, which I consider excellent, and like a lot. I still have to get used to the song.