Thursday, 13 October 2011

Late influential people

An intentionally incomplete list of influential people who died during my lifetime:

  • 19770816 Elvis Presley
  • 19780319 Gaston Julia
  • 19911124 Freddie Mercury
  • 19951218 Konrad Zuse
  • 19961120 Paul Erdős
  • 20010224 Claude Shannon
  • 20010511 Douglas Adams
  • 20010729 Wau Holland
  • 20031112 Johnny Cash
  • 20060707 Rudi Carrell
  • 20061230 Saddam Hussein
  • 20071029 Itojun
  • 20080305 Joseph Weizenbaum
  • 20080519 Arthur C Clarke
  • 20090625 Michael Jackson
  • 20101014 Benoît Mandelbrot
  • 20110502 Osama bin Laden
  • 20110723 Amy Winehouse
  • 20110822 Vicco von Bülow
  • 20111005 Steve Jobs
  • 20111008 Dennis M Ritchie
  • 20111122 Georg Kreisler
  • 20160421 Prince
  • 20160110 David Bowie
  • 20161107 Leonard Cohen

Monday, 10 October 2011

Saving AllThingsD videos

I think Walt Mossberg's interviews with Steve Jobs at D1, D2, D3, D5 (with Bill Gates) and D8 are historically tremendously interesting. So I wanted to archive them myself which turned out to be a bit difficult as the Wall Street Journal has gone to quite some effort to make sure the normal video downloading tools don't work.

I ended up getting the RTMP URLs by installing Replay Media Catcher which shows URLs like rtmp://cp49988.edgefcs.net:1935/ondemand/74940/?ovpfv=2.1.4<break>video/20100502/040210atdjobsatd1/040210atdjobsatd1. The free trial version of this software only downloads the first half of any streams, so I wanted to use MPlayer to download the entire streams which I knew supports RTMP.

However, the URL is strange where it contains the odd <break> indicator which I didn't know what to do with. Googling around pointed me at RTMPDump which has separate options for the different components of the RTMP URL. The solution turned out to be the following command:

$ rtmpdump \
 -r 'rtmp://cp49988.edgefcs.net:1935' \
 -a 'ondemand/74940/?ovpfv=2.1.4' \
 -y 'video/20100502/040210atdjobsatd1/040210atdjobsatd1' \
 -o 'steve-jobs-d1-2003.flv'

Just to make sure, I'll also archive versions converted to MP4 using

$ ffmpeg \
 -i steve-jobs-d1-2003.flv \
 -qscale 5 -acodec copy \
 steve-jobs-d1-2003.mp4