Updated on August 20, 2021
There are many online and desktop downloaders that help us download streaming videos from the popular video-streaming sites. But when we found some needed videos on niche sites, these downloaders often do not work. How can we download these hard-to-grab videos? Read on, follow this article and I am sure that you will get the satisfying answer.
Please remember not to use this method for any commercial profit. It will bring yourself into several copyright problems and also do harm to the video manufacturers. WonderFox never supports any commercial video piracy action. Never apply this method to any copyrighted videos.
Optionally, read this article first: A Comprehensive Guide – Is It Legal to Download YouTube Videos and How to Download
Nowadays, many online video sites like YouTube share videos in an XHR format, which is used to prevent users from downloading videos. But sometimes, we do need to download these videos for our personal purposes. How can we achieve this goal? The workable way to download streaming videos in XHR format involves many steps, which may be difficult for the newbie. Nevertheless, you will get the gist more easily after going through the tutorial below.
It is not a simple process for downloading XHR streaming videos, so we will demonstrate the whole process in two parts. First you need to install the capable video streaming downloader, then, find the true address of the XHR streams. Let's check out the details.
The workable method I found requires FFmpeg and a download plug-in component of it. You can download the two tools from the sites below:
The plug-in component: https://github.com/nilaoda/N_m3u8DL-CLI
After you download these files, you need not to install them. But in order to run FFmpeg, you have to add an environment variable into your system. To do this, press the Win button on your keyboard and input system here. Then, click the System button on the search list. Now, you can see the system window. Navigate to Advanced system settings on the left side of the window > Environment Variables… > Find Path in the System variables and double-click it so as to edit it. Now press Win + E to find the location of the bin folder of FFmpeg. Copy its location and paste it to the end of the Variable value in the Path editing dialog. (Please make sure that the original value ends with ';'. If not, input ';' first.) Then click Ok > Ok > Ok to save the editing. Now, the FFmpeg is workable.
Cut the Plug-in component and paste it into the same location of the bin folder of FFmpeg. Ok, the component is also workable.
Now, it is time to find the content we need to paste.
When it comes to downloading videos, it is necessary to find the true address storing the video. Generally, for common videos, we can easily find this item and download the video source with the help of video downloaders, whatever online websites such as sites like KeepVid, or a faster desktop program. But to download streaming videos in XHR format from some niche sites, you may not find any one available, even there are some streaming video downloaders that claim to be able to download streaming video online but actually not. You have to find the true address by yourself. How to do that? Follow me.
Step 1. Head to the development tool of your browser, such as Chrome, Firefox and the like. Here Chrome is taken as an example.
On the page of where you want to download video from, press Ctrl + Shift + J to enable the development tool of Chrome.
Step 2. In the develop tool, click Network on the top menu bar. Now, click the play button above the video you want to download. To better find the true address, please wait a while for loading the video. After that, click Type and scroll to find XHR in type. You can see the XHR files refresh. Look at the files name, find some files end with ".m3u8". They are the really address. Click them, a new window will appear. In the header menu of the new window, you can see a request URL, which we need to copy. Actually, among these .m3u8 items, there is only one that really includes the whole video. You should better try M3U8 items first appeared after you click the video play button.
Related Read: How to Play M3U8 Files and How to Convert M3U8 to MP4
Step 3. Now, you get the real URL storing the entire video. Back to the plug-in component of FFmpeg and double-click the component to open the DOS window (Command line window). You can paste URLs by right-clicking the top border and press Edit > Paste.
After the analyzing and downloading, you can get the entire video. But if not, what you need to do is find and try another URL in step 2. Do not be discouraged, try a few more times and you will get the whole video. By the way, the downloaded files are storied in the Download folder under bin folder.
Now, you have learned how to download streaming videos divided into parts of XHR format videos and you are able to download streaming movies from any site with the same method. What a cool skill, isn’t it? Except for streaming videos in XHR format, most videos you have watched on websites can be downloaded with a popular video downloader. WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro is such a good tool. It helps you achieve more efficient and high-quality downloads and can also download any streaming video with its built-in video recorder. If you think the way above is too complicated for you, you can try this streaming video downloader/recorder.
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