Saturday, 5 March 2011

artepupper 0.1

UPDATE: try 0.2!
Arte tv's site, host hundreds of high quality videos with interesting performances of classical,  jazz and alternative pop music. The only drawback is that those videos, often more than an hour long, can only be viewed streamed online. 
They are (at the time of this writing, march 2011) all in Flash video format. They are played with a flash player, and streamed from a server with the RTMP protocol over HTTP.  The RTMP 'address' is 'hidden' in a second webpage called by the webpage hosting the video with its player. In reality there are several tricks to view the videos offline, they can be grabbed from the browser cache, the RTMP address can be intercepted with URL grabbers. There is a freeware tool/library, RTMPDump, able to download the FLV file from the streaming server. Unfortunately, it must often be compiled, it's a command line utility, and it still needs the RTMP address. Here,, at Carmelo Ingrao's software page, you can download several scripts to ease the process. The most advanced is Juan Domingo's Perl script. Unfortunately, all this still requires a certain degree of familiarity with Unix style utilities and programming, which I do have, but the majority of people interested in arte's videos don't . So, I've written a small Windows program (it requires the  .NET Framework, 2.0 or more, and it should work without problems in Windows from XP/2000 onwards, provided .NET is installed) which simply takes the video URL, a filename to save the video to and downloads the file. The program is just a user friendly interface to RTMPDump.exe, which does the actual downloading: I've included it within the archive, for the sake of installation ease, but of course if the file can be download at all it's all thanks to RTMPDump's author Andrej Stephanchuk and Howard Chu. My utility is just a conversion of Juan Domingos's perl script, using the same regular expressions. Please note that this program, and all the other scripts, will work as long as arte won't change their site: once they'll modify their xhtml code, or switch to an HTML5 player or whatever, the program will probably display a 'can't find eventnumber' message and will refuse to start RTPMdump. If possible I'll update the program, when I have the time.

To get the software: download Unzip the archive somewhere where you have read/execute/write file permissions (note that sometimes operating system policies forbid you to run .net software from network drives). There is no setup utility, nor one is really needed: to uninstall simply delete the files. Run the artepupper.exe 'a' icon - if you want you can create a shortcut to it on the desktop or in the start menu.. In most cases the 'RTMPDump Path' text box can be ignored, it's the path to the rtmpdump.exe utility, which is included. If one wants to use another rtmpdump, it can be changed here, if one knows what to do.

The arte video URL must be pasted in the URL Video arté live web. It must be the full URL, something like If you can't get this kind of URL navigating the site, try searching for video with the 'recherche avancée' advanced search button. Then choose a filename/path for the .flv video with the '<<' button. Click 'Download'. If all goes well in a few seconds artepupper will load the pages, scan them for the RTMP address, and launch RTMPdump.exe with the correct parameters. RTMPdump.exe lives independently in a text windows, it will show the download progress and then exit (without a warning, one could think of calling a wrapper script..). In the meantime artepupper can be quit, or used to download other videos.

This was written mostly on trains here in Tuscany, and tested moderately. Let me know if there are any problems, which I'll try to fix when I can.


  1. can't get this kind of URL.
    What do you mean when you say search for video with "advance search button"? What is "advance search button"?

  2. Go to liveweb's homepage, click on 'erweiterte suche'/récherché avancée' then input appropriate keywords to get the video you want to download. Copy the resulting URL and paste it into the 'URL Video Arté Live Web' textbox

  3. works very well, i'm so happy. too bad some live videos i was desperately trying to dl last year are gone now... but a lot of thanks to you and the original developers

  4. thank you! it worked well :)

  5. thanks thanks a lot, it works wonderful!

  6. I can't thank you enough! This is brilliant!!!

  7. Thank you so much! Works great.

  8. Hello.

    I'm Juan Domingo, the author of the Perl
    script which was in turn based on the previous
    script of Carmelo Ingrao. I am happy this has been useful for other users, and thank you
    for having done the new version. If Arte
    changes its settings (and I don't doubt they
    will do, sooner or later) I will also try
    to modify my script.
    Best wishes

    1. Unfortunately your Perl script does not work any more, and I think the command in it that extracts the string between "MP4" and "mp4" is the reason. Would you be able to update your script, as I don't know enough about Perl to do it myself? Thanks in advance.

  9. Can't find "advanced search" anymore. Any hints?

  10. I cannot run this

  11. thank you for the software ! And also thank you to Juan and Carmelo for the original script !

  12. hello, it tells me : "can't find code in second webpage" :(

  13. same here.. it doesn't work :-(

  14. "can't find code in second webpage" ... what does it mean?!