Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Download Apple HD trailers and convert to MP4

9-video-screen I enjoy watching movie trailers, especially high-definition ones on my plasma TV.  I find the best source for movie trailers to be Apple Trailers, but there’s two problems with this:

  1. Apple doesn’t provide links to download the trailer in HD
  2. I play the trailers using a PS3 which doesn’t support MOV files.

Until recently I thought the only solution was to buy the Pro version of Quicktime which both lets you save high-definition trailers, and convert the video from MOV to MP4.  Turns out there’s a free alternative.

To download the trailer, follow the High-definition link for the movie (i.e.  Sometimes these links don’t take you to the correct page—you can tell you’re at the correct page if the URL ends with hd/.  If it doesn’t end with hd/, add it.

Right-click on the button for the resolution you want, copy the link path, and paste it into your browsers address bar and it should look something like  Now edit the url to include a h between the last _ and the resolution number so it looks like—and that’s your download url.

Now to convert the downloaded MOV file to an MP4, download and install Yamb.  Start Yamb and double-click on “Click to create an MP4 file with multiple audio, video, subtitle chapters streams”.  Click the Add button to add your MOV, choose the location for the converted file, and click Next to start the conversion.

The conversion process is very quick because the video is not re-encoded, which means there is no loss of quality.

For more information refer to the resources at Download from Apple and Convert .mov to .mp4.

On a side note, 9 is going to be freakin’ awesome.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Get HD version of YouTube videos

I had to get a copy of the Wall•E/Watchmen trailer mash-up.  I knew their were tools that would grab the video for me, but I really wanted to HQ version, I really didn’t want to have to install software just to do it.

Turns out you can get even better than the HQ version, you can get the original HD version.  And you can get it with a simple bookmarklet.  You can read the details of how at UnlockForUs or just or just copy and paste the following Javascript code into your browsers address bar as you’re watching the desired Youtube video:

javascript:window.location.href = '' + swfArgs['video_id'] + "&fmt=22" + "&l=" + swfArgs['l'] + "&sk=" + swfArgs['sk'] + '&t=' + swfArgs['t'];

Windows Live Writer – how do you do?

Penguins I’ve quickly jumped onto using the release candidate of Windows 7 as my primary desktop operating system.  One of the first things I noticed is that unlike Windows Vista, it’s not bundled with Windows Photo Gallery and other tools.  So when getting Windows Live Photo Gallery from Window Live I noticed Windows Live Writer for posting on blogs.

So that’s what I’m doing, posting this blog from Windows Live Writer.  I have to admit, it’s pretty nice.  The editor gives me pretty much exactly what a I need.

I’ve found the web-based Blogspot editor to be limited and awkward—I tend to find myself writing the raw HTML instead of using the WYSIWYG editor.  But Live Writer (do we really need to prefix every Live product with “Windows Live”?) gives me a nice GUI with access to useful properties, such as Title and Rel attributes on links.

I was about to say that as a HTML purist, Live Writer was beginning to turn me on, as it correctly used <p> to create paragraph breaks, instead of <br><br> and even used <p> tags correctly with <blockquote>.  But then I seen it uses <font> tags to change a font-face and <u> for underlines—so they’ve really dropped the ball there.  Is it that hard to make it use <span> tags with inline styles?

Despite using deprecated HTML, I’ll probably still use Live Writer because it’s so easy and works so well.