How can I save video from the Internet?

September 7, 2007

When you click a link on a Web page to video content, either you access video data from a streaming media server or you access video data from a file stored on a Web server.

Streaming media server

You can’t save video from a streaming media server. When you click a link to video on a streaming media server, streaming video data from a video file or a live video feed is downloaded to the cache of your Player and then rendered by the Player. Internet content providers stream video to allow your Player to begin rendering the data immediately instead of waiting for a video file to be downloaded. You can’t access or save the cached information for the video stream.

Web server

You can save video from a Web server and then add it to your library. When you click a link to video on a Web server, the video file is downloaded to the cache for your Web browser (the Temporary Internet Files folder). As soon as a minimal amount of file data is downloaded to the cache, and if Windows Media Player is configured to play the video file format, the Player will begin playing the file even before it finishes downloading. For fast Internet connections, this process is nearly instantaneous (that is, it can appear to be a video stream). To save a video file from the Internet, right-click the link to the file, and then click Save Target As.

Note that if the Save Target As command doesn’t appear on the menu when you right-click the link to the video, or if it does appear but the file to be saved has an .asx file name extension, this usually indicates that the video you are trying to save is a stream and not a file. For more information about the video file types that you can play in Windows Media Player, see the question, “What kinds of video files can I play in Windows Media Player?” in the Media Advice archive.

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