Friday 12 February 2010

How to download embedded content in webpages

[Post published by Liviu on Liviu's [Computer Science] Blog]


Would you like to download content (audio, video) embedded in web pages? e.g. YouTube, Trilulilu etc.

RO: Cum downloadez un cantec (fisier audio) dintr-o pagina Trilulilu, sau un film (fisier video) dintr-o pagina YouTube etc.?

Solution 1

I've found a page describing how to do it, but now let me tell you the long story, i.e. my approach, because it's nice, harder and doesn't always work - indeed, CS people have a funny sense of humor.
The truth is this is the first solution I've tested:

First, install in Firefox the add-ons called FireBug and DownThemAll.

Second, open the page with the targeted content. Click on the little bug (because we use FireBug now) found at the bottom of the window, on the right side; click Net, click Enable, reload the page. Then sort the links by the downloaded size of content, i.e. click Size - now all links are displayed in descending order of the loaded content size. The first link(s) should be the one(s) you're interested in. Copy them, one at a time.

Third, Tools > DownThemAll > Manager > Add URL - insert here the links you've copied at the previous step. Download the content corresponding to each link, rename appropriately, i.e. if you've downloaded an audio file from Trilulilu then rename so the downloaded file ends in .mp3

Solutions 2, 3 (easier solutions)

Fast Video Download - good add-on for downloading videos embedded in a web page, e.g. YouTube.
Just click on the blue icon at the bottom of the window, on the right side, or in the upper right side of the window.
I recommend you disable Hover menu icon, i.e. the blue box which appears when you select some text, like this: Tools > Fast Video Download > Fast Video Download options > Settings > Search Menu Advanced > click to uncheck Hover menu icon.

FlashGot - a very good add-on.
Just click on the blue icon at the bottom of the window, on the right side - it shall download all content.
I recommend it if you desire to download audio files from Trilulilu, for example.
I also recommend you deselect Autostart downloads: Tools > FlashGot > Autostart downloads (click to deselect it, id it appears selected) or Tools > FlashGot > More options > Downloads > make sure Autostart downloads appears unchecked.


I recommend you use (1) FlashGot, or (2) Fast Video Download.

FiraBug could be useful for debugging or other more complicated tasks, but not for this solution.
Also, DownThemAll might prove useful in the future.

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Share your Google Reader shared items to a website / blog / feed reader etc.

[Post published by Liviu on Liviu's [Computer Science] Blog]


Have you ever wanted to share your Google Reader shared items with the world, by inserting them in a website/blog?

I have wanted that since I started sharing items: hey, if I share something, let the world know it and read all shared items, since they might find it useful!


Solution 1: RSS feed
At some point, I inserted on my professional website a link to my shared items' RSS feed.
The RSS feed can be found on the page with your shared items, if you made them public: Settings > Reader settings > Folders and Tags > View public page >Atom feed.
Downside: that does not make too much impact, doesn't it?

Solution 2: Add a clip with your Google Reader shared items to a website or blog
Later, I saw this cool feature in Google Reader of adding a clip with your Google Reader shared items to a website or blog and realized I wanted to display them on my personal blog. So, I created the clip - that was some 6 months ago or more.
A few days ago, a friend asked how I did that, so I searched for the feature and found the solution described in Reader's Help: How do I add a clip to my website or blog? - note that Tags in now called Folders and Tags. Afterward, configuring your clip is straightforward.

Solution 3: Send to...
This is new apparently: Settings > Reader settings > Send to. From there you can choose some predefined websites or add your own.
Each time when sharing something, on the same row with Share, Share with note etc. you also have the option Send to - last one in the right.
I tested it a bit with Facebook, but it either makes things appear unattractive/unpleasant in my profile (e.g. for Dilbert strips only a link appears) or Facebook crashes when hitting the button Share (e.g. for Academia Catavencu).
I do not recommend this feature for now: I'll further test it and recommend it once it behaves nice.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. Apple, Microsoft. Oh, and the iPad...

[Post published by Liviu on Liviu's [Computer Science] Blog]

A couple of days ago I've had an intense and exhausting 2 hours conversation with Andrei on the launch of the new iPad. (I recommend you watch the demo, which is short, and then the keynote, although it runs for 2 h.)

Andrei had a strong opinion on this, i.e. against the iPad, based on various comments on the web against the iPad. He later gathered all these links in a nice post against the iPad.

I've also shared with him a playlist I've compiled a long time ago, with the interview with both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates - it's a really great and inspiring interview, showing the spirit and leadership of these 2 prominent figures that have influenced the IT industry.
Andrei made several interesting comments I think are worth reading. Regarding the documentary, I've found both part 1 and part 2, but it feels like there's also a part 3 still missing.

The BBC podcast feed (interview section) that I've subscribed to presents a fresh interview with Bill Gates. Enjoy!

All in all, I think it's great we're part of the evolution of the IT industry. We should learn from people like Gates and Jobs, and from their products (be they mistakes or successes).