While some of the same tools are available for both Linux and Windows, there is simply no point learning the command line stuff in converting Flash videos on Windows.
The hardest part is learning how to search the cache for your browser. Since I don’t use IE, you’ll have to work that out for yourself. I no longer use Firefox, so I can’t help you with that, either. However, the primary trick is when you start the video in question, notice where FlashPlayer shows both the download progress (usually gray) ahead of the running progress bar (red). Note the exact time to the minute, because that’s part of the trick to finding it.
In Opera, you’ll need to drill down into:
Several folders will present themselves, usually labeled in the format
g_000x. One or more will show about the right time stamp. Simply drop down into each one close to or after that point until you see a bunch of files labeled in the format
opr000xx.tmp. Notice what sizes they are. Most will be in KB, but your video will easily be in MB. Since few items in your cache is likely to be that large, copy that file to your Video folder and rename it properly. For example, I usually label it:
If you use Google Chrome, it’s even easier. The location is:
All the files are in there labeled:
f_00000x and it should be easy to pick out the giant file which matches your time hack. Same trick, just copy with a new name according to whatever scheme suits you.
The conversion is pretty easy, just visit Cocoon Software and download their “Quick Media Converter” in a zip file named “Install-Hd-4-5-0-2.zip” (as of this writing). Unzip it and you’ll have the installer with a similar name. In the process, the installer will pull down the latest FFMPEG and all the goodies that go with it. The application is simply a front-end which keeps the dirty details away from you.
Warning: It comes bundled with the Ask Toolbar. Don’t select the simple install, but choose the advanced, and unclick all that crap. These days you just about cannot get anything useful without running interference this way. But if you somehow miss that, you can always uninstall it later. At least it’s not genuine spyware, just close to it. The other issue is they nag you for a donation every 20th use. I can stand that, especially because this is one of the smartest tools for doing this job.
After it’s installed, run it. You first need to find your video using the buttons on the left side. Look for the “add” button, then navigate to your Video folder. It will probably remember this location as default. Click on the FLV file in the list, then select from the top row of buttons along about the middle, a CD with a note over it. If you aren’t sure, hover your mouse and you’ll be told that is for converting to audio only. Select MP3 from the dropdown list that comes from that button. Then in the row of large buttons across the bottom, select the one which determines the output folder. You gotta pick one, so I use my Music folder. Next, just click the “convert” button there next to that and wait for it. You’ll get a progress bar and so forth.
Check to see if it landed in your Music folder. Test it; the sound quality should be at least as good as the Flash video you watched in your browser. Digging through your browser cache can be a real mess if you don’t clear it once in awhile. Either using the browser controls or something like BleachBit daily, at least.