Geeks With Blogs
Yuriy Lyeshchenko Luck in life always exists in the form of an abstract class that cannot be instantiated directly and needs to be inherited by hard work and dedication.

You probably have already visited Channel 9, and if you have not I would recommend to definitely check it out. There are literally thousands of videos about development using Microsoft technologies (and more).  You can watch the videos on the site using Silverlight player or you can use links on each video page for downloading. This usually works fine if you are interested in just one or a small number of videos, but it might become somewhat tedious if you want to download a bunch of them. I recently wanted to do the latter and this is how http://dayngo.com/channel9 was born.

Actually, it all started with this year’s MIX 11 event which I was unable to attend. I was quite interested in web-related sessions and saw that they started to pop up on the Channel 9 website. I was particularly interested in ASP.NET MVC and Silverlight topics. I realized that I will end up downloading quite a bit of videos and there is definitely an opportunity to automate the process. Since I am interested in Silverlight but do not have a chance to use it at work, I decided to use Silverlight for this little project. Also, since browsers and Silverlight (an out-of-browser implementation with elevated rights felt like an overkill in this case) have severe limitations when it comes to file system manipulations, I decided to use wget to do the actual downloading. Two nights later the initial implementation was done. As I saw that the tool has gained some popularity, I made some UI tweaks and called it done.

events, series, shows, blogs, post selection

Fast forward several weeks and  I realized that TechEd is coming, which means tons of videos of sessions I would like to watch. This time around, though, I had some time in advance before the event, so I decided to extend the MIX’11 tool so that it would allow not only to download one particular event, but become a mass download tool for the entire Channel 9 video content. I could definitely reuse some of the parsers from MIX11 tool, so I thought it is not going to take too much effort to refactor the code. And, of course, as it often happens with early estimates,  I was wrong. Long story short, because of the way Channel 9 organizes content, reusable code from MIX11 tool is like 5% of the code I ended up writing for the new tool.

videos selection

Nonetheless, the tool is up and running at http://dayngo.com/channel9. I extended the initial implementation so that now it can produce not only a batch file that utilizes wget, but also a PowerShell script. Those who decided to use wget (and it is my personal preference for this purpose), notice that it might be more convenient to put path to wget.exe into your system PATH variable, thus you do not have to put batch file next to wget executable.

The content of the tool is updated daily, around 4 AM CST. As I noticed during the development that Channel 9 keeps updating content for events well after the event ended (adding new sessions or uploading videos in other formats), I re-check and update event videos during those daily updates for 21 days since the event start date. Other content (shows, series, blogs) is consumed by the tool as it appears on the Channel 9 site and is not revisited afterwards.

Both scripts detect the already downloaded videos (by file name), so you can interrupt the download if you need to, just make sure to remove the last partially downloaded file (the one that has been downloaded when you interrupted).

I hope some of you will find this tool useful. Let me know if you have any questions about the tool, and any feedback is welcome.

Update 5/21/2011:

I have noticed that some events have more that 150 sessions on Channel 9 website, but my tool tops at 150. Turned out they use paging on the event’s page, so my tool was parsing only the first page. This is fixed now and for some events there is much larger number of sessions available. Series, shows and blogs did not have this problem.

 

Update 2/2/2012:

Even though this tool started as “exercise” while learning Silverlight, due to shift in my interest and all the things happening with Silverlight (also Microsoft is still keeping mum on Silverlight 6), I switched the tool from Silverlight to HTML+JavaScript.

Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:37 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Channel 9 videos mass download tool

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Thanks for this!
Left by Chris Randall on May 22, 2011 8:19 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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You are very welcome, Chris! Glad you found it useful.
Left by Yuriy Lyeshchenko on May 22, 2011 9:48 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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You are the best, man! Thank you so much for this :)
Left by David Taylor on May 25, 2011 10:17 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Thanks David!
Left by Yuriy Lyeshchenko on May 25, 2011 10:37 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Awesome tool, Yuriy!

I have spent quite some time manually downloading videos from C9 over the years, because I usually watch them on the go, where I have no internet connection. I have often thought about writing some sort of C9 video browser/downloader to ease the task, but have never found the time to do it. I am very happy to see that you beat me to it :)

Thank you very much for a terrific tool, and for saving me hours of picking and downloading videos individually :)

Good work!

Best regards,
Torsten
Left by Torsten Seemann on Dec 08, 2011 4:06 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Thank you Torsten for such kind words!
I am very glad this tool helps you save some time.
Left by Yuriy Lyeshchenko on Dec 08, 2011 8:29 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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haha, this is cool. just started building my own downloader. luckily i googled first :)
Left by wadaaaatje on Mar 07, 2012 8:51 AM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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I love this tool, but when trying to download Build 2012 videos, it only generates PowerShell scripts to download .wmv files regardless of what format I select. Can you please fix this? Thanks!
Left by Rob on Nov 04, 2012 9:36 AM

# Formats
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Rob,
You should use the "Set video formats priority" option. If you would like to download, let's say, MP4 instead of WMV, then click on "MP4" option and then use the arrow button on the right to move "MP4" to the far left. If there is no video in "MP4" format for the session, the tool will use the next format (from left to right). So please arrange the format however you want, with the most desirable format on the left, the least - on the right.
Left by yuriylsh on Nov 04, 2012 3:25 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Just used this, great stuff! Thanks!
Left by Aali on Jun 12, 2013 2:45 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Glad you liked it, Aali!
Left by yuriylsh on Jun 20, 2013 10:07 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Excellent One!!
Helping me alot!!
Left by Amar Myana on Aug 15, 2013 9:17 AM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Hello,
Could you please tell me, how to download this video:
https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Wydarzenia-Microsoft/Finaly-Imagine-Cup
This is really important for me because my brother has taken the 2nd place in this cup.

Thank you in advance,
Regards,
Marcin
Left by Marcin on Apr 20, 2016 1:11 PM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Hi Marcin,

Use the link below and then just "Save As" in your browser:
https://pdvod.new.livestream.com/events/00000000004f0da0/ec657ff2-93ee-476c-8f89-efd232a6a54f_2320.mp4?__gda__=1461535013_4730a82509dba5ef233f6832b9ff8f96
Left by yuriylsh on Apr 24, 2016 11:01 AM

# re: Channel 9 videos mass download tool
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Could you also provide a tool for downloading MVA videos? Thanks.
Left by Eric on Dec 01, 2016 8:10 PM

# Mr
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Getting a 404 error today
Left by David Johnson on Dec 15, 2016 3:05 AM

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