Help Downloading from paid websites

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Dec 22, 2021, 11:23:41 PM12/22/21
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Hi, so i downloaded the extension mainly to download videos from paid websites, such as manyvids and clips4sale. however, it only lets me download the gif or short video, yet not the full one. is there a way to download the full video?

Wild Willy

Dec 23, 2021, 1:51:16 AM12/23/21
to Video Download Helper Google Group
I can say that I have downloaded things from pay sites & VDH works fine. If you're
discovering that it doesn't work, there's a good chance you are encountering content that
is protected by Digital Rights Management. Firefox is able to play DRM protected content
via a plugin called Widevine. Look at your plugins & that one should be there. I
happened to post about Widevine not that long ago:

But that's a tangent. The point I'm making is that it is quite possible to be able to
watch content in a browser window that VDH cannot download. I can watch any channel on
my cable TV system in Firefox on my Windows PC but I can't download anything from there.
Ditto for Tennis Channel. Strangely, not ditto for ESPN, although they do have certain
content that is behind an additional paywall that I can't say whether VDH can download
it. NBC Sports is one site I have often downloaded shows from with VDH. Specifically,
Golf Channel. Golf Channel makes me authenticate with my cable provider before it will
let me see the content, but once I do that, VDH is quite successful at recording their
livestreams. For hours on end, I might add. DRM is specifically meant to protect
streaming content against downloading. So the pay sites from which VDH can download
things are clearly not DRM-protected. There are posts on here in which either Michel or
Jérôme has said that VDH specifically makes no attempt to break DRM protection. I gather
that this is not a technological shortcoming but rather that it would be illegal.

So, bottom line, you're out of luck. I don't have subscriptions to either of the sites
you mention so I can't say whether anything I've said actually applies. What I've said
is true, but it could be irrelevant in these instances. You might take a look over here:

Look for the reference to an alternative technique to try when VDH can't download
something. Maybe that approach would work on those sites. And maybe not. You could try
it & report back.

Wild Willy

Dec 23, 2021, 6:50:48 AM12/23/21
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
To find out whether content is protected by DRM, open the Firefox settings to the General tab & scroll down about half way or so.


If you do not have the box checked & the content plays, then the content is not protected by DRM.  However, if you do not have the box checked & the content does not play, maybe it's protected by DRM.  In this case, before you check the box, open the Browser Console.


Then come back to the settings & check the box.


Then go over to the Browser Console & look near the bottom of what it displays.


It can take a few moments for these lines to appear so be patient.  I previously had the latest release of Widevine installed so what I'm showing in this image is Firefox checking for the latest release of Widevine, discovering that the installed version matches what the server says is the latest, and then nothing happens.  If you don't have Widevine installed at all, or if you don't have the latest release, what appears in the Browser Console will be a little more elaborate.  But you will still see accesses to the server, & instances of the string Widevine & a release number.  In this case, it is showing the release number 4.10.2391.0, which happens to be the latest release.  This is something you can see in the Add-Ons dialog (launched via Ctrl+Shift+a).


This shows the version number.  Seems to me that's the version I already had despite that last update date being just now.  I believe this is a result of my unchecking the DRM check box above & then checking it again so I could capture the screenshots for this explanation.

Anyway, let's not lose sight of where I was headed.  I said before that if the DRM check box was not checked & the content did not play, it was possible the content was DRM protected.  After you check the DRM check box, try playing the content again.  It should play.  If it does not, I think it's possible that you might have to close all browser windows then come back to the page & try again.  If it plays now, then it's clear that it is DRM protected.  If it still doesn't play, you've got other problems.

Notice that I have not even mentioned VDH until now in this post.  If the content is DRM protected, you can forget about VDH downloading it.  It won't.

Wild Willy

Dec 23, 2021, 7:14:28 AM12/23/21
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
If content is DRM protected, you can try to use the alternative technique of downloading via ffmpeg.  If the Network Monitor shows manifests, which is quite possible it will not, I have encountered cases in which double-clicking the manifests in the Network Monitor gives me a page that says 403 Forbidden instead of showing me the manifests.  Even if it lets me see the manifest, often as not once I try to execute ffmpeg, it gets 403 Forbidden errors.  In some rare cases, you might get ffmpeg to actually download the content.  I suspect that this might be a case of a faulty web site where the web devs tried to implement DRM but did it wrong.  Hey, don't look a gift horse in the mouth.  Do the download & run.
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Wild Willy

Aug 15, 2022, 7:07:15 AMAug 15
to Video DownloadHelper Q&A
It seems some of my instructions above for determining whether content is protected by DRM no longer work.  The browser console doesn't show the activity it used to.  But it is a bit easier to determine now.  First, turn off DRM protection, same as what I explained above.


After you disable DRM support in the browser, when you try to play content that is DRM protected, the browser now tells you directly that you need to enable DRM support before the browser can play the content.  It even gives you a button to click to enable DRM support.


Pretty simple.  Better than what I was doing before.
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