Monday, August 11, 2014

How to download Echo360 videos

TL;DR for techies: Change your web browser’s user agent to an Android phone; e.g.: Mozilla/5.0 (Android 4.2; rv:19.0) Gecko/20121129 Firefox/19.0

Steps to install User Agent Switcher

This first section only needs to be done once. there are other ways of modifying the User-Agent: string in Firefox, but I find this to be most convenient. Similar extensions are available for Chrome.

  1. Install Firefox (if you don’t have it already)
  2. Install the User Agent Switcher extension (click on the link)
  3. Download the User Agent List. Save this XML file to somewhere convenient.
  4. Press the Alt key to temporarily display Firefox’ old-style menus (or go to this tutorial to enable them permanently, which is my preferred style).
  5. Use the tools menu. Tools ➔ Default User Agent ➔ Edit User Agents
  6. Click the Import… button, and choose the User Agent List XML file that you downloaded in the previous step.

Once that’s all installed, go to Sakai. Before you navigate to the Echo360 website to download lectures, you must change your user agent.

Navigate Echo360 and pretend to be an Android device

  1. Hit the Alt key
  2. Using the revealed menu, select Tools ➔ Default User Agent ➔ Mobile Devices ➔ OS ➔ Android ➔ Android 4.2 Firefox 19.0.
  3. Click on the Echo360 website.
  4. Select a video to download. Right-click on it and choose to download the video.
  5. Remember to change your user agent back through Tools ➔ Android 4.2 Firefox 19.0 ➔ Default User Agent.

The end result of this process is that the video will be displayed with a HTML5 tag, and will be downloadable as an mp4 file.
austynguo has another method that works by using an Apple user agent:
For all the University of Sydney people out there I've written a quick guide on how to download recordings by using a web browser (Chrome) to find the necessary links and VLC player to capture and export the stream. Not sure if this method works with other university streaming systems though.

It's a little involved but works well at the moment.

Find the guide here: