Sunday, 13 December 2009

My first code release up on freshmeat!

Big day for me today. I've been writing software projects for simply years, maybe even decades, and every one of them has grown and grown, but it's never finished, it's never ready for release. Finally I've gotten my first project completed!

Okay, it's a fairly trival app. Movgrab is a command-line app for downloading flash/mp4/mp3 movies and audio from websites that offer that kind of thing. This is useful to we linux luddites who are still using machines that most people wouldn't even use for email these days (for instance, I've got a bunch of pentium-1 laptops that I use as 'holiday' or 'travel' laptops, because no one is likely to bother stealing them, and if they get smashed or something, then I've not lost very much). On weedy machines like the one I'm typing this blog-post on, web-browsers like firefox don't run well. Unfortunately light-weight webbrowsers don't support flash. The solution? Download the movies and watch them with a command line player, rather than in a web-browser.

There are other downloader applications out there of course, but few of them are command-line 'C' programs like movgrab. Most of them require you to install scripting languages and libraries, which can be a headache, I find. Also, few of them support as many download types as movgrab does (including BBC iplayer, youtube, metacafe, dailymotion, crazymotion, uchannel, various university webcasts etc, etc).

More important than the app is the underlying library ('libUseful') that allowed it to be written. Writing movgrab meant adding a lot of code to the library to support HTTP transfers, and this is being used in a lot of other projets too.

So, there is a new website over at, where one can download this first of my masterpieces.

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