RU-FI-OOOOOH!

Sohail Mirza, standing in for Peter.

Helpful Hints – Apple Movie Trailers download using Firefox, Greasemonkey, and User Agent hack

with 27 comments

You can't stop us Apple!

You can't stop us Apple!

Only a few days ago I was disappointed to find that Apple had once again broken movie trailer downloads for non-iTunes users.  Thanks to the input of a few commentators on this blog, I think I’ve found a new workaround for Firefox/Greasemonkey users.

The workaround uses a combination of the most excellent Apple Trailer Download script by zatic (not my modified version — I’ll get to this in just a bit), and a modification to the User Agent string that Firefox uses to identify itself to websites.

Setting up HeaderControl

First of all, you’ll need to download this great experimental Firefox addon, HeaderControl (Disclaimer: always use caution with beta/experimental software.  I’m not responsible for any harm you may cause your computer).  What we’ll be using HeaderControl for is to enable a modified User Agent string for only the Apple trailer download site.  Some of you may have the popular User Agent Switcher extension installed, which could work as well, but I chose HeaderControl for this workaround because it allows per-domain user-agent switching.  The “per-domain” bit means I don’t have to keep switching the Firefox user agent for the trailers site, and back again.

Now, once you’ve installed HeaderControl, reboot Firefox and bring up the preferences dialog for HeaderControl.

HeaderControl Options dialog.

HeaderControl Options dialog.

Clicking the “Add” button, go ahead and create a new per-domain configuration for the domain, movies.apple.com, and specify the custom user agent string “Quicktime/7.6.2“.  Note that you’ll only need to choose the “Mangle HTTP ‘UserAgent'” option.  You can leave alone the Referer and Language tabs.

Make sure the suffix is "movies.apple.com" and that you have the user agent correct.

Make sure the suffix is "movies.apple.com" and that you have the user agent correct.

Press “OK” to commit the new per-domain filter, and you’ll be good to go.

Downloading Trailers

For those of you who do not care to download the trailers but  just want to watch the trailers in your browser, you should be good to go.  Go ahead, hit up the trailers site and watch something special.

For those of you who want to download the trailers but don’t know how, you can refer to my original instructions, which should now work again.

Finally, if you’re amongst those who followed the steps in my previous post on the issue of Apple trailer download breakage by installing my modified Apple trailer download Greasemonkey script, then you have one more step to complete:  disable my script and go back to using the original Apple Trailer Download script by zatic.

Disable my "fixed" script.  It's no longer required.

Disable my "fixed" script. It's no longer required.

Once you’ve done this you should find yourself able to download movie trailers from Apple’s site once again.

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Written by Sohail Mirza

October 9, 2009 at 12:08 am

27 Responses

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  1. Thanks for the work around. I like to download trailers for my Popcorn Hour to go along with my movies. This works perfect!

    Chuck the Canuck

    October 10, 2009 at 11:30 am

    • I know, I do much the same. I download and queue up all the interesting trailers every week or every other week, along with a few TV shows.

      Sohail Mirza

      October 10, 2009 at 1:59 pm

  2. Thanks a lot for your article. Helped me out greatly.

    foo

    October 11, 2009 at 7:14 am

  3. Do you always need to re-configure HeaderControl with the quicktime info after each system reboot?

    Chuck the Canuck

    October 12, 2009 at 10:42 am

    • No, you shouldn’t need to reconfigure HeaderControl. Its settings should persist after you close Firefox or reboot your computer… unless there is a bug I don’t know about. So far I haven’t had any problems with it.

      Sohail Mirza

      October 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm

  4. Thanks for the updates and the very easy to follow steps. Just did those and grabbed that “Fantastic Mr. Fox” trailer – that movie is going to be hilarious. ;)

    Paul

    October 18, 2009 at 6:08 am

  5. Thanks a lot, works like a charm :)

    Marco

    October 31, 2009 at 8:35 am

  6. Something like this works too
    wget -U Quicktime/7.6.2 http://movies.apple.com/movies/independent/eichmann/eichmann-tlr1_h720p.mov

    J

    November 11, 2009 at 3:12 am

  7. Excellent, man. Thanks a lot!

    michal.dvorak

    November 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  8. it doesnt work anymore

    apek

    November 16, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    • You may want to double check all your settings and make sure you’ve followed all the instructions exactly. I’m still able to download trailers using the method I’ve described here.

      Sohail Mirza

      November 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm

      • yes i followed…but its not working..all end up to html file

        apek

        November 16, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    • As long as you correctly installed and configured HeaderControl and reverted to the original Apple Movie Trailers GreaseMonkey script, you should be getting served the proper .mov files and not .html.

      Sohail Mirza

      November 16, 2009 at 10:35 pm

  9. anyone know how to make it work?

    apek

    November 16, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    • IT IS WORKING !!!!!!

      I just downloaded Bitch Slap Trailer from Flashgot :)

      silk666

      November 17, 2009 at 3:59 am

  10. works like a charm…. thanx a lot mate

    silk666

    November 17, 2009 at 3:58 am

  11. Does not work with Internet Download Manager v5.16. First it takes the link as .mov and after a second ends up with the .html.

    Works with Fire fox’s native download manager though (bypassing IDM with ALT).

    Can you please fix the IDM issue please?

    Appreciate your help.

    kapilp

    November 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    • Hi, kapilp. Unfortunately I don’t have or use Internet Download Manager, so I couldn’t tell you how to configure it.

      The reason the process outlined in this blog post works is because it’s all happening within Firefox. HeaderControl is adjusting the User Agent header, but only Firefox and its addons will see this.

      If you use a 3rd-party program like IDM, you’ll need to figure out how to configure *it* to rewrite the User Agent header for all downloads from movies.apple.com or images.apple.com.

      Sohail Mirza

      November 22, 2009 at 3:32 am

  12. It works fantastically! Thanks for the walk-through.

    josh

    November 29, 2009 at 9:54 pm

  13. [...] the clear” unless you use SSL connections.Then I came across an article discussing how to fake your user agent specifically for itunes but not other sites.The Header Control Firefox plugin allows you to set your User Agent specific to [...]

  14. [...] I came across an article discussing how to fake your user agent specifically for itunes but not other [...]

  15. Thank you! Apple’s evil “fix” is fixed again!

    Alex

    December 18, 2009 at 7:29 pm

  16. Thank you for the fix :)

    Petar

    January 5, 2010 at 3:16 am

  17. [...] it before.  Please refer to the section titled “Setting up HeaderControl” in my last version of this guide.  Just make sure you’ve got the User Agent string right [...]

  18. Thanks for the tip, Keep up the great work.

    descargar musica gratis

    February 10, 2010 at 6:04 am

  19. From one movie buff to another! Thanx

    David Heath

    August 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

  20. Is this working for others? I am running HeaderControl 0.1.7 with Firefox 3.6.8

    Charles S.

    August 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm


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