RTMPExplorer offers one feature that StreamTransport doesn't

May 21st, 2012
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  1. Wow. The command line is usually the fastest and most flexible way to use powerful applications--FFmpeg and get_iplayer come to mind--but I'll never go back to manually constructing RTMPDump commands.
  3. RTMPExplorer is the only freeware solution that successfully detects and downloads more streams than does StreamTransport. While StreamTransport's GUI was itself limited and clunky, RTMPExplorer offers none of the user settings available in StreamTransport; however RTMPExplorer offers one feature that StreamTransport does not--is still nominally developed and supported.
  5. Much like its abandonware predecessor, RTMPExplorer renders its GUI out of borrowed bits and pieces of Internet Explorer--if IE is not installed on your system, RTMPExplorer will be unable to load the required modules.
  7. The GUI operates like a stripped-down browser. Navigate intuitively to the page that hosts the desired Flash video. Clicking on the player starts the video stream and the host server visibly begins streaming information to an open command-line window.
  9. This window is an RTMPDump process--opened (misleadingly, on top of the GUI) when the user double-clicks rtmpexplorer.exe. The user selects and initiates the desired stream through the stub browser, which in turn passes data to the command-line downloader--the user never interacts directly with RTMPDump (which can be as tedious as it is powerful).
  11. The GUI reduces the burden on even the experienced user: (1) visit web page; (2) start video. Visible dialog between the command line window and the video server indicates that RTMPDump has been handed enough information to save the stream to local file. Once streaming has been initiated, the user should close the browser window (or navigate it to a new page) lest its Flash plugin negotiate a duplicate stream for display on-screen.
  13. If it sounds easy, it is. Some tips in lieu of FAQ:
  15. • RTMPExplorer loads portions of Internet Explorer. IE must be available, with Flash ActiveX Control installed.
  16. • Ostensibly, the older the Flash plug-in, the less intrinsic security to overcome; for that reason some streaming servers refuse connection to Flash 9 or earlier. This Flash 10.3 offline installer is widely useful.
  17. • Workaround for issues with credentialed access to content: visit site in IE with cookies and Java enabled; sign in and confirm functioning stream before returning to RTMPExplorer.
  18. • Successful initiation of video stream should immediately populate the command-line window with negotiation dialog. Failure is not necessarily an indicator of hardened security; however, restarting the program is rarely sufficient-- reboot and try again.
  19. • RTMPExplorer requires .NET 4.0. If you have no intention of installing .NET then don't even bother downloading RTMPExplorer.
  20. • Extract the executable archive ( to the folder where you intend to save your Flash video files. The GUI provides no settings where the default directory can be updated to user preference.
  21. E D I T : Since the stream is saved to the directory in which the executable is found, the user may invoke the Properties dialog (by right-clicking the icon assigned to the executable) and assign a virtual home directory (by altering the value in the "Start in:" field).
  22. • The extracted archive is portable--you can copy it to any directory you like; your Flash file will be saved to the folder containing the copy of rtmpexplorer.exe used to request the stream.
  24. To download Flash 10 offline installer:
  25. •
  26. •
  28. To download RTMPExplorer:
  29. To download KSV-compiled RTMPDump:
  30. •
  31. •
  33. To download KSV source:
  34. To compile KSV source:
  36. If you are having trouble downloading certain streams with RTMPExplorer, it is utterly senseless to blame the GUI. Update RTMPDump by downloading the 2.5 build compiled by KSV (; unzip the contents and copy rtmpdump.exe, rtmpsrv.exe, rtmpsuck.exe, and rtmpgw.exe to RTMPExplorer folder, overwriting existing executables.
  38. I can confirm these swaps allow the user to download streams from Channel 4 On Demand; it still returns a handshake mismatch but it no longer ends in download failure. Initiating the video stream at the URL generates the following results:
  40. RTMP Server v2.5
  41. (c) 2010 Andrej Stepanchuk, Howard Chu; license: GPL
  43. Streaming on rtmp://
  45. rtmpdump -r "rtmpe://" -a "a4174/e1" -
  46. f "WIN 10,3,183,19" -W "
  47. f/4odplayer_am2.swf" -p "
  48. y-comedy/4od" -C O:1 -C O:0 -y "mp4:xcuassets/CH4_08_02_900_50990001001001_003.m
  49. p4?e=1337583650&h=257830fa620f54af4cfcc05199880757" -o CH4_08_02_900_50990001001
  50. 001_003.flv
  52. Closing connection... done!
  54. ERROR: Handshake failed
  55. Closing connection... done!
  57. ERROR: Handshake failed
  58. Closing connection... done!
  60. ERROR: Handshake failed
  61. Closing connection... done!
  63. ERROR: Handshake failed
  64. Closing connection... done!
  66. ERROR: Handshake failed
  67. Closing connection... done!
  69. ERROR: Handshake failed
  70. Closing connection... done!
  72. ERROR: Handshake failed
  73. Closing connection... done!
  75. ERROR: Handshake failed
  76. Closing connection... done!
  78. RTMPDump v2.5 GIT-2012-03-31 (Handshake 10 support by Xeebo)
  79. (c) 2010 Andrej Stepanchuk, Howard Chu, The Flvstreamer Team; license: GPL
  80. Connecting ...
  81. WARNING: HandShake: Type mismatch: client sent 6, server answered 10
  82. INFO: Connected...
  83. Starting download at: 0.000 kB
  84. INFO: Metadata:
  85. INFO: duration 1413.12
  86. INFO: moovPosition 28.00
  87. INFO: width 640.00
  88. INFO: height 360.00
  89. INFO: videocodecid avc1
  90. INFO: audiocodecid mp4a
  91. INFO: avcprofile 77.00
  92. INFO: avclevel 30.00
  93. INFO: aacaot 2.00
  94. INFO: videoframerate 25.00
  95. INFO: audiosamplerate 24000.00
  96. INFO: audiochannels 2.00
  97. INFO: trackinfo:
  98. INFO: length 35325000.00
  99. INFO: timescale 25000.00
  100. INFO: language eng
  101. INFO: sampledescription:
  102. INFO: sampletype avc1
  103. INFO: length 33914880.00
  104. INFO: timescale 24000.00
  105. INFO: language eng
  106. INFO: sampledescription:
  107. INFO: sampletype mp4a
  108. 147149.356 kB / 1413.08 sec (99.9%)
  109. Download complete
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