How to download VMworld 2010 sessions for offline viewing ?

Now that the VMworld 2010 sessions presented in San Francisco are online, and those presented at VMworld Europe will be online at the end of October, lets see how those presentations can be downloaded or captured for offline viewing. What is better to learn about VMware solutions while travelling on a plane or train, or sitting at a pool without having access to the internet.

The recordings of each session including the slidedecks and the audio are stored in Flash video format (.FLV extension). It is quite easy to download a .FLV file, no tooling needed to record the stream of those files but you will need to know the URL. Simply using your favourite browser and look in the HTML source will not work. I did not find an URL in there.

To find out the URL of the actual .FLV file we need tooling. I downloaded HttpWatch which has a free Edition http://www.httpwatch.com/
HttpWatch will show the URL’s of sessions which are opened by your browser. Installing HttpWatch is easy. After installing, enable it. For Internet Explorer, select Tools and enable HttpWatch by clicking on it. You will see a Httpwatch pane open in the lower part of Internet Explorer.

Then go to http://www.vmworld.com/community/sessions/ and sign in using your account and password used to register for VMworld access.  Select the VMworld edition (201o most likely ) you are interested in. Click on the Record button displayed in the HttpWatch pane.

Then select the breakout session you like to watch and click on the view button. You will then notice activity in HttpWatch. Watch for a http stream which file name looks similar to AB1234.flv. This the the flash video of the actual presentation.

Select this stream in Httpwatch, right click and select Copy http://sessions.vmworld.com/lcms etc

Open another Internet Explorer window, place the mouse in the URL field and Paste. Then you are able to download the .FLV file and watch it offline

Quite simple but you will need to repeat this for every session.

If using Firefox the suggestion of Ed in the comment to use the plugin DownloadHelper is even more simpler. One press of a button and you can download the FLV. The disadvantage is that I was not able to find out the URL of the FLV. Could be handy to know.

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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