Downloading the Infomercial for the Little Giant Ladder
When people hear the word "infomercial", they immediately remember the cheesy videos that feature over-enthusiastic sales folks that get over-excited over little gadgets. So why would you want to download an infomercial?
Let me tell you a personal story. About six months ago, my wife and I bought a Gorilla ladder from the local Home Depot. This ladder is versatile and configurable for many purposes. One day, we fully extended the ladder and even with the both us our weight combined, we could not tilt the ladder back down from the roof to our front yard. We spent twenty minutes figuring out how to bring the ladder down without throwing out our backs.
Three month later, we saw an infomercial for the Little Giant ladder. The Little Giant ladder looks and functions exactly the same as our Gorilla ladder. Maybe they are even manufactured by the same OEM. When we saw the infomercial, my wife and I immediately burst into laughter about our lack of technique. What surprised us was how easy the sales folks were able to bring the ladder up-and-down, into various configurations with just a single person. Watching the sales folks configuring the ladder at will, we were both stunned that the ladder provided no techniques for extending and retracting the ladder from a standing position that the infomercial easily provided. I immediately knew the infomercial is a good instructional reference the next time I need to bring out the ladder.
I also understand that with today’s Internet technology, Little Giant is likely to have a commercial web site with some of its infomercials. And I wasn’t disappointed. Little Giant web site contains all of the infomercials. It’s a great reference if you own one of these ladders. Being a consumer, I also understand that as soon as they finish selling Little Giant, the web site will be gone along with all its instruction videos. I wanted to retain copies for my own reference. Unfortunately, the videos are streamed to your computers using Adobe’s Flash Video (FLV) technology. In this article, I will show you how to download the FLV files from Little Giant web site.
Step 1: Find the Video
When you are at the web site, look toward the right. You’ll see an “AS SEEN ON TV – WATCH VIDEO CLIPS” sign, flagging you. Click through to the video pages. There are ten videos that you can watch. Click on “PLAY MOVIE” for the video you want to download/watch. At the video page, the video will start playing. You can stop it, if it bugs you, but it won’t make a difference.
Step 2: Search for the Video File Name
You need to look at the source code for this web page. Most browsers has a “view page source” option in the menus, or if you right click on the web page. Open up the page source with this functionality.
When you have the page source open, you’ll notice a bunch of random symbols and characters. Don’t be intimidated. It’s really easy to find what you will be looking for. Using the search function, search for “streamName” (see photo below).
Step 3: Download the Video File
What you are looking for is the file name that is delimited by the ‘=’ and ‘&’ character right after “streamName”. In this example, the file name is “24in1512K”. File name is case-sensitive.
In your browser’s location text field, type in the Little Giant web site URL with an ending slash, append the file name, and append “.flv”. Case is sensitive, so make sure “flv” is in lower-case. The URL should look something like this:
Hit Enter. Your browser will load the file and ask you if you want to save it. Choose “save” and pick the location for the file. You have just downloaded it.
Step 4: Playing the Video File
You can’t play the FLV files natively on your computer; at least not yet. Maybe in the future, the ability to play FLV files will be built into the operating system. To play the video, you’ll need to download a FLV player or a video convert to convert it to some other playable format. On Windows 2000 and XP, you can download the free FLV Player 1.3.3.
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