Grabbing Flash from Safari

Hi. I occasionally pick up text and stuff from the web to put into DT - I use the apple-shift-) shortcut - but the other day I tried to grab a flash animation, and of course it didn’t work. I suspect this can’t be done in DT - maybe DA? - but I thought I’d see if anyone knew better. To be clear, I don’t want a link to the flash page, I want the page itself. Any ideas?

Prompted by your post, I just put an .swf file into DT for the first time. Had never tried it. It did not play. I was surprised. I thought DT supported all QuickTime formats, and .swf is certainly playable by QT. What’s up with that?

Anyway, to your question: Apple-Shift-) is “Take Rich Note,” which I believe is an active service only if text is selected. You really can’t “select” a Flash movie in any sense, and what would Apple-Shift-) do with it anyway?

You can view the source of a web page that contains a Flash file, determine the direct path to the Flash (swf) file by looking at the embed and object tags, then download the swf file with an FTP client like Interarchy, and put it in DT. Assuming DT will play .swf files placed directly in its database, which it does not seem to do for me.

One problem with this: MUCH sophisticated Flash authoring is designed in modular fashion with files that are shells that pull in other .swf files during the course of their playback. Unless you reverse-engineer the files, you really can’t tell what is being called for, or even where it lives. Obviously, downloading only the root or shell file (the one embedded in the HTML page) will get you little or nothing in the case of movies designed that way.

Spacewalk, thanks for your info. I tried your suggestion and the graphic I was looking at does have more than one SWF and it was starting to look a bit messy and I didn’t even want it that much and that put paid to that. But I’m still puzzled - I have a dial-up connection, and the graphic displays fine in Safari even when I’m not connected. So all the SWF files must have been already downloaded and arranged in their correct order somewhere in my system; but no, apparently not, at least not as separate files. I also managed to open the graphic in RealPlayer, using Safari’s debug menu, with the same result - works even when I’m not connected.

As I say, I’m just curious - the original graphic isn’t worth the trouble.

BTW I just drag and dropped a SWF onto DT and it played fine (i hadn’t tried it before either). So your problem is a bit of a mystery…

Couple of things. How do you know that the Flash movie actually involves the loading of other outboard .swf files? That’s often not apparent to the end-user. Does the movie have visible progress or loading bars/messages when you navigate through various sections of it?

When you say the “graphic displays fine” I assume you mean that the animation/interactivity plays and works. Perhaps all the external .swf files (and maybe sounds and other things) are cached in your browser. If they’re not cached, and you’re not online, then obviously you can’t go to the server for what’s needed, and it won’t work properly.

If I drag a perfectly valid .swf onto DT, I get a black screen only. If I drag onto DT the HTML file that embeds that very same .swf, then the .swf plays fine.

I’d like to know what’s going on with that.

Yes, I mean that. So (since it does work properly) all the SWF files must be, as you say, cached somewhere. If I could work out how to extract them, I wouldn’t need to go to all the trouble of digging out the URLs of the files and downloading them as described in your earlier post - after all, in effect, I’ve already downloaded them. Here’s the plan: I’m going to empty the cache, and then connect to my Flash site, so that hopefully it’ll be the only item in there and it’ll be easier to see what’s going on.

Funnily enough, I wouldn’t have been able to work that out if I’d had an always-on connection. But then I could just have the link to the page in DT anyhow, downloading it every time I wanted to look at it.

Quicktime can’t display all Flash (swf) files whereas Safari (or any browser based on Apple’s WebKit) uses Macromedia’s Flash plugin.

Interesting. I hadn’t thought of that, but I do now notice that the Finder itself plays some of my own Flash-authored files and not others. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it however; they’re all authored for Flash 6, ActionScript 1.

Do you have any URLs that discuss specific Flash attributes that QT can and cannot handle? Thanks.

According to, Quicktime supports only Flash 5.

Thanks. I guess there is rhyme and reason to it. :smiley: I just looked again, and sure enough, the .swf of mine that plays in the Finder is indeed Flash 5; I’d mistakenly thought that all my recent stuff was 6. Thanks.