How to download songs from MySpace

MySpace is a very well know place on the Internet. Even nowadays, with Facebook and other networks targeting pretty much everyone, MySpace have managed to stay around. However, that does not mean that they’ve got everything sort out… and today’s post is a workaround for its lack of downloading functionality.

Couple of days ago, a friend of mine was trying to download some music files from a MySpace account. It should be pretty straight forward, but for some reason there is no clear link to the song. Yesterday he ask me for help… and this is what I found.

Knowing your enemy

First thing first. If you’ve used MySpace before, you know that everyone has an address like<username>. The interesting thing is that every song has a unique ID very easy to find out looking to the URL of the song:<username>/music/songs/some-title-<ID>

Why do we need that ID? We need it because that’s how MySpace manage the songs. The do not know about titles and all that stuff, but ID’s.

After analysing the traffic MySpace’s player generates, I’ve found out an interesting service which reveals the location of the file:<ID>

This service returns an XML with a tag “rtmp” which contains the real address of the song. Despite the fact that they always say the song is an MP3 file, it is actually an FLV file… so bear that in mind when trying to play it! Unfortunately, you will not be able to download it right away… because they use rtmp protocol. To complicate things a little bit more, I don’t know any easy way of dealing with rtmp…

Dealing with RTMP

I’ve used an open source program called “rtmpdump”. It is a command line program, but not really complicated, so don’t worry about that. However, if you try to use it naively, you’ll find out that MySpace will not allow you to get connected. Why? Well, they only allow their own player to connect to their servers.

Despite what you might think, this is a pretty common “security” measure very easy to circumvent. So common that rtmpdump has an option built in to deal with it 😀 We only need the address of the “real” player and rtmpdump will fake its signature. How cool is that?

To save you the analysis of the web, the address of the player is

Putting everything together

So far we’ve all we need. We know how to find out the ID of a song, the location of the file for an ID and the address of the real player… how do we get the song? Let’s put everything together:

rtmpdump --swfVfy "" -r <what_ever_the_xml_has_in_it> -o <the_you_want_for_the_song>

–swfVfy is relling rtmpdump to fake the signature of whatever we write after it… in this case the official player.

-r specifies the address of the song.

-o is to tell rtmpdump where do we want to save the song. (For some reason, MySpace uses FLV format… even if the XML says the song is an MP3 file!)

Hardware upgrade failure

You’ve this great game you wanna play with but, when you try it, your graphics card says “no way, I’m just too old”. So, what do you do? Sure, you could just give up and do something else, but c’mon you really love that game, so you buy a new card. But things are not that easy… are they?

That’s what happened to a friend of mine. He bought a new nVidia and two 2GB DDR2 memory modules. He phoned me cause his computer was doing “weird” things, like starting up in three minutes showing all BIOS messages letter by letter… I mean it, you could see how letter were actually be printed on the screen.

There was a reason for that strange behavior to happen… he forgot to check the manual of his motherboard. The graphics card requires a PCI Express x16 while his motherboard built-in PCI Express is only an x8 one. Honestly I didn’t know that plugging in a x16 on a x8 could cause that kind of behavior :S

Unfortunately downgrading just the graphics card was just not enough. The sound card (and it was an integrated one) was missing. Windows 7 x64 didn’t find any sound devices at all… where was it then?

Apparently it was a memory limit. Windows was detecting 4GB of RAM, but only 2,98GB of those where actually usable and it was causing some issues. Removing one of those modules did the trick.

Yes… he has an extremely powerful graphics card on its box cause his motherboard is incompatible and one 2GB module also in its box for the same reason. What can we learn from that? Always check the motherboard’s manual before buying anything!

Get more space for websites on Firefox

When I’m using a web browser it’s because I want to surf the web. Pretty obvious, isn’t it? Apparently it is not as obvious as I thought. Almost all browsers have thousands of useful features allowing you to get contextual information, see where you’ve been before or what other users think about the site you’re browsing. That’s not my case. If I go to Gmail, I want to see Gmail. Not what others think about Gmail, not the last webpage I’ve been or other things, just Gmail.

In order to maximise the browsing space, you can do a couple of tricks on Firefox:

  • Hide your Menu Bar (you can access it by pressing ALT at any time if you need it). Just go to View -> Toolbars -> Navigation Bar


Now you’ve plenty of pace for your websites 🙂

Using Windows Live Writer on Linux ( Ubuntu )

I’m quite sure I’m not the only one who uses Windows Live Writer. It’s a wonderful tool and I’ve talked about it two years ago so I’m not going to say the same twice. Then, why am I talking about it? Easy, after a long time using Windows as my primary operating system, I switched to Ubuntu.

As you can imagine, Microsoft doesn’t develop a version of Windows Live Writer for Linux and I don’t know any tool for doing the same. Don’t get this wrong, there are a few of applications for blog posting, but every single one of them has an important drawback. Some don’t let you upload pictures, others doesn’t have spell checker or you have to type the HTML. Others simply doesn’t allow you to work with multiple accounts, or they let you manage different blogs, but only WordPress based, and so on…

Solution? Keep using Windows Live Writer. I’ve VirtualBox with Windows XP SP3 and I run it in seamless mode. I know it sounds a little bit strange using a virtual machine just for one program… but that wouldn’t be true. Just face it, sooner or later everyone needs to use some “only-windows” application. Did you ever tried to update your iPod Touch on a Linux box? Forget it, as far as I know it’s impossible… you need iTunes and wine is good, but no so great.

How-To: Webcamera working with Ubuntu 64bits and Skype

I’ve Microsoft VX-1000 webcam. It’s not awesome, but it was cheap and it’s doing the job. Troubles came when I wanted to make it work with Ubuntu 64 bits and Skype.

Skype recognises the camera, USB camera (/dev/video) but when you try to use it, its led goes to green for a second and then… darkness. According to the documentation, the camera is fully supported… apparently I’ve a different definition of “fully supported”. However, there is a method to make it work. Basically you’ve to start skype with this command: “LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ skype”

That’s a little bit uncomfortable, so lets make skype start with a script and be executed every time you boot your machine:

  1. Open a terminal
  2. Write: echo ‘#!/bin/bash’ > && echo “LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ skype” >> && chmod +x
  3. Go to System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications

And there, add a new entry and fill the form. Here’re some images:

Startup applications menu

Now you can start skype by clicking the script you’ve created and it will be launched on each boot 🙂

How to jailbreak an iPod Touch 2G (firmware3.1.2)

I’ve jailbreaked my iPod Touch 2G (firmware 3.1.2) using the blackra1n method. It is extremely simple and you won’t lose your apps; you just have to click a button.

  1. Download BalckRa1n (Windows or Mac).
  2. Open iTunes and plug in your iPod.
  3. Open BlackRa1n (if you’re using Windows, run it as Administrator).
  4. Click on “make it ra1n”.


Now you have on your iPod a new application called “blackra1n”:


You can use it to install Cydia and Rock, two package managers you can use to install applications on your iPod 🙂


So… now you’ve your iPod jailbreaked with everything you need. It was easy, wasn’t it? 🙂

Let’s play karaoke!

SingStar is probably the most famous karaoke game. However, it only runs on PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3, which aren’t really cheap.

If you’re one of the millions of karaoke fans who don’t have a PlayStation, don’t worry, there is hope for you: UltraStar. It can runs on Windows, Linux and (if you’re lucky enough) MacOS X.

Once you’ve UltraStar working, you’ll need something to sing… otherwise the game will be really boring 😛 The easier way to get songs is using the “SingStar Spain”community website. There’re English websites, but due to copyright issues, they only have the TXT file used by UltraStart, so you’ll need to find the images, the music and the video by yourself.

If your Spanish is not good, don’t panic, you can use the Google Translator. It’s not perfect, but you’ll be able to manage around the web 😉

18 buttons mouse, is it too much?

Have you heard anything about the OpenOffice Mouse? Basically it’s a mouse with 18 button and they say it’ll be the most useful mouse ever.

OpenOffice Mouse

OpenOffice Mouse

I’ve a keyboard (surprised? :P), but it’s not a plain keyboard, it’s a multimedia one, which means that it has a few extra keys to control a media player, and some other things. I’ve to admit that its 13 extra buttons are useful but they’re always pissing me off. My keyboard is not the only one I’ve to use, I’ve a laptop and I’ve to use computers on campus and so on. The problem is that normally those keyboards also have multimedia keys… but in different places.

As a result I have to look to the keyboard and look for the appropriate key. In other words, I’m losing the advantage of having a fast access.

I’m just wondering, are this fancy mice really useful? Can they simplify our interaction, or are they just another well intentioned tool with a poor design? According to their web site the buttons will do different things depending on the application. As an engineer I can see why, as a user I’ll throw it away when the “Copy” button (in OpenOffice) will try to do something else on my desktop.

Apple has a very different approach, Magic Mouse. It has no buttons at all. All its surface is a multi-touchpad.

Apple Magic Mouse

Apple Magic Mouse

Honestly, which one would you prefer?

Will it be possible to resurrect this blog?

Yes, at least that’s what I hope 😉 It has been a long time since my last post, thousands of things have happened but you don’t wanna read them and I’ve not time… so it would be pointless for me to write a long post 😛

Let’s say that I’ve been graduated and I’m now undertaking a master on Human Computer Interaction at the University of York (I know, I know, I look awful, but that’s how I am).

I didn’t know but this master is bombing my mind with hundred of new ideas every single day… so I will try to post hear every couple of days with my impressions. It will be more like a place for me to clarify my own ideas rather than a useful resource for you to find answers, but hey! It’s my blog 😛

As always, I’ll be more than pleasant to hear from you so… don’t hesitate, comment!

That’s all for now, be happy 😉

Going back to Portsmouth

In less than twelve hours I’ll be at the airport going back to Portsmouth. My intention was to attend to the graduation ball this Saturday, unfortunately my +1 ran away at the last minute and I forgot to collect my ticket, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend to it, but I’ll try 😉

Even if I won’t be able to achieve my intention, I’ll be with my family in my graduation ceremony this 22th. As you can imagine, I don’t wanna miss my own graduation 😛

Wish me luck!