Hey! This is the old a broken mold. Newer stuff is at abrokenmold.net.
That being said, feel free to rummage through the archives over here. Also feel free to leave comments; we're still keeping an eye on this.

Thanks to a comment on that DownloadSquad free music post I linked to a while back, I wanted to see if I could grab some free music from brother-sister.net, mewithoutYou's official site for their latest released album, Brother, Sister. Four songs from the album are available for streaming.

So, like the commenter, I installed the Firefox add-on Live HTTP Headers, which is kind of fun… it let's you see the HTTP calls the browser makes. So I pointed Firefox to brother-sister.net, and it let me see the calls the Flash element, in this case, was making when I switched songs. I saw that it was pointing to .swf files, Flash files.

Yesterday I grabbed all the URL's and downloaded two of them with Free Download Manager. Since they were Flash files, my idea was to convert them to mp3 (or maybe something else) or grab the sound out of them via decompilation.

The two programs I grabbed to do that were HooTech's SWF FLV to MP3 Converter trial and Decompile Flash Free Version. Neither would open the .swf files. I admitted defeat.

But, later that night, I thought… I did download something… and they were several megs each. Then it occurred to me that maybe they were actually MP3's, so I tried it out, and boom! They absoballylutely were! So, there you are, four free mewithoutYou songs with a small effort.

The following instructions are for Windows using Firefox, but the process is fairly similar with other operating systems and browsers.

The .swf links:

a Glass Can Only Spill What it Contains (track 5)
Nice and Blue (pt. Two) (track 6)
C-Minor (track 9)
O, Porcupine (track 11)

So, if those don't download and just sit there, just right click the links and select Save Link As… Or, if you have a download manager, add new downloads for the files… right click the links and select Copy Link Location to get the proper address and then paste them into your download manager.

Then, when the .swf's have finished downloading, open the folder you downloaded them to, and change the extensions to .mp3 (for example, change C-Minor.swf to C-Minor.mp3). This can easily be accomplished through right clicking the files and selecting Rename. If you can't see the extension (so C-Minor.swf would just look like C-Minor), you need to turn on known file extensions.

And there you go, you have your MP3's. And at a fairly good 112 Kbps quality. They don't have any tags, though so you could automatically tag them (put in information like artist, title, album, album year, etcetera) with Mp3tag or Auto-Tag in Winamp. Or you can manually tag them with a program such as Windows Media Player or iTunes (album information here).


Also, I further tried out Decompile Flash Free Version and SWF FLV to MP3 Converter this morning using a real Flash file. SWF FLV to MP3 Converter seems to work OK, but it's only a trial; on exit you are told that it's a trial version and "The version only converts 50% audio and extracts 5 sound elements at most." Decompile Flash Free Version, however, extracted all of the elements of the same Flash file for me… for free. And it's not a trial. I extracted all the sound elements just fine. So, if any of you Windows users need a decent (to me) Flash decompiler and partial editor for free, this looks great.


Matthew said...

Ah...very cool. I had actually downloaded several more apps that I was going to try out when I booted Windows. But now I don't need to experiment! Nice find. Oh, and I found the .swf URLs via ABP; just open blockable items, and such things are usually listed there. BTW, you might want to change URl to URL in your post. =]

Nathaniel said...

Nice catch with ABP there.
Changed URI to URL, even though though URL's are a subset of URI's. Also made some other edits.