OK. I`ve used OE Pro to successfully download pretty much all of http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/ including the streaming media (from firstname.lastname@example.org). I can play the saved .ra or .rm files if I double click on them in My Computer (after associating these types with RealPlayer), but I can`t get them to work if I click on the links on the downloaded website.
All the sub-pages of the site are saved on my hard drive, and can be browsed offline in Internet Explorer with all the pictures and flash animations in place (very nice!) but if I click on a link to an audio or video clip (i.e. try to load the .ram file), I either get nothing at all (if the page has an embedded player) or RealPlayer loads then gives an error: "This metafile contains invalid syntax" followed by the filepath, e.g:
file://C:/Documents and Settings/Rik/My Documents/Websites/www.bbc.co.uk/cult/comics/realmedia/downtoearth_hi.ram
I understand about the .ram file just being a pointer to the actual stream and, having been able to play the .ra and .rm files directly I realised I can work around this problem if I change their extensions to .ram and overwrite the pointer files with the actual stream files. (Am I still making sense?)
I thought I might have to view the site from withing OEP to make this work properly without mucking around with the files (I think I`ve read something somewhere on the forum about it having an rtsp server?) but any attempt to click on links gives the following:
"This page is not accessible offline. Possible reasons: either it was an invalid link on the server or Project settings do not allow the page to be downloaded. In some cases, increasing Project Level setting should help."
I`m really not sure why it is saying this, because all the pages were successfully translated for offline browsing in Internet Explorer as mentioned above. The contents of the .ram files are along these lines:
Is there a setting I`ve missed which will make the .ram files correctly point to the stream files?
Hope you can help, and sorry about the length of this query! Project settings follow below.
I`m on 1Mbps ADSL so when I started downloading this site I tried to do it in one huge chunk, with perhaps 20 connections running (I can`t remember exactly what I set it to). However, I found most of the .ra files were not being saved properly. They would just have a fairly small file size (below 100k, and usually about 7k) and be unplayable, although some would fail despite being the expected size. The tell-tale sign that a file would fail was when it downloaded very quickly. If the file downloaded more slowly, it would usually work.
I decided to try getting the site in smaller sections (e.g. just the Comics page, or just the Buffy page) so I could keep track of what I had successfully downloaded. By testing every .ra file as it was saved into the rtsp.... folder, I could delete all the small files and re-run the download to try and get them again. I had to do this over and over until all the files downloaded properly.
Then I wondered if I was just expecting too much from my ADSL line, so I`ve reduced OE to 5 connections and have had much better results when downloading .ra files.
Regarding inability to play .ram files from your disk. Real Player is not designed to play such files from your disk. .ram file should always contain a link to an online server, not a URL that points to your hard drive. This is why such links fail. However I would suggest you to browse the site inside Offline Explorer Pro, because its Internal Web server will change such .ram files on-the-fly and provide Real Player with the link it expects.
As for browsing the site within OEP, that`s what I`ve tried to do, but the links for navigating through the html pages are not working. If I click a link to change pages, I just get the error I mentioned before about the page not being accessible offline.
I`ve have found that, if I use the project map to navigate to the desired page, I can open the .shtml file and the video clip will play in the player embedded in the page (so I know the .ram files are being correctly converted on the fly) but that`s the only way I can move from page to page.
This might help.... I`ve just noticed that the links mentioned in the error messages are a bit odd, as the url is shown twice. Here`s an example:
This page is not accessible offline. Possible reasons: either it was an invalid link on the server or Project settings do not allow the page to be downloaded. In some cases, increasing Project Level setting should help.
Click here to go online:
http://go/BBC Cult/www.bbc.co.uk/cult/ext/_auto/-/http:/127.0.0.1:800/BBC Cult/www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/
If I go to the address bar and cut out everything before the second http, the page loads properly and the clip plays. But if I click on another link, I have to edit the address again.
It`s odd that the links between pages work fine in Internet Explorer, but not in OEP. I`ve just checked what the links look like in IE, and here`s the IE version of the same example:
If I paste that into the OEP address bar, I can successfully navigate between pages but the video clips don`t play. I`m very confused! :-)
I double click on the Buffy project and the page appears in the OE browser, with the address shown as http://127.0.0.1:800/BBC%20Cult/www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/
Every link on the page produces an error message and a weird url, e.g. the link for Interviews looks like this: http://127.0.0.1:800/BBC%20Cult/www.bbc.co.uk/go/BBC%20Cult/www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy//ext/_auto/-/http://127.0.0.1:800/BBC%20Cult/www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/interviews/index.shtml
If I edit this url down to http://127.0.0.1:800/BBC%20Cult/www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/interviews/
or if I navigate to the appropriate shtml file in the project map, the page opens correctly. To actually watch the video clips, I have to use the map (or keep editing urls after each click) to navigate to a sub page with an embedded Realplayer, e.g. http://127.0.0.1:800/BBC%20Cult/www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/interviews/gellar_clips/clip0.shtml
The same is true of all the links I`ve tried, in all the separate parts of BBC Cult that I`ve downloaded..... except I`ve just discovered that for some reason the Star Trek page works perfectly! The url is shown as http://127.0.0.1:800/BBC%20Cult/www.bbc.co.uk/cult/st/
All the links I`ve tried within this area go straight to the correct page, and video clips play as expected too. I`m sure I didn`t do anything different when I downloaded this bit, so I`ve no idea why it works and the others don`t, but I`ll stick the project at the end of this message just in case you can spot something in it.
By the way, there`s a link on the Star Trek page that goes back to the Cult homepage, so I tried this but the problems are still there. It seems that only the Star Trek pages are working properly.
Caption=BBC Online - Cult - Star Trek - Homepage
You can also disable loading .js files for such BBC Projects - uncheck .js extension in the File Filters | User Defined section.
By the way, I was amused and bemused to see that removing this file has actually changed the BBC Cult home page slightly, when viewed in OE (it`s the same as normal in IE). Instead of the "You have been watching..." animation there`s now a photo of what I presume is a TV studio door, with signs saying "Do not enter when red light is on" and "Even when red light is off please remain quiet". No idea where it came from, but it might as well stay there now, as the music for that animation was starting to get on my nerves to be honest!