Help locating Safari cache

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Chris14, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Chris14 macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #1
    Hi there,

    Having a bit of difficulty here. I currently have a YouTube window open with a rather large video fully loaded/buffered, presumably into cache. I wish to save the cache file and watch the film later. I have done this often in the past, and located the appropriate YouTube cached .flv files (in the form of FlashTmpX) at /var/tmp/folders/.

    However, my problem is in this particular case the file is not there!
    It is a long (1hr48min) debate in 720p weighing in at 1.6 GB hence my desire not to lose it or need to load it all over again. I have "get-info-ed" /var and it is only ~1.2 GB so presumably the file is not located there at all.

    Any advice? Where would I go about finding the file?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Safari > Window > Activity
    Locate the file by its size (it is typically the only file over 1MB), then press the Option key while you double-click the file. It will download. Change the extension to .flv and it's ready to play.
     
  3. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #3
    Thanks for the swift reply GGJstudios, I am aware of that method and use it often but in this case I didn't. I was after a method of locating the cached file seeing as I have already loaded the video. My intention was to avoid re downloading if possible!

    Have ended up giving in and downloading from the top. Interested to see if anybody has any other ideas though as to where the video was being cached to!?
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    The Safari cache is located in /Users/username/Library/Caches but it's not as simple as locating an individual file and simply copying it. The cache is in a .cache format, so the individual elements aren't separate files.
     
  5. CMT macrumors member

    CMT

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #5
    Indeed it's a little difficult to do that.

    If you go to ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari, there is a cache.db file. That's probably a SQLite database which stores everything in an unified file. So your video may be there in raw-data. And only Safari knows how to access it.

    I think Apple changed their Safari cache system recently. I remember it was not this way.

    I'll check if that's a real SQLite file. I so, who knows, there may be a way to access.
     
  6. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    It is a SQLite 3 file. It opens in SQLite Database Browser, but it still doesn't really let you access the individual files.
     
  7. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #7
    I've been hunting, yet still drawing a blank.
    Found the caches.db file too, but the fact is it is simply too small to contain the videos I have loaded. For example, at this moment I have a 1 hr 9 min / 177 MB youtube video loaded fully, yet the total cache file size is only 133.9 MB.

    Evidently the file is being stored elsewhere.
    Anyone more resourceful than I able to locate where the video cache is being played from?

    I am also curious as to why the sudden change in behaviour.... this was all much easier in the days of flashtmpx files! And it seems odd that SOME files are stored in the cache.db file but by no means all.

    Help always appreciated!
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    "I've been hunting, yet still drawing a blank.
    Help always appreciated!"

    The "answer" was given to you by GGJStudios in post #2. You said "thanks" and then seemed to ignore the advice he gave you and go right back to the "cache issue". I don't think going that way is going to work for you.

    Do this:
    1. Go back to wherever you are trying to get the video from, and begin watching it again.
    2. IMMEDIATELY pull down the Safari/Activity window
    3. Locate the file that represents the video you have just begun streaming. It will probably show a size that says something like "2mb of 1.5gig".
    Be aware that there will probably be A LOT of items to check in the Activity window. Scroll down with a careful eye and you should find it.
    4. When you see it, hold down the option key and double-click on the item while holding the key down. It should then begin to download directly to your DISK (NOT to Safari's "caches").
    Be aware that the file will "go to" wherever you have told Safari to keep downloaded files. (I set ALL incoming downloads to go to my desktop, so I can immediately "see them" when they're complete -- they can be moved later).
    5. Once the download begins, you don't even have to keep the YouTube window open anymore. Safari should "pull the file in" on its own.
    6. When the file is completely downloaded, you _may_ have to add the extension ".flv" to the end of it.
    7. If you don't have an app that will play an flv file handy, you can convert it to QuickTime using something called "Evom".

    Final note:
    In a very few instances, I have found some streaming video/audio material that can't be "captured" by using this technique. But _almost_ everything else out there can be. It's a relatively simple trick once you get used to doing it.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    Or you can install VLC Player to play .flv files without converting them.
     
  10. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #10
    Cheers Fishrrman, obviously I didn't make myself clear. My situation was that I have a video already loaded in cache and wish to locate the file. I KNOW that I can use the process described to download a video - and have in fact done so on numerous occasions. I am simply looking to find the file once it has already been loaded.

    If I am to use the Safari activity window method, it will begin to re-download the entire file, despite the fact that it is already present since the video itself is already fully loaded.

    I know I can do it the way you described but previously I was able to locate the cached flashtmp file (flv usually in the youtube case) and save it without downloading again. This was useful because it allowed me to watch the video as it loaded and yet still save the resulting file for later reviewing.

    My issue is that if a video is loaded into Safari's cache (though it appears not to be...) it is ALREADY present on my disk. Therefore it seems a waste to load the video all over again.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    "Cheers Fishrrman, obviously I didn't make myself clear. My situation was that I have a video already loaded in cache and wish to locate the file. I KNOW that I can use the process described to download a video - and have in fact done so on numerous occasions. I am simply looking to find the file once it has already been loaded.
    ...My issue is that if a video is loaded into Safari's cache (though it appears not to be...) it is ALREADY present on my disk. Therefore it seems a waste to load the video all over again."

    Again, you have not read or fully comprehended what others have written here.

    That is to say, whether or not the file is already +IN+ your cache, it's going to very difficult -- well nigh impossible -- to find it.

    The only SURE WAY of getting it is to do what I and GGJStudios have suggested.

    If you don't want to do it, don't. And good luck "finding" that file buried in Safari's caches somewhere....
     
  12. Hal Itosis macrumors 6502a

    Hal Itosis

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    #12
    Flash (and other) videos don't download into the normal browser "cache" areas.

    Try looking in temporary file storage areas like /tmp and /var/tmp, or even...
    Code:
    [COLOR="Blue"]ls -ln /private/var/folders/*/*/TemporaryItems/[/COLOR]
    total 19400
    -rw-r--r-- 1 501 501 9929167 May 12 00:30 [B]FlashTmp0[/B]
    
     
  13. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #13
    Fishrrman, I may be misinterpreting (notorious in the internet world) but I don't particularly appreciate the condescending tone that your messages appear to take. I understand fully what you have said. My replies were simply messages to others who may have something else to offer. It was not my intent to obstinately ignore either yours nor GGJstudios suggestions - quite the opposite.

    Again if I am incorrect in my conclusions then I offer my humblest apologies.

    Hal Itosis, thanks for the suggestion, duly noted.

    I will continue to investigate and post back if I reach any revelation - otherwise I think this thread has run its course.

    Thanks again.
     

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