How to download HD Trailers from Apple.com

For more up-to-date instructions, please visit HD-Trailers.net

<update>

For simplified instructions, see: Tutorial: Download from Apple

I’ve also added instructions to download HD trailers from Yahoo! Movies: Tutorial: Download from Yahoo!

Finally, I’ve made a simple and elegant page to make downloading HD trailers super easy:
HD-Trailers.net
hd-trailers.net screenshot

</update>

So Quicktime sucks and is a horrible video player. That’s why there’s VLC and Media Player Classic with Quicktime Alternative. However, HD trailers on Apple.com forces you to use Quicktime to watch the HD versions. However, the decoding of the video is so poorly done, I can’t even watch 480p through Quicktime.

So a year back or so, I decided to figure out a way to download these High Definition trailers so I can watch them through VLC or MPC. I believe with VLC, you don’t need the QT alternative codec, but with MPC or WMP, you do. Anyway, if you go to an HD trailer page, e.g. Apple – Trailers – Breach- HD, you’ll usually see 3 buttons: 480p, 720p, and 1080p. My machine’s not fast enough to decode their 1080p, so I always opt for the 720p version. Trailers are usually a couple hundred megs, depending on how long it is. When I showed Derek this trick, he noticed that even though trailers said 1080p, they were hardly ever 1920×1080, usually something a bit smaller.

Anyway, once you’re on an HD trailer page:

  1. Go to view source (CTRL+U in Firefox)
  2. Search for 720p or 1080p (or 480p if you want) and it’s the 2nd hit you want.
  3. You’ll find something close to this:
    QT_WriteOBJECT_XHTML(‘http://movies.apple.com/trailers/images/hd_btn2_720p.mov’, ’67′, ’24′, ”, ‘bgcolor’, ‘FFFFFF’, ‘controller’, ‘false’, ‘href’, ‘http://images.apple.com/movies/universal/breach/breach-tlr1_720p.mov‘, ‘target’, ‘QuickTimePlayer’);
  4. The 1st hit (i.e. hd_btn2_720p.mov) is just the image of the button. The 2nd hit (i.e. breach-tlr1_720p.mov) is actually a file that points to where the real trailer is ‘hidden’.
  5. Take the 2nd URL and add an h between the _ and the resolution:
    From: http://images.apple.com/movies/universal/breach/breach-tlr1_720p.mov
    To: http://images.apple.com/movies/universal/breach/breach-tlr1_h720p.mov
    For 1080p, it would be:
    http://images.apple.com/movies/universal/breach/breach-tlr1_h1080p.mov
  6. Next you can enter that URL into your browser and save it when it finishes downloading or whatever. I usually just use wget which came with Cygwin

Before, I used to keep all the trailers on my HDD:

Directory of F:\Downloads\apple trailers

16_blocks_h720p.mov
300-journal_5_h480p.mov
accepted_h720p.mov
aeon_flux_h720p.mov
akeelahandthebee-tlr2a_h720p.mov
alpha_dog_h720p.mov
american_hardcore_h720p.mov
an_american_haunting_h720p.mov
apocalypto-tsr1_h720p.mov
art_school_confidential-tlr_h720p.mov
atl_h720p.mov
a_scanner_darkly-tlr2_h720p.mov
babel_h720p.mov
basic_instinct_2_h720p.mov
black_dahlia_h720p.mov
cars-tlr_1_h720p.mov
cars-tsr4_h720p.mov
children_of_men-tlr1_h720p.mov
click-tlr1_h720p.mov
da_vinci_code-tsr2_h720p.mov
devilanddanieljohnston_h720p.mov
district_b13_h720p.mov
downinthevalley_h720p.mov
eight_below_h720p.mov
employeeofthemonth-tlr2a_h720p.mov
fast_food_nation_h720p.mov
firewall-tlr1_h720p.mov
friends_with_money_h720p.mov
ghost_rider-tsr-intl_h720p.mov
ghost_rider-tsr_h720p.mov
goal_h720p.mov
guys_and_balls_h720p.mov
happy_feet-tlr2a_h720p.mov
happy_feet_h720p.mov
hard_candy_h720p.mov
hoot-tlr1_h720p.mov
hoot-tsr_h720p.mov
house_of_sand_h720p.mov
ice_age_2-tlrD_h720p.mov
imax-deep_sea_h720p.mov
joyeux_noel_h720p.mov
ladyinthewater-tlr2_h720p.mov
ladyinthewater-tlr3_h720p.mov
ladyinthewater_h720p.mov
lamujerdemihermano_h720p.mov
larrythecableguy_h720p.mov
lastkingofscotland_h720p.mov
leonard_cohen_h720p.mov
little_miss_sunshine-tlr_h720p.mov
little_miss_sunshine_h720p.mov
lost_city_h720p.mov
l_enfant_h720p.mov
madeas_family_reunion-tlr2a_h720p.mov
meet_the_robinsons-tsr_h720p.mov
miami_vice-tlr2_h720p.mov
mission_impossible_3-sb_h720p.mov
monster_house-tlr1_h720p.mov
night_watch-tlra_h720p.mov
one_last_thing_h720p.mov
open_season-rev_h720p.mov
open_season-tlr2_h720p.mov
over_the_hedge-tlr1_h720p.mov
over_the_hedge-tsr2a_h720p.mov
peaceful_warrior_h720p.mov
phat_girlz-tlra_h720p.mov
poseidon-intl_tlr_h720p.mov
poseidon-tlr2_h720p.mov
poseidon-tlr3a_h720p.mov
pulse-tlr2_h720p.mov
pulse-tlr3_h720p.mov
quinceanera-tlr_h720p.mov
ratatouille-tsr1_h720p.mov
renaissance_h720p.mov
ridingalonefor1000sofmiles_h720p.mov
roving_mars_h720p.mov
rv-tlr_h720p.mov
school_for_scoundrels_h720p.mov
see_no_evil_h720p.mov
silent_hill_h720p.mov
sketchesoffrankgehry_h720p.mov
spider-man_3-tsr_h720p.mov
stay_alive_h720p.mov
stick_it_h720p.mov
summer_storm_h720p.mov
superman_returns-tlr1_h720p.mov
superman_returns-tlr2_h720p.mov
talladega_nights-tsr_h720p.mov
tcm_thebegining_h720p.mov
thankyouforsmoking_h720p.mov
thehillshaveeyes_h720p.mov
thesantaclause3-tlr1_h720p.mov
thescienceofsleep_h720p.mov
theusvsjohnlennon_h720p.mov
the_benchwarmers_h720p.mov
the_departed-tlr1a_h720p.mov
the_departed-tlr1b_h720p.mov
the_descent_h720p.mov
the_fountain-tlr1_h720p.mov
the_fountain-tsr_h720p.mov
the_italian_h720p.mov
the_lake_house_h720p.mov
the_namesake_h720p.mov
the_night_listener_h720p.mov
the_omen_666-tlrb_h720p.mov
the_pink_panther-tlr2_h720p.mov
the_prestige_h720p.mov
the_promise_h720p.mov
the_quiet_h720p.mov
the_shaggy_dog_h720p.mov
the_wicker_man_h720p.mov
the_wild_h720p.mov
tmnt-tlr1_h720p.mov
trust_the_man_h720p.mov
united_93-fte_h720p.mov
united_93_h720p.mov
viva_pedro_h720p.mov
volver_h720p.mov
v_for_vendetta-tlr2_h720p.mov
whenastrangercalls_h720p.mov
whokilledtheelectriccar_h720p.mov
wolf_creek-internet_tlr_h720p.mov
world_trade_center-tlr1_h720p.mov
xmenthelaststand_h720p.mov

123 File(s) 11,848,500,131 bytes
2 Dir(s) 51,537,440,768 bytes free

But then I decided that it wasn’t really worth keeping all these trailers, since I hardly ever rewatch them, so they went bye bye one day.

I usually visit the Apple Trailers site once or twice a month and watch all the trailers. For the trailers that have HD, I just paste all the links into notepad and do a replace all like:

wget http://images.apple.com/movies/disney/bridge_to_terabithia/bridge_to_terabithia-tlr1_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/sony/offside/offside_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/universal/the_good_shepherd/the_good_shepherd-tlr2_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/wb/harry_potter-phoenix/harry_potter_phoenix-tlr1_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/lionsgate/happily_never_after/happily_never_after_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/wb/lettersfromiwojima/lettersfromiwojima_h720p.mov

Update: Apple made an adjustment to deal with the Avatar trailer traffic which only allows QuickTime to download trailers directly. Please refer to this blog post for more details and workarounds: Direct Download Links from Apple Are Not Working. Here’s to hoping it’s only temporary.

Update #2: Apple links work when you change the domain from movies.apple.com to www.apple.com. For most up-to-date instructions, please visit HD-Trailers.net

174 thoughts on “How to download HD Trailers from Apple.com

  1. Yeah, you could do all that, or just wait for the trailer to finish downloading into quicktime and just export it from quicktime….

  2. Check this out. I’ve got a new metal and glass 24inch Imac…fastest yet. But watching quicktime videos they look like they have been heavily processed through a photoshop filter. Very heavily. Talked to an apple guy yesterday at their flagship store in S.F., and he says it’s becuase of the ATI graphics card…that it doesn’t “LIKE” older stuff or anything less than true HD. Even when I watch HD programming, which is showing real HD as opposed to an HD signal with reg video content, one can see lots of breakup in continuous tone surfaces…they become cartoon like in tone. It’s not my settings..it’s the limitations of the graphics card settings. I never had this problem watching non HD apple quicktime movie previews before on my older Imac. So with an upgrade in my computer, I get worse video processing. I picked up Seeker, an extrememly high end graphics tour of the solar system, for right now about $99. and although most of the graphics look stunning, as planets rotate, or one rotates and zooms in on the Hubble or the space station while a gorgeous earth below rotates with the sun setting and rising, one still sees a graded scale background in the stars that represents the mily way, etc. Stars and earth are very fine, but at first I thought it was the software. Once again, it’s the graphics card…and it’s not the card’s speed, it’s the decisions it makes. I’ll be writing the Mac magazines to grip about this lame problem. THe kid at Apple says if I download a 1080P trailer I won’t see this problem…well, at my ATT $10. buck a month DSl speed of around 760k it will take a while to download a 150 meg film, to check this out….I’ll get back to you guys…. [email protected]

  3. Dear People.

    When one refers to 1080p. They are referring to the biggest possible resolution of the video [1920x1080 progressive frames].

    Due to the orginal aspect ratio of the film, Apple crop the black matte from top and bottom, to ensure a higher quality encode and a smaller filesize.

    But if you want the longer download and poorer encode, ask Apple i’m sure they will be happy to oblige someone so knowledgeable about the film process………

  4. RE: Juan

    This one isn’t too difficult. Open the source and search for .mov – You’ll find something that looks like this:
    http://movies.apple.com/…/podium_480x376.mov
    http://movies.apple.com/…/prlady_480x376.mov
    http://movies.apple.com/…/boxer_480x376.mov
    http://movies.apple.com/…/apple-getamac-genius_480x376.mov

    Scrolling a bit further, you’ll noticed:

    {name:’small’,dimensions:’320×256′,text:’Small’};
    {name:’medium’,dimensions:’480×376′,text:’Medium’};
    {name:’large’,dimensions:’640×496′,text:’Large’};
    {name:’hd’,dimensions:’848×496′,text:’HD’};

    So if you take one of those original links and replace the 480×376 resolution with the one you want, you’ll be able to download these Get A Mac ads.

    i.e.
    HD: http://movies.apple.com/…/podium_848x496.mov

  5. I just look a look at AOL’s HD Trailers and they don’t look too complicated. The one I tried was: This Christmas

    On that page, you’ll see 3 HD buttons: 480p, 720p, and 1080p

    When you click on the HD button, it redirects you to a *.qtl file. Open the *.qtl file in notepad and search for the <embed> element. Look for the src attribute and you’ll find the direct link to the HD trailer. (e.g. 480p)

  6. Many thanks, Krunk! Was a little confused at first, because I didn’t know what “Notepad” was (I use a Mac), but TextEdit worked just as well!

    Here’s a link to the new Speed Racer trailer in 480p HD, for anyone who’s interested:
    http://pdl.stream.aol.com/…/speedracer_trlr_01_itjlsfc_480p_dl.mov

  7. Why go through alot when there is the free software called Download Trailer v.2 that downloads trailers directly from Apple…. Google it

  8. I’m guessing you’re referring to this: Download Trailers v.2

    Which doesn’t exactly look much quicker than what I’ve suggested. I’ve seen Firefox addons that provide direct downloads right on the page (or was it a grease monkey script).

    Then of course, there’s my new HD-Trailers.net site if you just want a quick download.

  9. Thanks for this, Krunk!

    Also, to answer the question “Why would someone want to save trailers?”… here’s my reason: I have a home theater with an HD-ready PC connected to a 1080p front projector, a 110″ screen, recliner seating and an old-timey popcorn machine. When I have friends over to watch movies, it’s fun to show a few trailers before the “Main Feature.” It really adds to the movie theater flavor!

  10. Your Best In the world. i was find this method from 1 year and finally i got it.

    THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS

  11. Thanks.

    I found an easier way.
    Right click on the button you want.
    Save as Source
    Paste on your widget and don’t forget to add ‘h’.
    Start Download.
    Voila!

    Apologies if already mentioned.

    Using:
    Mac
    Firefox
    Cocoa widget

  12. I’ve been downloading HD trailers from apple.com for a while now. I figured out the “h” thing on my own like this. I let a 1080p trailer open in quicktime and begin loading, and i’d copy the source URL out of the “movie info” screen and into the Safari downloads window. It didn’t work. So I closed the trailer, and tried it again. This time it worked.

    Apparently, re-opening the trailer adds the “h” in the source URL, causing it to be downloadable. I didn’t realize this for a while. I’d just open up each trailer twice before pasting the link. Then, sometime later, I noticed that upon the second opening, there was an “h” added in the URL.

    I save all the 1080p trailers to my computer, and have been doing so for the past two years or so. I have 494 of them.

  13. Nice!

    I’ve also started collecting them awhile back, but then I ran out of disk space and they became expendable. I first started collecting 720p since my cpu and graphics card wasn’t capable of playing 1080p without choppiness, but now I solely collect 1080p. I currently have 632 trailers, but that also includes the Yahoo! ones.

  14. You don’t need to put the ‘h’ infront of the resolution, I just copied and pasted the trailer URL from the source, let it download then File; Saved As and it still works.

  15. Oh …! I really want download HD Music Video in Quicktime HD Gallery! Plz give me the link of this new video in HD 720p or 1080p if u have! thanks so much…!

  16. RE: HD1026

    This is really a tutorial blog entry. If you have questions on how to find the download links, I can provide help, but the purpose of this entry isn’t really to get requests for HD download links.

    Your first task would probably be to open the source of the HD video page you want and find the 720p or 1080p links. If you get stuck, I can provide help.

  17. You do realize if you have a plugin installed that is capable of playing *.mov, if you click it, it should start streaming. It’s only when you right click, save as or using a download utility that will allow you to save it to your harddrive.

  18. I have JW player on my site that is capable of playing mov files, but when I try to playblack a mov with the links above it fails…Any idea?

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