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. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I found the url, added the h, the video loaded, and played.
    But in IE8 Beta, OS Windows 7 Beta it grays out the save as button, control-s doesn’t work either.
    Does it work for any one else with these specs?
    If not, then I’m just letting you guys know.
    btw it was the transformers 2 1080p trailer.

  4. File / Save As is grayed out as well as File / Save.
    On the IE official page it says that Windows 7 Beta testers have a unique version of IE and that we can’t use the one from their site.

    What about Google Chrome? Do you know if it would work there? I tried but it doesn’t give as Save As option or Save option, just a Save Page As option.
    Save Page As saves it as some HTML code stuff.

  5. RE: ExtremeCore

    I haven’t personally used Chrome as the default browser I use is Firefox 3, and if needed IE7. I’ll probably be upgrading to IE8 this weekend and will let you know how things turn out and if there’s a way to save trailers in IE8.

  6. RE: ExtremeCore

    Looks like you’re right. I just installed IE8 final and after a quicktime mov file is loaded, both “Save” and “Save As…” are disabled. But I also confirmed, that the “Save/Save as…” options were also disabled back in IE7.

    One workaround is that I’m pretty sure IE stores the video into it’s temporary internet files folder, so you can check there after it finishes loading.

    If you can find or create it as a link form, you could always right click the link and “Save Target As…”

    Finally, there’s always the option of trying another browser or download utility.

  7. I checked it the temp folder and I didn’t find any .mov files.
    And I just checked again with Google Chrome and it worked. (with the magical h)
    By the way whats the difference with “h” and without.
    As I understood, the “h” version is cached version, right?

  8. Hi Guys!
    Excellent work. I can really download HD 1080p clips without QT. Although i have no issues with Quik Time. It runs awesome on my Core 2 Duo machine… But this is the better option to get these clips donwloaded :) One more thing. If you go to yahoo movies.com then u ll find better quallity 1080p latest movie clips over there. Quallity is much better then its provided on Apply site..
    Thanks
    Enjoy all
    Aatif :)

  9. thanks man.. you’re the best.. HD-trailers.net is the best way for downloading hd trailers!
    and its really in high definition! ….thanks again..:D

  10. Easy way using Firefox

    Go to the required page like

    http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/thebookofeli/hd/

    Hover your cursor on the required resolution, right click and copy link location

    http://movies.apple.com/movies/wb/thebookofeli/thebookofeli-tlr1a_1080p.mov

    Then open a new tab and just add the letter h after the underscore and before the digits

    http://movies.apple.com/movies/wb/thebookofeli/thebookofeli-tlr1a_h1080p.mov

    Voila – the link is ready for download….you can also paste it in your download manager

    Cheers!

  11. What is the curl command to be able to download Yahoo trailers with curl?

    curl never seems to follow the referrer link.

    thanks.

  12. @adam Here are the options you’ll need:
    -L (follows location hints)
    -o filename (this is the filename to save to)

    Example:
    curl -L -o AvatarTeaser1080p.mov "http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?sdm=web&pt=rd&sid=91718727"

  13. This trick is stopped.
    The server only can accept Quicktime to connect now.

    So if U still want to d/l it.
    Use some program (flashget or other download software) , that can send fake referer to server.

    Set referer to “QuickTime/7.6.2″ , it will be worked.

  14. #!/bin/bash
     
    MSTART=89026416
    MEND=89026410
     
    for ((i= $MSTART ;i>= $MEND ;i--))
    do
      if [ ! -e "$i.mov" ]
      then
        echo Downloading $i
        curl -L -o "$i.mov" "http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?sdm=web&pt=rd&sid=$i"
      fi
    done

  15. Go to a trailer page like this one – http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/thewolfman/ – and copy the button link (Right click – Copy link) from the version you want to download. 480p, 720p or 1080p.

    Paste the link, that sould be like this:
    http://movies.apple.com/movies/universal/thewolfman/wolfman-tlr2_1080p.mov

    Change it to:
    http://www.apple.com/movies/universal/thewolfman/wolfman-tlr2_h1080p.mov

    The changes are:
    movies = www
    _1080p.mov = _h1080.mov

    Like the author said! It´s working!

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