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

166 Replies to “How to download HD Trailers from Apple.com”

  1. A command-line alternative to wget is curl, which is included with MacOS, so you don’t need to get anything with cygwin.

  2. Easier way:
    Just make the url into an html link, place in a text file- save as test.html – and open in your browser, right click on the link and goto save as or save target as. Easy said and done!

  3. See…I dont understand why any one would “want to keep” trailers???

    Whats the point in just saving trailers?

    Maybe I’m missing someting!

  4. if you’re using IE, after copying/pasting the edited link into the address bar go into your temp inet files after it’s done downloading to retrieve it

  5. Your procedure will not work with Apple quicktime live stream from their events like WWDC. I have inspected the page source and download those .mov (very small due to they are not seft contained mov) and try to figure out the real movie stream. But I could not find any rstp downloader that could handle Apple protocol. It always failed.

  6. Great, thanks a lot.
    But the funny thing is that there was time when my quicktime crashed and I could save trailers just by clicking the icon. . .

  7. dude i have a question… i’m new at this, but in firefox ther’s no way put an “h” between the _ and the resolution, how can i do it?

  8. Um, you’re not suppose to insert the ‘h’ inside of firefox. You copy the string into a text editor (i.e. notepad) and add the h there. And then use your favorite download program to download that.

    //krunk (^_^x)

  9. Great tip man, you are a genious. Firefox actually tries to play the file in the body of the browser. IE however starts downloading. I have Download Accelerator Plus and it works great. Great tip man.

    This is typical with Mac/Apple. There is always something less than everyone else has, always something to make you think your Mac needs an upgrade, your iPod needs an upgrade, you need just a little more. You need the pro version now. PROVERSION of what?? Stupid Quicktime? And then I have to PAY FOR IT? And I am sure some idiots pay since they done know about VLC, Classic Media Player, BSPlayer (older version) etc. Great programs that are free too. Actually there has not been a single file that my VLC has not been able to play, from streams, to Mp4, H264, Any divx, xvid you can imagine. I have not tried .mov yet but as soon as this trailer ends I will see and I am sure VLC will take care of it.

    Stupid Quicktime does not even do full screen and by the way, I have a 1080p capable laptop on a 1080p screen and the stupid trailer is not 1080p vertical, its a little less from both sides. Its not exactly 1920×1080, its probably 1850×1020 or some stupid Apple invention.

    APPLE: Pay more, Get less

  10. by adding a “h” in between the “_ & resolution” works great on my favorite download accelerator. thanks man u r great.

    is there a way can i download the trailers that are only for viewing on
    apple site.
    it says to pick a resolution for view.

  11. Can you give an example of which one is only for viewing? I’ve been able to download every trailer off Apple’s site.

    //krunk (^_^x)

  12. for example this one “The Prisoner or: How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair”
    i have to wait until it streams. after that i can save as a quick time movie.
    is there a way that i can put these trailers to my accelerators

  13. Here are the links:

    The Prisoner or: How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair
    Resident Evil: Extinction
    Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End

    These required a bit more work. Inside the source of these files, you’ll find something that calls: QT_WriteOBJECT_XHTML. Inside this method, you’ll find a URL that has a reference *.mov file.

    Download that *.mov file and open it in notepad. You’ll find the correct filename within that. Just search for .mov within that file. Some of the reference .mov files have 2 .mov files. Choose the size you want. If it bigs with a #, ignore it.

    i.e. For Pirates of the Caribbean, I first downloaded this file and opened it in notepad. In notepad, I found this string: 6piratesofthecaribbean3-tlr3_h640w.mov

    Remove the # in front of it (6 in this case) and swap the files from the original URL to become this.

    enjoy!

    //krunk (^_^x)

  14. that works great man.
    you are a genius.
    thanks for all the help

    i will let u know if there is something that get confused

  15. hey man i really got confused about this trailer i couldn’t find any links in any way to download. pls check this on for me.. i htink they wrote this
    one in a new way… thanks for advance.
    Apple Trailer: “the invisible”

  16. i got the url from u. in the javascript button. but still don’t understood how to find url’s. like u did

  17. have you tried opening that .js file in notepad? It’s pretty obvious what the video URLs are from that point.

    //krunk (^_^x)

  18. Neat.

    It would be great if someone could make a RSS feed with direct links to the source .mov files. It should be possible to do programmatically from Apple’s own trialer RSS with some server space and PHP. Sadly, I don’t have the time to do it, but will cheer anyone who has.

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