Announcing Flazr – download RTMP (Flash video) streams

A quick post to announce my new open-source project: http://flazr.com

I had done most of the coding early this year and was really feeling bad about sitting on the code and not having time to package and release as open source. Judging by the number of hits I keep getting on this blog entry I made previously on “how to download RTMP streams with Red5” – there appears to be a lot of demand for this.

Flazr is a Java implementation of the RTMP protocol using the excellent Apache Mina project. I think I was able to come up with a far more concise and readable implementation than what the Red5 project uses – which is not that surprising – because the scope of Red5 is much bigger and Flazr focuses only on the client side. I do feel that Flazr will be useful as an additional reference for those interested in understanding the details of the RTMP protocol.

One of the highlights of Flazr (especially from a Java perspective) is the usage of Groovy for scripting. Groovy allows the end-user to script things such as scraping the HTML from a given URL, parsing it and then invoking the RTMP client routine with the right parameters. All this in a platform-independent manner, without the need to compile anything and using a normal text-editor. I expect Flazr’s Groovy approach to be much easier to use (and arguably more powerful) than the PERL-driven approach that projects like “get_iplayer” and “rtmpdump” use.

Flazr has been designed so that end-users can extend the capabilities far beyond what the core supports – using just some plain-text Groovy scripts. This means that end-users won’t need to depend on the project team (*ahem* just me for now :) to pitch in and make changes. I’m quite interested to see how this turns out in practice.

All in all I’m quite positive about Groovy’s useful-ness, the example scripts that come with the Flazr distribution demonstrate usage of the nifty XmlSlurper and implementing a Java interface on-the-fly. End users should be able to even plug in third-party libraries if they so desire and make use of all that the JVM offers.

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