M3U8 download app for MacOS

Usually I work via Terminal but sometimes I don’t remember all parameters of a binary and search for such takes time. Same issue I had for ffmpeg downloads of M3U8 files. So I created a small apple script (for some dialogs) and saved this as very simple application. I use it regulary now and after all I thought to share here.


A little preparation is needed, if you have ffmpeg binary allready installed you can skip to next section. So download the ffmpeg binary as an archive from https://www.ffmpeg.org/, unzip and follow next commands. In my example the binary was unzipped into folder “Downloads”.

# move ffmpeg binary
$ mv ~/Downloads/ffmpeg /usr/local/bin/ffmpeg

# set permissions
$ chmod +x /usr/local/bin/ffmpeg

# check version (optional)
$ ffmpeg -version

Apple Script

Open the Scripteditor and copy/paste the following script there.


global theURL
global theOutputFolder
global theOutputFileName

on SetURL()
  set theTitle to "Video URL"

    set theURLDialog to display dialog "What's the file URL?" default answer "" with title theTitle buttons {"Continue"}
    set theURL to text returned of theURLDialog
  on error
  end try

  if theURL as string is equal to "" then
  end if
end SetURL

on SetOutputFolder()
    set theOutputFolder to choose folder with prompt "In what folder you will save the file?"
  on error
  end try
end SetOutputFolder

on SetOutputFileName()
  set theTitle to "File Name"

    set theOutputFileNameDialog to display dialog "What's your target file name?" default answer "" with title theTitle buttons {"Continue"}
    set theOutputFileName to text returned of theOutputFileNameDialog
  on error
  end try

  if theOutputFileName as string is equal to "" then
  end if
end SetOutputFileName

on RunTerminal()
  set theTargetPath to POSIX path of theOutputFolder & theOutputFileName
  set theCommand to "ffmpeg -i " & theURL & " -c copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc " & theTargetPath

  tell application "Terminal"
    do script with command theCommand in window 1
  end tell
end RunTerminal

on quit
  display dialog "Thanks for trying this!" buttons {"Continue"}
  continue quit
end quit

on run

end run


Now you can “save” or “export” the script as “app”.

Save/Export applescript as application
Save/Export AppleScript as app

If you don’t like the icon, you can change it. Download from the source of you choose an “.icns” file. Select the app and hit “Command + i” keys. Now drag the icon over the original icon and close info window. Ready … move it into Applications folder and use it.

Create a simple video test environment (Part 2)

In the first part we created the video test environment and you learned how to extend it. At the end of this tutorial you will know how to embed video content in the video test environment. Therefore, a few basics are shown around ffmpeg (how to create, edit and use videos).

Record and prepare some videos

The recording should contain video and sound and should be 5 minutes long. The content of the video does not matter!

# open Quicktime Player
$ open -a "QuickTime Player"

# press Control-Command-N, start record (approximately 5 min)
# save record into project folder as movie.mov (~/Projects/VideoTest/movie.mov)

As soon as a video is ready we have to create more.

# copy binary (optional)
$ sudo cp ~/Projects/VideoTest/ffmpeg /usr/local/bin/ffmpeg && sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/ffmpeg

# convert mov into mp4 (copy)
$ ffmpeg -i movie.mov -vcodec copy -acodec copy demo.mp4

# resize mp4 to 320x240 (filter_graph)
$ ffmpeg -i demo.mp4 -vf scale=320:240 ./src/demo_scaled.mp4

# create poster from mp4 (position and frame)
$ ffmpeg -i ./src/demo_scaled.mp4 -ss 00:00:30 -vframes 1 ./src/demo_poster.png

# create m3u8/ts files from mp4 (HLS - Apple HTTP Live Stream)
$ ffmpeg -i demo.mp4 -b:v 1M -g 60 -hls_time 2 -hls_list_size 0 -hls_segment_size 500000 ./src/output.m3u8

# run specific SHELL provisioner
$ vagrant provision --provision-with video

Note: After this step you will have many video files which you will use

  • ./movie.mov (original)
  • ./demo.mp4 (converted)
  • ./src/demo_scaled.mp4 (converted and resized)
  • ./src/output.m3u8
  • ./src/\*.ts

Get in contact with ffmpeg

I assume that ffmpeg is properly installed and the test environment is running.

# create target folder
$ mkdir ~/Projects/VideoTest/test

# extract some images from video
$ ffmpeg -i movie.mov -ss 00:00:30 -t 0.1 -f image2 -qscale 2 -vcodec mjpeg ./test/img-%03d.jpg

# create local m3u8/ts files from mp4
$ ffmpeg -i demo.mp4 -b:v 1M -g 60 -hls_time 2 -hls_list_size 0 -hls_segment_size 500000 ./test/output.m3u8

# extract mp4 from local m3u8/ts files
$ ffmpeg -i test/output.m3u8 -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc -vcodec copy -c copy -crf 50 ./test/output_local.mp4

# extract mp4 from url to m3u8 file (will not work with LiveStream)
$ ffmpeg -i http://localhost:8080/output.m3u8 -c copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc stream.mp4

Stream videos

# open browser
$ open -a Safari http://localhost:8080/livestream.html

# stream video (Real-Time Messaging Protocol)
$ ffmpeg -re -i demo.mp4 -vcodec libx264 -vprofile baseline -g 30 -acodec aac -strict -2 -f flv rtmp://localhost/show/stream

Stream from FaceTime HD Camera (macOS)

# open browser
$ open -a Safari http://localhost:8080/livestream.html

# list devices
$ ffmpeg -f avfoundation -list_devices true -i ""

# stream sound and video (Real-Time Messaging Protocol)
$ ffmpeg -f avfoundation -framerate 30 -i "0:0" -pix_fmt yuv420p -vcodec libx264 -vprofile baseline -g 30 -acodec libmp3lame -f flv rtmp://localhost/show/stream

Create a simple video test environment

In this series I would like to clarify the following questions. How can you test local videos and videos provided by a server? What tools are there? How could the test environment look like? … So these tutorials should provide an entry into the subject of video testing. In this part, we will provide the test environment.


additional Software


# create project
$ mkdir -p ~/Projects/ && cd ~/Projects/

# clone all files from repository
$ git clone https://github.com/Lupin3000/VideoTest.git

# change directory
$ cd ~/Projects/VideoTest

Project Structure

$ tree .
├── src
│   ├── directstream.html
│   ├── index.html
│   ├── livestream.html
│   ├── nginx.conf
│   └── simplevideo.html
└── Vagrantfile

Prepare and run your test environment

The test environment will created by Vagrant. The Vagrant Base box needs to be provided with Debian 9. Therefore you have now 2 options. You can use a Debian 9 Base box from Vagrant cloud or you create your own. To create your own Debian 9 Base box you can use my Packer Git repository.

Please ensure, that the  Vagrantfile is properly configured (config.vm.box_url, config.vm.box) before start-up environment.

# modify Vagrantfile (box name)
$ vim Vagrantfile

# start new environment
$ vagrant up --provision-with install,prepare,start

# open in browser
$ open -a Safari http://localhost:8080/

After successful start you will find some informations on start page about How-to create, modify, upload and stream videos. In second tutorial we will have a detailed look on it.

StartPage Video Test Environment

To understand the background somewhat better, take a look!

# tail nginx log files (optional)
$ vagrant ssh -c 'sudo tail -f /usr/local/nginx/logs/*.log'

# show content of directory (optional)
$ vagrant ssh -c 'sudo ls -la /tmp/hls/'

Develop some more

There are even more ways to publish video files (Media Streaming Server). You can easily expand the environment. Just customize/create the configurations and files in the “src” folder as well as the Vagrantfile. For Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) support take a look here. This link opens the commercial software solution.

Note: You simply link the IDE with the “src” folder. To change the images and videos, just run vagant provisioner.

# run specific SHELL provisioner (video)
$ vagrant provision --provision-with video

# restart after configuration
$ vagrant up --provision-with stop,prepare,start

Download and install ffmpeg binaries on macOS

Currently official ffmpeg packages are available for Windows, Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, RedHat) and macOS. You can download latest versions here.

Here now a solution for macOS users, if you don’t like to install many additional software on your system (static FFmpeg binaries).

# download ffmpeg
$ curl -C - -k https://evermeet.cx/ffmpeg/ffmpeg- -o ~/Downloads/ffmpeg-

# install debian package
$ vagrant ssh -c 'sudo apt install -y p7zip-full'

# copy archive (into shared folder)
$ cp ~/Downloads/ffmpeg- ~/Projects/VideoTest/src/

# unzip archive
$ vagrant ssh -c '7z x /home/vagrant/src/ffmpeg-'

# mv binary into src
$ vagrant ssh -c 'mv /home/vagrant/ffmpeg /home/vagrant/src/ffmpeg'

# delete archive (on shared folder)
$ rm ~/Projects/VideoTest/src/ffmpeg-

# mv binary into project folder (from shared folder)
$ mv ~/Projects/VideoTest/src/ffmpeg ~/Projects/VideoTest/

# ensure binary is executable
$ chmod +x ffmpeg

Now some basic ffmpeg commands, which should work now. If you like,you can move the binary into directory “/usr/local/”.

# show version
$ ~/Projects/VideoTest/ffmpeg -version

# show help
$ ~/Projects/VideoTest/ffmpeg -help

# list codecs
$ ~/Projects/VideoTest/ffmpeg -codecs

# list formats
$ ~/Projects/VideoTest/ffmpeg -formats

Okay, that’s it for first tutorial.