Scraping and converting RealMedia streams to .mp4 

This handy little script is a way to convert RealMedia streams (.rm, .ram, etc) to .mp4.

The problem this script – crudely – solved began with a video server containing dozens of recorded lectures in RealMedia format, which were proving beastly in conversion. Some were created and served by Midd’s own streaming media tool, while others were created by an Accordent system from long ago.  Just downloading the .rm files from the server and running them through ffmpeg (or RealPlayer Converter for Windows) left the audio and video tracks wildly out of sync; 1 endless tinkering with codecs and settings didn’t improve the situation. Left with few other options, I wrote this script to dump the A/V streams in real time and convert them to .mp4 via ffmpeg.

Note: the scripted method is SLOOOOOOW and wonky and resource-heavy.  The time to download and convert a .rm video is around 130% of the playback duration.
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  1. My beloved hometown’s own Walker Art Center has documented a Mac-based workflow that runs into the same sync issues, with different solution, here.