Like many people, I’ve been trying to find an easier way to archive all of my movies and TV shows to hard disk instead of DVD disc. My previous attempt at semi-automated DVD ripping used an autoloader and some scripts, but it still required a lot of intervention because I couldn’t find a way to correctly name and tag my movies automatically. I wished there was something like CDDB or FreeDB for DVDs that would lookup metadata from the disc in the drive.
Thankfully, I’ve stumbled across an awesome utility that will get the DVD’s discid in the format Microsoft uses for their media player and media centers. http://dvdid.cjkey.org.uk/
Time to fire up Wireshark (or Ethereal if you’ve been doing this forever) and see where that request is going. I stuck the disc in my DVD drive and opened Windows Media Player. A couple of HTTP 302 redirects later I’ve got a HTTP 200 and the current request and reply.
Opening the request gives me the URL. It looks like it’s using “User-Agent: Windows-Media-Player/12.0.7601.18741”. To avoid being ridiculously obvious while abusing this api, it might be a good idea to spoof your useragent as well.
The request URL is super straight forward too. Just replace everything after the CRC= with the output from dvdid, removing the | character.