Download All the TekPub Videos from Your Account’s RSS Feed (using Windows PowerShell)

I just subscribed to TekPub after watching the previews for a bunch of videos and realizing how awesome they are. I subscribed to the Annual plan (for $179) so that I could download the videos to my local device and watch them at my leisure.

After signing up and signing in, you’re presented with a variety of RSS feeds to choose from, including ones tailored for iTunes and Zune. I don’t have iTunes installed on my development PC and after upgrading to Windows 8, I don’t have the Zune app installed anymore either. I didn’t want to right-click each video link to download the videos individually, so I wrote up the following PowerShell script to run during the day while I worked. I was heavily inspired by Scott Hanselman’s post on downloading with PowerShell.

$base = "B:\Video\TekPub"
$chars = [System.IO.Path]::GetInvalidFileNameChars()

$xml = ([xml](New-Object System.Net.Webclient).DownloadString("put your url containing your token here"))

$ | foreach
    $url = $_.enclosure.url
    $url_parts = $url.Split('/')

    $folder = $url_parts[4]

    $filename = $_.title;
    foreach($char in $chars)
        $filename = $file.Replace($char, '')

    $filepath = $base + "\" + $folder + "\" + $filename

    $client = (New-Object System.Net.WebClient)
    $client.Headers["User-Agent"] = "TekPub Video Downloader - Nick Ohrn ("

    if(!(test-path $file))
            $client.DownloadFile($url, $filepath)
            Write-Host $error[0]

There’s a couple of important things to notice here. First, I explicitly declared the base location that I wanted the videos to be saved to. Second, I’m replacing all characters that would lead to an invalid Windows filename with an underscore to create a valid filename from the production title.

Finally, you’ll notice the custom User-Agent header that I added. I noticed that if you don’t supply the User-Agent, you’ll get a 406 Rejected error thrown back at you. In addition, it is just courteous to let people know what is requesting their stuff.

There are a few interesting things you could probably do to improve this script:

  • Find common prefixes for video titles and then put those videos into subdirectories named by the series
  • Number videos based on their position in the feed (like 001 - Full Throttle - Azure - Azure Deployment or something)

Anyways, if you’re looking to download a bunch of videos from TekPub (or any RSS feed, really) feel free to grab the above script.

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