How to Download Streaming Music MP3s With Firefox

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You can save music streamed to your Firefox browser.
You can save music streamed to your Firefox browser.

The beauty of streaming music sites is, of course, the music. The downside is that, like listening to the radio in the 1960s, there’s no easy way of saving a copy of the music. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually download some of the songs you hear on streaming music sites? What many people don’t realize is that when your Firefox web browser streams music from a website, it actually temporarily downloads the file into your cache on your hard drive. All you need is a way to find it.

Instructions

    • 1

      Find your Firefox browser’s cache directory. You can do this by typing “about:cache” into the address bar.

    • 2

      Firefox will display a new page called “Information about the Cache Service.” Under the heading “Disk cache device,” look for the “Cache Directory.” The directory listing will likely be quite long.

    • 3

      Navigate to the directory. You can do this on a PC by highlighting the directory with your mouse cursor then pressing "Ctrl-C" or right-clicking your mouse to copy the text. Next open the "Start" menu and select "Run." Paste the directory into the dialogue box and click "OK." On a Mac, open a Finder window and navigate to the directory by following the path listed.

    • 4

      Once you are in the cache directory, make sure that the window is set to display file sizes and the modified dates of files (so that you can see the dates/times that files were added to the directory). In Windows, you can change to this setting by right-clicking in the window and selecting "View," then "Details." On a Mac, you can do this by switching the Finder window to "List View" mode.

    • 5

      Leave the cache directory open. Now navigate your Firefox web browser to a website that streams MP3 music. Start listening to a song and let it load completely. Once the song has finished loading, wait a few minutes, then go back to your cache directory and refresh it (right-click, then select "Refresh" on a PC or select "View," then "Refresh" in the Finder window on a Mac).

    • 6

      Look for the most recent files and find one that would be about the size of your song. This will usually be in the range of 2MB to 7MB, depending on the length of the song. The file name will look like jibberish, but this is the file you want.

    • 7

      Select the file, then drag it onto your desktop. Rename the file and give it the extension “.mp3.” You can do this on a PC by selecting the file, right-clicking on it, and selecting "Rename," or by selecting the file and pressing the Enter key on a Mac. Once you’re done, the file name should be something along the lines of “Songname.mp3”

    • 8

      Now put the file in your MP3 player software and you’ve got your own copy of the song you were streaming.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the file does not appear in your cache immediately, try waiting a few minutes. Sometimes there is a lag between when your browser loads a file and when it is accessible through your cache. You may also have to navigate your browser to a new website.

  • Do not use this method to download copyrighted material to your computer without permission.

  • This will not work for all streaming sites. Some sites have instituted safeguards against this.

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  • Photo Credit music notes image by cherie from Fotolia.com

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