I need to publish a audio file that I want to make so that:

  • It is available to listen in streaming.
  • The file can't be retrieved for private use.

Any idea how to do it?

Something where user cannot save the audio using any webbrowser plugin like DownloadHelper would be the best, but already preventing the everyday user to save the source file on his machine with a right click would help.

  • Basically that's what Youtube want to do :)
    – phunehehe
    Dec 13, 2010 at 12:04
  • you can easily save what's on Youtube
    – Radek
    Dec 13, 2010 at 12:06
  • This question is not suitable for Web Applications. We're a site for the consumers of web applications, not the producers. Webmasters will be a better place for this I think.
    – ChrisF
    Dec 13, 2010 at 12:08
  • 1
    This question shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the internet works. In order for a user to listen to anything, it has to be downloaded to their computer so that it can be played. That's why DRM is defective by design. Dec 13, 2010 at 13:46
  • Agree with Lese. See also this answer on SO for a good explanation: stackoverflow.com/questions/1790190/… Dec 13, 2010 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


The only option I know that is resistant to header snooping (DownloadHelper, Live HTTP headers, etc) is by using RTMP streams, which is a true stream rather then a play-as-you-download stream. - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_Time_Messaging_Protocol

I don't have any experience in deploying rtmp myself, but I know there are multiple solutions out there for playing, like flowplayer: http://flowplayer.org/demos/plugins/streaming/multiple-rtmp.html

I know MySpace switched all their artist playlists to rtmp and it's kept basically everyone out - although we can always record the output of the player using desktop software like Audio Hijack Pro:


All this being said, I have seen a commandline rtmp stream ripper, but never got it to work. In the end the best protection is minimum quality rtmp streams.

Hope this helps!

  • Dunno why you got downvoted, this seems like a pretty legit answer. I mean, the real answer is you can't prevent saving, but yours is a good compromise. Dec 13, 2010 at 16:08
  • sounds good. Now I need to find out how set up RTMP server or would be the player by itself good enough?
    – Radek
    Dec 13, 2010 at 23:41
  • I downvoted it because most of the answer is nonsense or incorrect. "resistant to header snooping"? "a true stream rather than a play-as-you-download stream"? RTMP has kept everyone out of myspace music tracks? RTMP/RTMPS/RTMPE has been broken since day 1. It offers no additional security over RealMedia or any previous streaming technologies. The only "hard" part about downloading myspace tracks as mp3s is getting the playlist that contains the rtmp:// URLs. And that can be done effortlessly with a Firefox plugin like Live HTTP Headers. Dec 14, 2010 at 14:12
  • Also, using low quality files to defeat music downloaders is a bit like cutting off the nose to spite the face. You may as well just put up bad music that no one would want to download or listen to. It would make more sense to stream audio that has been lossily compressed using a proprietary codec. The quality would only be degraded when the user re-encodes it to a more common lossy format in order to listen to it in their preferred music player or on their iPod. Dec 14, 2010 at 14:28
  • rtmp streams are not as easy to download as mp3 streams and thus has kept out a LARGE majority of people. I've only been able to find a commandline tool that was more hassle then it was worth. "play-as-you-download" isn't official term, and feel free to correct me. I merely meant that streaming an mp3 file is different then and a true stream like rtmp. Next time I just won't answer ;)
    – electblake
    Dec 14, 2010 at 20:00

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