Support » Plugin: PowerPress Podcasting plugin by Blubrry » how to hide mp3 links from page source

  • I understand the password protection capabilities through role management in PowerPress and it requires a 3rd party plugin to work correctly. In my situation, I already have password protected content but it still shows the URLs in the source code.

    I’ve tried multiple options from various sources on the internet to conceal the URLs from JavaScript to PHP but none seem to work on my site. The PHP appears to be the most promising option if I could just get the code right. I realize it’s not bulletproof but it’s better than nothing.

    Has Blubrry ever thought about adding a “one-click” option in the settings to conceal the URLs in the source code? I could see how this would be very useful a lot of folks even if the content is not protected. It would drive more traffic to a webpage perhaps.

    Just a thought.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Plugin Author Angelo Mandato

    (@amandato)

    Hello @kjam,

    Thanks for using PowerPress!

    Can you explain how a one-click option would work as apposed to how we have it now with specific settings? More importantly, how would concealing media URLs drive more traffic to a webpage? Can you give an example of a site today that has concealed media URLs?

    You can achieve granular control of the player and media links in PowerPress. From disabling the player and links entirely to disabling the player and links to only work when you enter a shortcode into the page, as well as choosing if you want the media player and/or links to appear or not. This is all found in the top portion of the Settings > Website tab.

    Specifically to your question, If you do not want any media links in the source code, then you need to disable all website options including players and links. To do this, go to PowerPress Settings > Website tab, select radio option “Disable PowerPress Media Players and Links” then click save.

    Make sure you are in “Advanced Mode”, but I assume you are if are using the password protection capabilities in PowerPress.

    PowerPress will no longer add any media URLs to your web page source code.

    Thanks,
    Angelo

    Hey Angelo – thanks for the response.

    Your current settings allow admins to hide download links or even the player, which is fine. However, I have mixed content on my site. Some of it is free to everyone whereas other content is “premium content” for subscribers only.

    I could set up a subdomain for the premium content but that’s confusing for subscribers a lot more work and separates out the feeds.

    Since these files are hosted elsewhere, I just copy the links over to the PowerPress player. If it’s protected, a pop-up comes up requiring users to log in for playback and/or to download.

    What I am trying to do is mask all download links in the page’s source code. Regardless of whether the files are protected or not, users can copy the source code into a rich text editor and find the file, click it and download it (even when protected). Masking it is not perfect but it will cut down on the majority of users who are not technically inclined on how to break it.

    There are plenty of questions about this in Stack Overflow and elsewhere. Solutions range from JavaScript and PHP protections to encrypting or masking the files in the code. Nothing I seen appears to work though I know it can be done.

    Even my host who protects the content for me shows the links on my personalized website with them when in incognito mode. I’ve brought it to their attention because I really don’t think they’re aware of this. I’ll venture it’s the same with your own hosting service and web pages. Premium content is easily bypassed. In fact, there’s a plethora of information on Google and YouTube on how to do just that.

    Below is a copy of the source code from a single protected file for the song Mad Love. They don’t mask it like I’ve seen elsewhere with numbers and such and no definable URL nor content type but they hide in an alternative manner.

    I was thinking maybe if there is some way to conceal the actual URL within source code to prevent internet download managers from automatically grabbing it and users from identifying within the source code for download.

    Sorry so long. Didn’t mean to make this more complicated than it is. See below:

    [Giant paste removed by moderator. Please put such content on pastebin.com and then put a *link* to that here.]

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Steve Stern.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Steve Stern.
    Plugin Author Angelo Mandato

    (@amandato)

    Hello @kjam,

    I’ve been doing some testing and unfortunately, my conclusion is that it is not possible to hide the URLs from the browser. The closest solution I can propose would be to use signed URLs, only that user can access that file for a set time period then it expires the URL would change. This would at least afford you to provide the links for users and also know they cannot simply copy and paste and share them. But they will be able to see this link. We offer a signed URLs service, please contact me if you are interested in more details on this, but again, it does not conceal the URLS it only makes them work for a set time period.

    Specifically if you use the inspector in the browser, click the network tab, no matter what you do the URL will eventually appear here even if they viewed the source and the URL was encoded/decoded and as a programmer that would be the first place I would look if i couldn’t easily find the URL in the page. To truly conceal the URLs you would want to develop your own application that does not allow the user to have access to developer tools or to be able to view the source code in the page or API calls.

    Thanks,
    Angelo

    Hey Angelo,

    That’s fine. It’s tricky but even YouTube hasn’t been able to figure it out. SoundCloud converts files to .ts, which is video format but still easy to overcome.

    Stack Overflow has some tricks that users can employ with a specific ID associated for each episode without the actual URL is probably the best option but difficult to implement.

    I had tested the problem multiple times on my site and on my twin site for Podbean by clearing my cache and in incognito mode without being logged in. It worked every time.

    I brought it to their attention and provided them with the basic tools I used like Internet Download Manager and Edit Pad Lite. They denied there was an issue and said they couldn’t duplicate the problem using these tools.

    Ironically, the free grab downloads for premium content stopped after they sent that email to me 5 days after I had brought it to their attention. Clearly, they have something in place in the background and fixed whatever bug that was allowing it to be overwritten.

    As a result, my subscriptions suddenly went up. Is there a correlation? I’m betting there is.

    Sorry for responding so late. I’ve been inundated with work since June.

    I appreciate you looking into it.

    Plugin Author Angelo Mandato

    (@amandato)

    PodBean does not use our plugin, they have their own service and plugins.

    I am a little confused now, what am i now “looking into”?

    Thanks,
    Angelo

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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