Download free YouTube videos (the legit version)

I saw we dumped a thread on downloading YT videos...I thought I'd share a legit method that I've used.

It's not a stunning revelation: youtube-dl

Something like this:


$ # discover supported formats
$ youtube-dl -F 'some youtube url'
$ # download one format and specify a file name
$ youtube-dl -f 18 -o 'jarland dances.mp4' 'some youtube url'
$ # download a playlist
$ youtube-dl -f 18 'some youtube url'


youtube-dl has been pretty bulletproof for me. I'm still an iPod Classic man, and nearly every week I dump some URLs in a script and have it download them for syncing.

Some notes:


It handles playlists quite well - just give it the playlist URL and it'll suck down all videos in the playlist. Unfortunately, the sequence isn't preserved (e.g., they'll all just be named the video name, not 1, 2, 3, etc.)
Your distro's version of youtube-dl is worthless. It's sensitive to HTML changes, so if a download fails, your first step is to either run youtube-dl -u (update) or manually get the latest from github. Your distro's youtube-dl is hopelessly out of date.
There isn't a magic "format = mp3" flag, but it's trivial to download in one of the audio-only formats and run it through a converter.


Been a great tool for me...enjoy!

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