Best Tool for Downloading YouTube Videos and Playlists

How many times does it happen that you stumble upon an awesome youtube video, you make up your mind to download it but fail short to find a good tool which actually works?

In this post I want to introduce one of the best tools for downloading videos from YouTube and other video platforms – youtube-dl. This command line tool is basically just a python script released by its developers in public domain and it works on any platform that supports Python 2.x or later including Linux, Windows or Mac OS X.

If you are on Ubuntu, you can directly install it by using:

k4rtik: $ sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

If not, just go to youtube-dl download page and save the script in your home directory. Then make the script executable by using the following command:

k4rtik: $ chmod +x youtube-dl

You can also consider moving the script to your /usr/local/bin directory to invoke it directly without specifying the path:

k4rtik: $ sudo mv youtube-dl /usr/local/bin

In its most basic form you can use this tool to download the highest quality of video by just supplying the url of the video as its argument, e.g.:


k4rtik: Videos $ youtube-dl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk62hRBDLGc
Setting language
Rk62hRBDLGc: Downloading video webpage
Rk62hRBDLGc: Downloading video info webpage
Rk62hRBDLGc: Extracting video information
[download] Destination: Rk62hRBDLGc.flv
[download] 100.0% of 5.38M at 88.81k/s ETA 00:00
k4rtik: Videos $

My preferred way of downloading videos is by using the -t flag, which saves the video with the title in the file name, e.g.:


k4rtik: Videos $ youtube-dl -t http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk62hRBDLGc
Setting language
Rk62hRBDLGc: Downloading video webpage
Rk62hRBDLGc: Downloading video info webpage
Rk62hRBDLGc: Extracting video information
[download] Destination: Reasons_to_love_Ubuntu_12_04_LTS-Rk62hRBDLGc.flv
[download] 100.0% of 5.38M at 204.52k/s ETA 00:00
k4rtik: Videos $

In case, you don't want to download the highest quality to save some bandwidth and time, youtube-dl offers choice of multiple formats. See its man-page to find out more, I prefer H264 videos at 480p size for youtube which I specify like this:


k4rtik: Videos $ youtube-dl -t -f 18 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02nBaaIoFWU
Setting language
02nBaaIoFWU: Downloading video webpage
02nBaaIoFWU: Downloading video info webpage
02nBaaIoFWU: Extracting video information
[download] Multipath_TCP-02nBaaIoFWU.mp4 has already been downloaded
k4rtik: Videos $

You can also use it for downloading complete playlists off youtube:

k4rtik: Videos $ youtube-dl -f 18 -t http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=128ll4yXUfY&list=PL2E1848DB88958935

Oh, and did I mention... it continues the download if interrupted due to network trouble or some other reason, just specify the same command again.

According to its man page it supports video downloads from other popular video hosting sites like Facebook, Metacafe, Vimeo, Yahoo!, YouTube, blip.tv, video.google.com and many more. Hope you enjoy using it for all your video downloading needs.

Ciao

K4rtik

This article first appeared at http://www.digimantra.com/tutorials/best-tool-for-downloading-youtube-videos-and-playlists/

About these ads