Download YouTube Videos with youtube-dl

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When preparing for the 8 hour flights to and from London, I knew I couldn't just code the whole time -- I needed some decent entertainment.  One source of free, excellent entertainment is YouTube, but I had no desire to pay for internet on the flight.  With all of this in mind, I installed youtube-dl -- a utility for downloading YouTube videos to your local drive.

To install youtube-dl, run the following from command line:

brew install youtube-dl

With youtube-dl available, simply run the utility with a URL:

# Download a video!
youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5P_LAqiVg

# Download a video as audio
youtube-dl -x https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--HaFAtC17U

Executing that will download the given YouTube video to your machine.  youtube-dl has more capabilities than just downloading videos such as: thumbnail retrieval, conversion to mp3 or other formats (assuming you have ffmpeg available), logging in, getting subtitles, and more.

Grab youtube-dl if you're looking for music or video from YouTube -- it's the best application available to do the job!

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Discussion

  1. youtube-dl is the best tool to download audio and video from YouTube. Ubuntu users can install youtube-dl with:

    sudo apt-get install youtube-dl
  2. is there a way to choose which quality you’ll be downloading?

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!