Monday, November 24, 2014

youtube-dl, Python video download tool, on front page of Hacker News

By Vasudev Ram

youtube-dl is a video download tool written in Python.

I had blogged about youtube-dl a while ago, here:

youtube-dl, a YouTube downloader in Python [1]

and again some days later, here:

How to download PyCon US 2013 videos for offline viewing using youtube-dl

(The comments on the above post give some better / easier ways to download the videos than I gave in the post.)

Today I saw that a Hacker News thread about youtube-dl was on the front page of Hacker News for at least part of the day (up to the time of writing this). The thread is here:

youtube-dl (on Hacker News)

I scanned the thread and saw many comments saying that the tool is good, what different users are using it for, many advanced tips on how to use it, etc. The original creator of youtube-dl, Ricardo Garcia, as well as a top contributor and the current maintainer (Filippo Valsorda and Philipp Hagemeister, respectively) also participated in the HN thread, as HN users rg3, FiloSottile and phihag_, respectively. I got to know from the thread that youtube-dl has many contributors, and that its source code is updated quite frequently (for changes in video site formats and other issues), both points which I did not know earlier. (I did know that you can use it to update itself, using the -U option).

Overall, the HN thread is a worthwhile read, IMO, for people interested in downloading videos for offline viewing. The thread had over 130 comments at the time of writing this post.

(On a personal note, since I first got to know about youtube-dl and downloaded it, I've been using it a fair amount to download videos every now and then, for offline viewing, and it has worked pretty well. There were only a few times when it gave an error saying the video could not be downloaded, and I am not sure whether it was due to a problem with the tool, or with the video site.)

[1] My first post about youtube-dl also had a brief overview of its code, which may be of interest to some Pythonistas.

This other post which mentions youtube-dl may also be of interest:

The most-watched Python repositories on Github

since youtube-dl was one of those most-watched repositories, at the time of writing that post.

- Vasudev Ram - Dancing Bison Enterprises

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Vasudev Ram said...

Apropos of Python apps / tools, also see this comment by me on HN:

Vasudev Ram said...

Also see this related post about Pafy, a Python library for YouTube: