Fuck yourself, RIAA.
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87 KiB

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youtube-dl - download videos from youtube.com or other video platforms



To install it right away for all UNIX users (Linux, macOS, etc.), type:

sudo curl -L https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

If you do not have curl, you can alternatively use a recent wget:

sudo wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

Windows users can download an .exe file and place it in any location on
their PATH except for %SYSTEMROOT%\System32 (e.g. DO NOT put in

You can also use pip:

sudo -H pip install --upgrade youtube-dl

This command will update youtube-dl if you have already installed it.
See the pypi page for more information.

macOS users can install youtube-dl with Homebrew:

brew install youtube-dl

Or with MacPorts:

sudo port install youtube-dl

Alternatively, refer to the developer instructions for how to check out
and work with the git repository. For further options, including PGP
signatures, see the youtube-dl Download Page.


YOUTUBE-DL is a command-line program to download videos from YouTube.com
and a few more sites. It requires the Python interpreter, version 2.6,
2.7, or 3.2+, and it is not platform specific. It should work on your
Unix box, on Windows or on macOS. It is released to the public domain,
which means you can modify it, redistribute it or use it however you

youtube-dl [OPTIONS] URL [URL...]


-h, --help Print this help text and exit
--version Print program version and exit
-U, --update Update this program to latest version. Make
sure that you have sufficient permissions
(run with sudo if needed)
-i, --ignore-errors Continue on download errors, for example to
skip unavailable videos in a playlist
--abort-on-error Abort downloading of further videos (in the
playlist or the command line) if an error
--dump-user-agent Display the current browser identification
--list-extractors List all supported extractors
--extractor-descriptions Output descriptions of all supported
--force-generic-extractor Force extraction to use the generic
--default-search PREFIX Use this prefix for unqualified URLs. For
example "gvsearch2:" downloads two videos
from google videos for youtube-dl "large
apple". Use the value "auto" to let
youtube-dl guess ("auto_warning" to emit a
warning when guessing). "error" just throws
an error. The default value "fixup_error"
repairs broken URLs, but emits an error if
this is not possible instead of searching.
--ignore-config Do not read configuration files. When given
in the global configuration file
/etc/youtube-dl.conf: Do not read the user
configuration in ~/.config/youtube-
dl/config (%APPDATA%/youtube-dl/config.txt
on Windows)
--config-location PATH Location of the configuration file; either
the path to the config or its containing
--flat-playlist Do not extract the videos of a playlist,
only list them.
--mark-watched Mark videos watched (YouTube only)
--no-mark-watched Do not mark videos watched (YouTube only)
--no-color Do not emit color codes in output

Network Options:

--proxy URL Use the specified HTTP/HTTPS/SOCKS proxy.
To enable SOCKS proxy, specify a proper
scheme. For example
socks5:// Pass in an empty
string (--proxy "") for direct connection
--socket-timeout SECONDS Time to wait before giving up, in seconds
--source-address IP Client-side IP address to bind to
-4, --force-ipv4 Make all connections via IPv4
-6, --force-ipv6 Make all connections via IPv6

Geo Restriction:

--geo-verification-proxy URL Use this proxy to verify the IP address for
some geo-restricted sites. The default
proxy specified by --proxy (or none, if the
option is not present) is used for the
actual downloading.
--geo-bypass Bypass geographic restriction via faking
X-Forwarded-For HTTP header
--no-geo-bypass Do not bypass geographic restriction via
faking X-Forwarded-For HTTP header
--geo-bypass-country CODE Force bypass geographic restriction with
explicitly provided two-letter ISO 3166-2
country code
--geo-bypass-ip-block IP_BLOCK Force bypass geographic restriction with
explicitly provided IP block in CIDR

Video Selection:

--playlist-start NUMBER Playlist video to start at (default is 1)
--playlist-end NUMBER Playlist video to end at (default is last)
--playlist-items ITEM_SPEC Playlist video items to download. Specify
indices of the videos in the playlist
separated by commas like: "--playlist-items
1,2,5,8" if you want to download videos
indexed 1, 2, 5, 8 in the playlist. You can
specify range: "--playlist-items
1-3,7,10-13", it will download the videos
at index 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13.
--match-title REGEX Download only matching titles (regex or
caseless sub-string)
--reject-title REGEX Skip download for matching titles (regex or
caseless sub-string)
--max-downloads NUMBER Abort after downloading NUMBER files
--min-filesize SIZE Do not download any videos smaller than
SIZE (e.g. 50k or 44.6m)
--max-filesize SIZE Do not download any videos larger than SIZE
(e.g. 50k or 44.6m)
--date DATE Download only videos uploaded in this date
--datebefore DATE Download only videos uploaded on or before
this date (i.e. inclusive)
--dateafter DATE Download only videos uploaded on or after
this date (i.e. inclusive)
--min-views COUNT Do not download any videos with less than
COUNT views
--max-views COUNT Do not download any videos with more than
COUNT views
--match-filter FILTER Generic video filter. Specify any key (see
the "OUTPUT TEMPLATE" for a list of
available keys) to match if the key is
present, !key to check if the key is not
present, key > NUMBER (like "comment_count
> 12", also works with >=, <, <=, !=, =) to
compare against a number, key = 'LITERAL'
(like "uploader = 'Mike Smith'", also works
with !=) to match against a string literal
and & to require multiple matches. Values
which are not known are excluded unless you
put a question mark (?) after the operator.
For example, to only match videos that have
been liked more than 100 times and disliked
less than 50 times (or the dislike
functionality is not available at the given
service), but who also have a description,
use --match-filter "like_count > 100 &
dislike_count <? 50 & description" .
--no-playlist Download only the video, if the URL refers
to a video and a playlist.
--yes-playlist Download the playlist, if the URL refers to
a video and a playlist.
--age-limit YEARS Download only videos suitable for the given
--download-archive FILE Download only videos not listed in the
archive file. Record the IDs of all
downloaded videos in it.
--include-ads Download advertisements as well

Download Options:

-r, --limit-rate RATE Maximum download rate in bytes per second
(e.g. 50K or 4.2M)
-R, --retries RETRIES Number of retries (default is 10), or
--fragment-retries RETRIES Number of retries for a fragment (default
is 10), or "infinite" (DASH, hlsnative and
--skip-unavailable-fragments Skip unavailable fragments (DASH, hlsnative
and ISM)
--abort-on-unavailable-fragment Abort downloading when some fragment is not
--keep-fragments Keep downloaded fragments on disk after
downloading is finished; fragments are
erased by default
--buffer-size SIZE Size of download buffer (e.g. 1024 or 16K)
(default is 1024)
--no-resize-buffer Do not automatically adjust the buffer
size. By default, the buffer size is
automatically resized from an initial value
of SIZE.
--http-chunk-size SIZE Size of a chunk for chunk-based HTTP
downloading (e.g. 10485760 or 10M) (default
is disabled). May be useful for bypassing
bandwidth throttling imposed by a webserver
--playlist-reverse Download playlist videos in reverse order
--playlist-random Download playlist videos in random order
--xattr-set-filesize Set file xattribute ytdl.filesize with
expected file size
--hls-prefer-native Use the native HLS downloader instead of
--hls-prefer-ffmpeg Use ffmpeg instead of the native HLS
--hls-use-mpegts Use the mpegts container for HLS videos,
allowing to play the video while
downloading (some players may not be able
to play it)
--external-downloader COMMAND Use the specified external downloader.
Currently supports
--external-downloader-args ARGS Give these arguments to the external

Filesystem Options:

-a, --batch-file FILE File containing URLs to download ('-' for
stdin), one URL per line. Lines starting
with '#', ';' or ']' are considered as
comments and ignored.
--id Use only video ID in file name
-o, --output TEMPLATE Output filename template, see the "OUTPUT
TEMPLATE" for all the info
--autonumber-start NUMBER Specify the start value for %(autonumber)s
(default is 1)
--restrict-filenames Restrict filenames to only ASCII
characters, and avoid "&" and spaces in
-w, --no-overwrites Do not overwrite files
-c, --continue Force resume of partially downloaded files.
By default, youtube-dl will resume
downloads if possible.
--no-continue Do not resume partially downloaded files
(restart from beginning)
--no-part Do not use .part files - write directly
into output file
--no-mtime Do not use the Last-modified header to set
the file modification time
--write-description Write video description to a .description
--write-info-json Write video metadata to a .info.json file
--write-annotations Write video annotations to a
.annotations.xml file
--load-info-json FILE JSON file containing the video information
(created with the "--write-info-json"
--cookies FILE File to read cookies from and dump cookie
jar in
--cache-dir DIR Location in the filesystem where youtube-dl
can store some downloaded information
permanently. By default
$XDG_CACHE_HOME/youtube-dl or
~/.cache/youtube-dl . At the moment, only
YouTube player files (for videos with
obfuscated signatures) are cached, but that
may change.
--no-cache-dir Disable filesystem caching
--rm-cache-dir Delete all filesystem cache files

Thumbnail images:

--write-thumbnail Write thumbnail image to disk
--write-all-thumbnails Write all thumbnail image formats to disk
--list-thumbnails Simulate and list all available thumbnail

Verbosity / Simulation Options:

-q, --quiet Activate quiet mode
--no-warnings Ignore warnings
-s, --simulate Do not download the video and do not write
anything to disk
--skip-download Do not download the video
-g, --get-url Simulate, quiet but print URL
-e, --get-title Simulate, quiet but print title
--get-id Simulate, quiet but print id
--get-thumbnail Simulate, quiet but print thumbnail URL
--get-description Simulate, quiet but print video description
--get-duration Simulate, quiet but print video length
--get-filename Simulate, quiet but print output filename
--get-format Simulate, quiet but print output format
-j, --dump-json Simulate, quiet but print JSON information.
See the "OUTPUT TEMPLATE" for a description
of available keys.
-J, --dump-single-json Simulate, quiet but print JSON information
for each command-line argument. If the URL
refers to a playlist, dump the whole
playlist information in a single line.
--print-json Be quiet and print the video information as
JSON (video is still being downloaded).
--newline Output progress bar as new lines
--no-progress Do not print progress bar
--console-title Display progress in console titlebar
-v, --verbose Print various debugging information
--dump-pages Print downloaded pages encoded using base64
to debug problems (very verbose)
--write-pages Write downloaded intermediary pages to
files in the current directory to debug
--print-traffic Display sent and read HTTP traffic
-C, --call-home Contact the youtube-dl server for debugging
--no-call-home Do NOT contact the youtube-dl server for


--encoding ENCODING Force the specified encoding (experimental)
--no-check-certificate Suppress HTTPS certificate validation
--prefer-insecure Use an unencrypted connection to retrieve
information about the video. (Currently
supported only for YouTube)
--user-agent UA Specify a custom user agent
--referer URL Specify a custom referer, use if the video
access is restricted to one domain
--add-header FIELD:VALUE Specify a custom HTTP header and its value,
separated by a colon ':'. You can use this
option multiple times
--bidi-workaround Work around terminals that lack
bidirectional text support. Requires bidiv
or fribidi executable in PATH
--sleep-interval SECONDS Number of seconds to sleep before each
download when used alone or a lower bound
of a range for randomized sleep before each
download (minimum possible number of
seconds to sleep) when used along with
--max-sleep-interval SECONDS Upper bound of a range for randomized sleep
before each download (maximum possible
number of seconds to sleep). Must only be
used along with --min-sleep-interval.

Video Format Options:

-f, --format FORMAT Video format code, see the "FORMAT
SELECTION" for all the info
--all-formats Download all available video formats
--prefer-free-formats Prefer free video formats unless a specific
one is requested
-F, --list-formats List all available formats of requested
--youtube-skip-dash-manifest Do not download the DASH manifests and
related data on YouTube videos
--merge-output-format FORMAT If a merge is required (e.g.
bestvideo+bestaudio), output to given
container format. One of mkv, mp4, ogg,
webm, flv. Ignored if no merge is required

Subtitle Options:

--write-sub Write subtitle file
--write-auto-sub Write automatically generated subtitle file
(YouTube only)
--all-subs Download all the available subtitles of the
--list-subs List all available subtitles for the video
--sub-format FORMAT Subtitle format, accepts formats
preference, for example: "srt" or
--sub-lang LANGS Languages of the subtitles to download
(optional) separated by commas, use --list-
subs for available language tags

Authentication Options:

-u, --username USERNAME Login with this account ID
-p, --password PASSWORD Account password. If this option is left
out, youtube-dl will ask interactively.
-2, --twofactor TWOFACTOR Two-factor authentication code
-n, --netrc Use .netrc authentication data
--video-password PASSWORD Video password (vimeo, smotri, youku)

Adobe Pass Options:

--ap-mso MSO Adobe Pass multiple-system operator (TV
provider) identifier, use --ap-list-mso for
a list of available MSOs
--ap-username USERNAME Multiple-system operator account login
--ap-password PASSWORD Multiple-system operator account password.
If this option is left out, youtube-dl will
ask interactively.
--ap-list-mso List all supported multiple-system

Post-processing Options:

-x, --extract-audio Convert video files to audio-only files
(requires ffmpeg or avconv and ffprobe or
--audio-format FORMAT Specify audio format: "best", "aac",
"flac", "mp3", "m4a", "opus", "vorbis", or
"wav"; "best" by default; No effect without
--audio-quality QUALITY Specify ffmpeg/avconv audio quality, insert
a value between 0 (better) and 9 (worse)
for VBR or a specific bitrate like 128K
(default 5)
--recode-video FORMAT Encode the video to another format if
necessary (currently supported:
--postprocessor-args ARGS Give these arguments to the postprocessor
-k, --keep-video Keep the video file on disk after the post-
processing; the video is erased by default
--no-post-overwrites Do not overwrite post-processed files; the
post-processed files are overwritten by
--embed-subs Embed subtitles in the video (only for mp4,
webm and mkv videos)
--embed-thumbnail Embed thumbnail in the audio as cover art
--add-metadata Write metadata to the video file
--metadata-from-title FORMAT Parse additional metadata like song title /
artist from the video title. The format
syntax is the same as --output. Regular
expression with named capture groups may
also be used. The parsed parameters replace
existing values. Example: --metadata-from-
title "%(artist)s - %(title)s" matches a
title like "Coldplay - Paradise". Example
(regex): --metadata-from-title
"(?P<artist>.+?) - (?P<title>.+)"
--xattrs Write metadata to the video file's xattrs
(using dublin core and xdg standards)
--fixup POLICY Automatically correct known faults of the
file. One of never (do nothing), warn (only
emit a warning), detect_or_warn (the
default; fix file if we can, warn
--prefer-avconv Prefer avconv over ffmpeg for running the
--prefer-ffmpeg Prefer ffmpeg over avconv for running the
postprocessors (default)
--ffmpeg-location PATH Location of the ffmpeg/avconv binary;
either the path to the binary or its
containing directory.
--exec CMD Execute a command on the file after
downloading and post-processing, similar to
find's -exec syntax. Example: --exec 'adb
push {} /sdcard/Music/ && rm {}'
--convert-subs FORMAT Convert the subtitles to other format
(currently supported: srt|ass|vtt|lrc)


You can configure youtube-dl by placing any supported command line
option to a configuration file. On Linux and macOS, the system wide
configuration file is located at /etc/youtube-dl.conf and the user wide
configuration file at ~/.config/youtube-dl/config. On Windows, the user
wide configuration file locations are %APPDATA%\youtube-dl\config.txt or
C:\Users\<user name>\youtube-dl.conf. Note that by default configuration
file may not exist so you may need to create it yourself.

For example, with the following configuration file youtube-dl will
always extract the audio, not copy the mtime, use a proxy and save all
videos under Movies directory in your home directory:

# Lines starting with # are comments

# Always extract audio

# Do not copy the mtime

# Use this proxy

# Save all videos under Movies directory in your home directory
-o ~/Movies/%(title)s.%(ext)s

Note that options in configuration file are just the same options aka
switches used in regular command line calls thus there MUST BE NO
WHITESPACE after - or --, e.g. -o or --proxy but not - o or -- proxy.

You can use --ignore-config if you want to disable the configuration
file for a particular youtube-dl run.

You can also use --config-location if you want to use custom
configuration file for a particular youtube-dl run.

Authentication with .netrc file

You may also want to configure automatic credentials storage for
extractors that support authentication (by providing login and password
with --username and --password) in order not to pass credentials as
command line arguments on every youtube-dl execution and prevent
tracking plain text passwords in the shell command history. You can
achieve this using a .netrc file on a per extractor basis. For that you
will need to create a .netrc file in your $HOME and restrict permissions
to read/write by only you:

touch $HOME/.netrc
chmod a-rwx,u+rw $HOME/.netrc

After that you can add credentials for an extractor in the following
format, where _extractor_ is the name of the extractor in lowercase:

machine <extractor> login <login> password <password>

For example:

machine youtube login myaccount@gmail.com password my_youtube_password
machine twitch login my_twitch_account_name password my_twitch_password

To activate authentication with the .netrc file you should pass --netrc
to youtube-dl or place it in the configuration file.

On Windows you may also need to setup the %HOME% environment variable
manually. For example:



The -o option allows users to indicate a template for the output file

TL;DR: navigate me to examples.

The basic usage is not to set any template arguments when downloading a
single file, like in youtube-dl -o funny_video.flv "https://some/video".
However, it may contain special sequences that will be replaced when
downloading each video. The special sequences may be formatted according
to python string formatting operations. For example, %(NAME)s or
%(NAME)05d. To clarify, that is a percent symbol followed by a name in
parentheses, followed by formatting operations. Allowed names along with
sequence type are:

- id (string): Video identifier
- title (string): Video title
- url (string): Video URL
- ext (string): Video filename extension
- alt_title (string): A secondary title of the video
- display_id (string): An alternative identifier for the video
- uploader (string): Full name of the video uploader
- license (string): License name the video is licensed under
- creator (string): The creator of the video
- release_date (string): The date (YYYYMMDD) when the video was
- timestamp (numeric): UNIX timestamp of the moment the video became
- upload_date (string): Video upload date (YYYYMMDD)
- uploader_id (string): Nickname or id of the video uploader
- channel (string): Full name of the channel the video is uploaded on
- channel_id (string): Id of the channel
- location (string): Physical location where the video was filmed
- duration (numeric): Length of the video in seconds
- view_count (numeric): How many users have watched the video on the
- like_count (numeric): Number of positive ratings of the video
- dislike_count (numeric): Number of negative ratings of the video
- repost_count (numeric): Number of reposts of the video
- average_rating (numeric): Average rating give by users, the scale
used depends on the webpage
- comment_count (numeric): Number of comments on the video
- age_limit (numeric): Age restriction for the video (years)
- is_live (boolean): Whether this video is a live stream or a
fixed-length video
- start_time (numeric): Time in seconds where the reproduction should
start, as specified in the URL
- end_time (numeric): Time in seconds where the reproduction should
end, as specified in the URL
- format (string): A human-readable description of the format
- format_id (string): Format code specified by --format
- format_note (string): Additional info about the format
- width (numeric): Width of the video
- height (numeric): Height of the video
- resolution (string): Textual description of width and height
- tbr (numeric): Average bitrate of audio and video in KBit/s
- abr (numeric): Average audio bitrate in KBit/s
- acodec (string): Name of the audio codec in use
- asr (numeric): Audio sampling rate in Hertz
- vbr (numeric): Average video bitrate in KBit/s
- fps (numeric): Frame rate
- vcodec (string): Name of the video codec in use
- container (string): Name of the container format
- filesize (numeric): The number of bytes, if known in advance
- filesize_approx (numeric): An estimate for the number of bytes
- protocol (string): The protocol that will be used for the actual
- extractor (string): Name of the extractor
- extractor_key (string): Key name of the extractor
- epoch (numeric): Unix epoch when creating the file
- autonumber (numeric): Five-digit number that will be increased with
each download, starting at zero
- playlist (string): Name or id of the playlist that contains the
- playlist_index (numeric): Index of the video in the playlist padded
with leading zeros according to the total length of the playlist
- playlist_id (string): Playlist identifier
- playlist_title (string): Playlist title
- playlist_uploader (string): Full name of the playlist uploader
- playlist_uploader_id (string): Nickname or id of the playlist

Available for the video that belongs to some logical chapter or section:

- chapter (string): Name or title of the chapter the video belongs to
- chapter_number (numeric): Number of the chapter the video belongs to
- chapter_id (string): Id of the chapter the video belongs to

Available for the video that is an episode of some series or programme:

- series (string): Title of the series or programme the video episode
belongs to
- season (string): Title of the season the video episode belongs to
- season_number (numeric): Number of the season the video episode
belongs to
- season_id (string): Id of the season the video episode belongs to
- episode (string): Title of the video episode
- episode_number (numeric): Number of the video episode within a
- episode_id (string): Id of the video episode

Available for the media that is a track or a part of a music album:

- track (string): Title of the track
- track_number (numeric): Number of the track within an album or a
- track_id (string): Id of the track
- artist (string): Artist(s) of the track
- genre (string): Genre(s) of the track
- album (string): Title of the album the track belongs to
- album_type (string): Type of the album
- album_artist (string): List of all artists appeared on the album
- disc_number (numeric): Number of the disc or other physical medium
the track belongs to
- release_year (numeric): Year (YYYY) when the album was released

Each aforementioned sequence when referenced in an output template will
be replaced by the actual value corresponding to the sequence name. Note
that some of the sequences are not guaranteed to be present since they
depend on the metadata obtained by a particular extractor. Such
sequences will be replaced with NA.

For example for -o %(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s and an mp4 video with title
youtube-dl test video and id BaW_jenozKcj, this will result in a
youtube-dl test video-BaW_jenozKcj.mp4 file created in the current

For numeric sequences you can use numeric related formatting, for
example, %(view_count)05d will result in a string with view count padded
with zeros up to 5 characters, like in 00042.

Output templates can also contain arbitrary hierarchical path, e.g.
-o '%(playlist)s/%(playlist_index)s - %(title)s.%(ext)s' which will
result in downloading each video in a directory corresponding to this
path template. Any missing directory will be automatically created for

To use percent literals in an output template use %%. To output to
stdout use -o -.

The current default template is %(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s.

In some cases, you don't want special characters such as 中, spaces, or
&, such as when transferring the downloaded filename to a Windows system
or the filename through an 8bit-unsafe channel. In these cases, add the
--restrict-filenames flag to get a shorter title:

Output template and Windows batch files

If you are using an output template inside a Windows batch file then you
must escape plain percent characters (%) by doubling, so that
-o "%(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s" should become
-o "%%(title)s-%%(id)s.%%(ext)s". However you should not touch %'s that
are not plain characters, e.g. environment variables for expansion
should stay intact: -o "C:\%HOMEPATH%\Desktop\%%(title)s.%%(ext)s".

Output template examples

Note that on Windows you may need to use double quotes instead of

$ youtube-dl --get-filename -o '%(title)s.%(ext)s' BaW_jenozKc
youtube-dl test video ''_ä↭𝕐.mp4 # All kinds of weird characters

$ youtube-dl --get-filename -o '%(title)s.%(ext)s' BaW_jenozKc --restrict-filenames
youtube-dl_test_video_.mp4 # A simple file name

# Download YouTube playlist videos in separate directory indexed by video order in a playlist
$ youtube-dl -o '%(playlist)s/%(playlist_index)s - %(title)s.%(ext)s' https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwiyx1dc3P2JR9N8gQaQN_BCvlSlap7re

# Download all playlists of YouTube channel/user keeping each playlist in separate directory:
$ youtube-dl -o '%(uploader)s/%(playlist)s/%(playlist_index)s - %(title)s.%(ext)s' https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLinuxFoundation/playlists

# Download Udemy course keeping each chapter in separate directory under MyVideos directory in your home
$ youtube-dl -u user -p password -o '~/MyVideos/%(playlist)s/%(chapter_number)s - %(chapter)s/%(title)s.%(ext)s' https://www.udemy.com/java-tutorial/

# Download entire series season keeping each series and each season in separate directory under C:/MyVideos
$ youtube-dl -o "C:/MyVideos/%(series)s/%(season_number)s - %(season)s/%(episode_number)s - %(episode)s.%(ext)s" https://videomore.ru/kino_v_detalayah/5_sezon/367617

# Stream the video being downloaded to stdout
$ youtube-dl -o - BaW_jenozKc


By default youtube-dl tries to download the best available quality, i.e.
if you want the best quality you DON'T NEED to pass any special options,
youtube-dl will guess it for you by DEFAULT.

But sometimes you may want to download in a different format, for
example when you are on a slow or intermittent connection. The key
mechanism for achieving this is so-called _format selection_ based on
which you can explicitly specify desired format, select formats based on
some criterion or criteria, setup precedence and much more.

The general syntax for format selection is --format FORMAT or shorter
-f FORMAT where FORMAT is a _selector expression_, i.e. an expression
that describes format or formats you would like to download.

TL;DR: navigate me to examples.

The simplest case is requesting a specific format, for example with
-f 22 you can download the format with format code equal to 22. You can
get the list of available format codes for particular video using
--list-formats or -F. Note that these format codes are extractor

You can also use a file extension (currently 3gp, aac, flv, m4a, mp3,
mp4, ogg, wav, webm are supported) to download the best quality format
of a particular file extension served as a single file, e.g. -f webm
will download the best quality format with the webm extension served as
a single file.

You can also use special names to select particular edge case formats:

- best: Select the best quality format represented by a single file
with video and audio.
- worst: Select the worst quality format represented by a single file
with video and audio.
- bestvideo: Select the best quality video-only format (e.g. DASH
video). May not be available.
- worstvideo: Select the worst quality video-only format. May not be
- bestaudio: Select the best quality audio only-format. May not be
- worstaudio: Select the worst quality audio only-format. May not be

For example, to download the worst quality video-only format you can use
-f worstvideo.

If you want to download multiple videos and they don't have the same
formats available, you can specify the order of preference using
slashes. Note that slash is left-associative, i.e. formats on the left
hand side are preferred, for example -f 22/17/18 will download format 22
if it's available, otherwise it will download format 17 if it's
available, otherwise it will download format 18 if it's available,
otherwise it will complain that no suitable formats are available for

If you want to download several formats of the same video use a comma as
a separator, e.g. -f 22,17,18 will download all these three formats, of
course if they are available. Or a more sophisticated example combined
with the precedence feature: -f 136/137/mp4/bestvideo,140/m4a/bestaudio.

You can also filter the video formats by putting a condition in
brackets, as in -f "best[height=720]" (or -f "[filesize>10M]").

The following numeric meta fields can be used with comparisons <, <=, >,
>=, = (equals), != (not equals):

- filesize: The number of bytes, if known in advance
- width: Width of the video, if known
- height: Height of the video, if known
- tbr: Average bitrate of audio and video in KBit/s
- abr: Average audio bitrate in KBit/s
- vbr: Average video bitrate in KBit/s
- asr: Audio sampling rate in Hertz
- fps: Frame rate

Also filtering work for comparisons = (equals), ^= (starts with), $=
(ends with), *= (contains) and following string meta fields:

- ext: File extension
- acodec: Name of the audio codec in use
- vcodec: Name of the video codec in use
- container: Name of the container format
- protocol: The protocol that will be used for the actual download,
lower-case (http, https, rtsp, rtmp, rtmpe, mms, f4m, ism,
http_dash_segments, m3u8, or m3u8_native)
- format_id: A short description of the format

Any string comparison may be prefixed with negation ! in order to
produce an opposite comparison, e.g. !*= (does not contain).

Note that none of the aforementioned meta fields are guaranteed to be
present since this solely depends on the metadata obtained by particular
extractor, i.e. the metadata offered by the video hoster.

Formats for which the value is not known are excluded unless you put a
question mark (?) after the operator. You can combine format filters, so
-f "[height <=? 720][tbr>500]" selects up to 720p videos (or videos
where the height is not known) with a bitrate of at least 500 KBit/s.

You can merge the video and audio of two formats into a single file
using -f <video-format>+<audio-format> (requires ffmpeg or avconv
installed), for example -f bestvideo+bestaudio will download the best
video-only format, the best audio-only format and mux them together with

Format selectors can also be grouped using parentheses, for example if
you want to download the best mp4 and webm formats with a height lower
than 480 you can use -f '(mp4,webm)[height<480]'.

Since the end of April 2015 and version 2015.04.26, youtube-dl uses
-f bestvideo+bestaudio/best as the default format selection (see #5447,
#5456). If ffmpeg or avconv are installed this results in downloading
bestvideo and bestaudio separately and muxing them together into a
single file giving the best overall quality available. Otherwise it
falls back to best and results in downloading the best available quality
served as a single file. best is also needed for videos that don't come
from YouTube because they don't provide the audio and video in two
different files. If you want to only download some DASH formats (for
example if you are not interested in getting videos with a resolution
higher than 1080p), you can add
-f bestvideo[height<=?1080]+bestaudio/best to your configuration file.
Note that if you use youtube-dl to stream to stdout (and most likely to
pipe it to your media player then), i.e. you explicitly specify output
template as -o -, youtube-dl still uses -f best format selection in
order to start content delivery immediately to your player and not to
wait until bestvideo and bestaudio are downloaded and muxed.

If you want to preserve the old format selection behavior (prior to
youtube-dl 2015.04.26), i.e. you want to download the best available
quality media served as a single file, you should explicitly specify
your choice with -f best. You may want to add it to the configuration
file in order not to type it every time you run youtube-dl.

Format selection examples

Note that on Windows you may need to use double quotes instead of

# Download best mp4 format available or any other best if no mp4 available
$ youtube-dl -f 'bestvideo[ext=mp4]+bestaudio[ext=m4a]/best[ext=mp4]/best'

# Download best format available but no better than 480p
$ youtube-dl -f 'bestvideo[height<=480]+bestaudio/best[height<=480]'

# Download best video only format but no bigger than 50 MB
$ youtube-dl -f 'best[filesize<50M]'

# Download best format available via direct link over HTTP/HTTPS protocol
$ youtube-dl -f '(bestvideo+bestaudio/best)[protocol^=http]'

# Download the best video format and the best audio format without merging them
$ youtube-dl -f 'bestvideo,bestaudio' -o '%(title)s.f%(format_id)s.%(ext)s'

Note that in the last example, an output template is recommended as
bestvideo and bestaudio may have the same file name.


Videos can be filtered by their upload date using the options --date,
--datebefore or --dateafter. They accept dates in two formats:

- Absolute dates: Dates in the format YYYYMMDD.
- Relative dates: Dates in the format


# Download only the videos uploaded in the last 6 months
$ youtube-dl --dateafter now-6months

# Download only the videos uploaded on January 1, 1970
$ youtube-dl --date 19700101

$ # Download only the videos uploaded in the 200x decade
$ youtube-dl --dateafter 20000101 --datebefore 20091231


How do I update youtube-dl?

If you've followed our manual installation instructions, you can simply
run youtube-dl -U (or, on Linux, sudo youtube-dl -U).

If you have used pip, a simple sudo pip install -U youtube-dl is
sufficient to update.

If you have installed youtube-dl using a package manager like _apt-get_
or _yum_, use the standard system update mechanism to update. Note that
distribution packages are often outdated. As a rule of thumb, youtube-dl
releases at least once a month, and often weekly or even daily. Simply
go to https://yt-dl.org to find out the current version. Unfortunately,
there is nothing we youtube-dl developers can do if your distribution
serves a really outdated version. You can (and should) complain to your
distribution in their bugtracker or support forum.

As a last resort, you can also uninstall the version installed by your
package manager and follow our manual installation instructions. For
that, remove the distribution's package, with a line like

sudo apt-get remove -y youtube-dl

Afterwards, simply follow our manual installation instructions:

sudo wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
hash -r

Again, from then on you'll be able to update with sudo youtube-dl -U.

youtube-dl is extremely slow to start on Windows

Add a file exclusion for youtube-dl.exe in Windows Defender settings.

I'm getting an error Unable to extract OpenGraph title on YouTube playlists

YouTube changed their playlist format in March 2014 and later on, so
you'll need at least youtube-dl 2014.07.25 to download all YouTube

If you have installed youtube-dl with a package manager, pip, setup.py
or a tarball, please use that to update. Note that Ubuntu packages do
not seem to get updated anymore. Since we are not affiliated with
Ubuntu, there is little we can do. Feel free to report bugs to the
Ubuntu packaging people - all they have to do is update the package to a
somewhat recent version. See above for a way to update.

I'm getting an error when trying to use output template: error: using output template conflicts with using title, video ID or auto number

Make sure you are not using -o with any of these options -t, --title,
--id, -A or --auto-number set in command line or in a configuration
file. Remove the latter if any.

Do I always have to pass -citw?

By default, youtube-dl intends to have the best options (incidentally,
if you have a convincing case that these should be different, please
file an issue where you explain that). Therefore, it is unnecessary and
sometimes harmful to copy long option strings from webpages. In
particular, the only option out of -citw that is regularly useful is -i.

Can you please put the -b option back?

Most people asking this question are not aware that youtube-dl now
defaults to downloading the highest available quality as reported by
YouTube, which will be 1080p or 720p in some cases, so you no longer
need the -b option. For some specific videos, maybe YouTube does not
report them to be available in a specific high quality format you're
interested in. In that case, simply request it with the -f option and
youtube-dl will try to download it.

I get HTTP error 402 when trying to download a video. What's this?

Apparently YouTube requires you to pass a CAPTCHA test if you download
too much. We're considering to provide a way to let you solve the
CAPTCHA, but at the moment, your best course of action is pointing a web
browser to the youtube URL, solving the CAPTCHA, and restart youtube-dl.

Do I need any other programs?

youtube-dl works fine on its own on most sites. However, if you want to
convert video/audio, you'll need avconv or ffmpeg. On some sites - most
notably YouTube - videos can be retrieved in a higher quality format
without sound. youtube-dl will detect whether avconv/ffmpeg is present
and automatically pick the best option.

Videos or video formats streamed via RTMP protocol can only be
downloaded when rtmpdump is installed. Downloading MMS and RTSP videos
requires either mplayer or mpv to be installed.

I have downloaded a video but how can I play it?

Once the video is fully downloaded, use any video player, such as mpv,
vlc or mplayer.

I extracted a video URL with -g, but it does not play on another machine / in my web browser.

It depends a lot on the service. In many cases, requests for the video
(to download/play it) must come from the same IP address and with the
same cookies and/or HTTP headers. Use the --cookies option to write the
required cookies into a file, and advise your downloader to read cookies
from that file. Some sites also require a common user agent to be used,
use --dump-user-agent to see the one in use by youtube-dl. You can also
get necessary cookies and HTTP headers from JSON output obtained with

It may be beneficial to use IPv6; in some cases, the restrictions are
only applied to IPv4. Some services (sometimes only for a subset of
videos) do not restrict the video URL by IP address, cookie, or
user-agent, but these are the exception rather than the rule.

Please bear in mind that some URL protocols are NOT supported by
browsers out of the box, including RTMP. If you are using -g, your own
downloader must support these as well.

If you want to play the video on a machine that is not running
youtube-dl, you can relay the video content from the machine that runs
youtube-dl. You can use -o - to let youtube-dl stream a video to stdout,
or simply allow the player to download the files written by youtube-dl
in turn.

ERROR: no fmt_url_map or conn information found in video info

YouTube has switched to a new video info format in July 2011 which is
not supported by old versions of youtube-dl. See above for how to update

ERROR: unable to download video

YouTube requires an additional signature since September 2012 which is
not supported by old versions of youtube-dl. See above for how to update

Video URL contains an ampersand and I'm getting some strange output [1] 2839 or 'v' is not recognized as an internal or external command

That's actually the output from your shell. Since ampersand is one of
the special shell characters it's interpreted by the shell preventing
you from passing the whole URL to youtube-dl. To disable your shell from
interpreting the ampersands (or any other special characters) you have
to either put the whole URL in quotes or escape them with a backslash
(which approach will work depends on your shell).

For example if your URL is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=4&v=BaW_jenozKc you should end up with
following command:

youtube-dl 'https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=4&v=BaW_jenozKc'


youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=4\&v=BaW_jenozKc

For Windows you have to use the double quotes:

youtube-dl "https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=4&v=BaW_jenozKc"

ExtractorError: Could not find JS function u'OF'

In February 2015, the new YouTube player contained a character sequence
in a string that was misinterpreted by old versions of youtube-dl. See
above for how to update youtube-dl.

HTTP Error 429: Too Many Requests or 402: Payment Required

These two error codes indicate that the service is blocking your IP
address because of overuse. Usually this is a soft block meaning that
you can gain access again after solving CAPTCHA. Just open a browser and
solve a CAPTCHA the service suggests you and after that pass cookies to
youtube-dl. Note that if your machine has multiple external IPs then you
should also pass exactly the same IP you've used for solving CAPTCHA
with --source-address. Also you may need to pass a User-Agent HTTP
header of your browser with --user-agent.

If this is not the case (no CAPTCHA suggested to solve by the service)
then you can contact the service and ask them to unblock your IP
address, or - if you have acquired a whitelisted IP address already -
use the --proxy or --source-address options to select another IP

SyntaxError: Non-ASCII character

The error

File "youtube-dl", line 2
SyntaxError: Non-ASCII character '\x93' ...

means you're using an outdated version of Python. Please update to
Python 2.6 or 2.7.

What is this binary file? Where has the code gone?

Since June 2012 (#342) youtube-dl is packed as an executable zipfile,
simply unzip it (might need renaming to youtube-dl.zip first on some
systems) or clone the git repository, as laid out above. If you modify
the code, you can run it by executing the __main__.py file. To recompile
the executable, run make youtube-dl.

The exe throws an error due to missing MSVCR100.dll

To run the exe you need to install first the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010
Redistributable Package (x86).

On Windows, how should I set up ffmpeg and youtube-dl? Where should I put the exe files?

If you put youtube-dl and ffmpeg in the same directory that you're
running the command from, it will work, but that's rather cumbersome.

To make a different directory work - either for ffmpeg, or for
youtube-dl, or for both - simply create the directory (say, C:\bin, or
C:\Users\<User name>\bin), put all the executables directly in there,
and then set your PATH environment variable to include that directory.

From then on, after restarting your shell, you will be able to access
both youtube-dl and ffmpeg (and youtube-dl will be able to find ffmpeg)
by simply typing youtube-dl or ffmpeg, no matter what directory you're

How do I put downloads into a specific folder?

Use the -o to specify an output template, for example
-o "/home/user/videos/%(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s". If you want this for
all of your downloads, put the option into your configuration file.

How do I download a video starting with a -?

Either prepend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= or separate the ID from
the options with --:

youtube-dl -- -wNyEUrxzFU
youtube-dl "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wNyEUrxzFU"

How do I pass cookies to youtube-dl?

Use the --cookies option, for example
--cookies /path/to/cookies/file.txt.

In order to extract cookies from browser use any conforming browser
extension for exporting cookies. For example, cookies.txt (for Chrome)
or cookies.txt (for Firefox).

Note that the cookies file must be in Mozilla/Netscape format and the
first line of the cookies file must be either # HTTP Cookie File or
# Netscape HTTP Cookie File. Make sure you have correct newline format
in the cookies file and convert newlines if necessary to correspond with
your OS, namely CRLF (\r\n) for Windows and LF (\n) for Unix and
Unix-like systems (Linux, macOS, etc.). HTTP Error 400: Bad Request when
using --cookies is a good sign of invalid newline format.

Passing cookies to youtube-dl is a good way to workaround login when a
particular extractor does not implement it explicitly. Another use case
is working around CAPTCHA some websites require you to solve in
particular cases in order to get access (e.g. YouTube, CloudFlare).

How do I stream directly to media player?

You will first need to tell youtube-dl to stream media to stdout with
-o -, and also tell your media player to read from stdin (it must be
capable of this for streaming) and then pipe former to latter. For
example, streaming to vlc can be achieved with:

youtube-dl -o - "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaW_jenozKcj" | vlc -

How do I download only new videos from a playlist?

Use download-archive feature. With this feature you should initially
download the complete playlist with
--download-archive /path/to/download/archive/file.txt that will record
identifiers of all the videos in a special file. Each subsequent run
with the same --download-archive will download only new videos and skip
all videos that have been downloaded before. Note that only successful
downloads are recorded in the file.

For example, at first,

youtube-dl --download-archive archive.txt "https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwiyx1dc3P2JR9N8gQaQN_BCvlSlap7re"

will download the complete PLwiyx1dc3P2JR9N8gQaQN_BCvlSlap7re playlist
and create a file archive.txt. Each subsequent run will only download
new videos if any:

youtube-dl --download-archive archive.txt "https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwiyx1dc3P2JR9N8gQaQN_BCvlSlap7re"

Should I add --hls-prefer-native into my config?

When youtube-dl detects an HLS video, it can download it either with the
built-in downloader or ffmpeg. Since many HLS streams are slightly
invalid and ffmpeg/youtube-dl each handle some invalid cases better than
the other, there is an option to switch the downloader if needed.

When youtube-dl knows that one particular downloader works better for a
given website, that downloader will be picked. Otherwise, youtube-dl
will pick the best downloader for general compatibility, which at the
moment happens to be ffmpeg. This choice may change in future versions
of youtube-dl, with improvements of the built-in downloader and/or

In particular, the generic extractor (used when your website is not in
the list of supported sites by youtube-dl cannot mandate one specific

If you put either --hls-prefer-native or --hls-prefer-ffmpeg into your
configuration, a different subset of videos will fail to download
correctly. Instead, it is much better to file an issue or a pull request
which details why the native or the ffmpeg HLS downloader is a better
choice for your use case.

Can you add support for this anime video site, or site which shows current movies for free?

As a matter of policy (as well as legality), youtube-dl does not include
support for services that specialize in infringing copyright. As a rule
of thumb, if you cannot easily find a video that the service is quite
obviously allowed to distribute (i.e. that has been uploaded by the
creator, the creator's distributor, or is published under a free
license), the service is probably unfit for inclusion to youtube-dl.

A note on the service that they don't host the infringing content, but
just link to those who do, is evidence that the service should NOT be
included into youtube-dl. The same goes for any DMCA note when the whole
front page of the service is filled with videos they are not allowed to
distribute. A "fair use" note is equally unconvincing if the service
shows copyright-protected videos in full without authorization.

Support requests for services that DO purchase the rights to distribute
their content are perfectly fine though. If in doubt, you can simply
include a source that mentions the legitimate purchase of content.

How can I speed up work on my issue?

(Also known as: Help, my important issue not being solved!) The
youtube-dl core developer team is quite small. While we do our best to
solve as many issues as possible, sometimes that can take quite a while.
To speed up your issue, here's what you can do:

First of all, please do report the issue at our issue tracker. That
allows us to coordinate all efforts by users and developers, and serves
as a unified point. Unfortunately, the youtube-dl project has grown too
large to use personal email as an effective communication channel.

Please read the bug reporting instructions below. A lot of bugs lack all
the necessary information. If you can, offer proxy, VPN, or shell access
to the youtube-dl developers. If you are able to, test the issue from
multiple computers in multiple countries to exclude local censorship or
misconfiguration issues.

If nobody is interested in solving your issue, you are welcome to take
matters into your own hands and submit a pull request (or coerce/pay
somebody else to do so).

Feel free to bump the issue from time to time by writing a small comment
("Issue is still present in youtube-dl version ...from France, but fixed
from Belgium"), but please not more than once a month. Please do not
declare your issue as important or urgent.

How can I detect whether a given URL is supported by youtube-dl?

For one, have a look at the list of supported sites. Note that it can
sometimes happen that the site changes its URL scheme (say, from
https://example.com/video/1234567 to https://example.com/v/1234567 ) and
youtube-dl reports an URL of a service in that list as unsupported. In
that case, simply report a bug.

It is _not_ possible to detect whether a URL is supported or not. That's
because youtube-dl contains a generic extractor which matches ALL URLs.
You may be tempted to disable, exclude, or remove the generic extractor,
but the generic extractor not only allows users to extract videos from
lots of websites that embed a video from another service, but may also
be used to extract video from a service that it's hosting itself.
Therefore, we neither recommend nor support disabling, excluding, or
removing the generic extractor.

If you want to find out whether a given URL is supported, simply call
youtube-dl with it. If you get no videos back, chances are the URL is
either not referring to a video or unsupported. You can find out which
by examining the output (if you run youtube-dl on the console) or
catching an UnsupportedError exception if you run it from a Python


Before we had the issue template, despite our extensive bug reporting
instructions, about 80% of the issue reports we got were useless, for
instance because people used ancient versions hundreds of releases old,
because of simple syntactic errors (not in youtube-dl but in general
shell usage), because the problem was already reported multiple times
before, because people did not actually read an error message, even if
it said "please install ffmpeg", because people did not mention the URL
they were trying to download and many more simple, easy-to-avoid
problems, many of whom were totally unrelated to youtube-dl.

youtube-dl is an open-source project manned by too few volunteers, so
we'd rather spend time fixing bugs where we are certain none of those
simple problems apply, and where we can be reasonably confident to be
able to reproduce the issue without asking the reporter repeatedly. As
such, the output of youtube-dl -v YOUR_URL_HERE is really all that's
required to file an issue. The issue template also guides you through
some basic steps you can do, such as checking that your version of
youtube-dl is current.


Most users do not need to build youtube-dl and can download the builds
or get them from their distribution.

To run youtube-dl as a developer, you don't need to build anything
either. Simply execute

python -m youtube_dl

To run the test, simply invoke your favorite test runner, or execute a
test file directly; any of the following work:

python -m unittest discover
python test/test_download.py

See item 6 of new extractor tutorial for how to run extractor specific
test cases.

If you want to create a build of youtube-dl yourself, you'll need

- python
- make (only GNU make is supported)
- pandoc
- zip
- nosetests

Adding support for a new site

If you want to add support for a new site, first of all MAKE SURE this
SUPPORT such sites thus pull requests adding support for them WILL BE

After you have ensured this site is distributing its content legally,
you can follow this quick list (assuming your service is called

1. Fork this repository
2. Check out the source code with:

git clone git@github.com:YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME/youtube-dl.git

3. Start a new git branch with

cd youtube-dl
git checkout -b yourextractor

4. Start with this simple template and save it to

# coding: utf-8
from __future__ import unicode_literals

from .common import InfoExtractor

class YourExtractorIE(InfoExtractor):
_VALID_URL = r'https?://(?:www\.)?yourextractor\.com/watch/(?P<id>[0-9]+)'
_TEST = {
'url': 'https://yourextractor.com/watch/42',
'md5': 'TODO: md5 sum of the first 10241 bytes of the video file (use --test)',
'info_dict': {
'id': '42',
'ext': 'mp4',
'title': 'Video title goes here',
'thumbnail': r're:^https?://.*\.jpg$',
# TODO more properties, either as:
# * A value
# * MD5 checksum; start the string with md5:
# * A regular expression; start the string with re:
# * Any Python type (for example int or float)

def _real_extract(self, url):
video_id = self._match_id(url)
webpage = self._download_webpage(url, video_id)

# TODO more code goes here, for example ...
title = self._html_search_regex(r'<h1>(.+?)</h1>', webpage, 'title')

return {
'id': video_id,
'title': title,
'description': self._og_search_description(webpage),
'uploader': self._search_regex(r'<div[^>]+id="uploader"[^>]*>([^<]+)<', webpage, 'uploader', fatal=False),
# TODO more properties (see youtube_dl/extractor/common.py)

5. Add an import in youtube_dl/extractor/extractors.py.
6. Run python test/test_download.py TestDownload.test_YourExtractor.
This _should fail_ at first, but you can continually re-run it until
you're done. If you decide to add more than one test, then rename
_TEST to _TESTS and make it into a list of dictionaries. The tests
will then be named TestDownload.test_YourExtractor,
TestDownload.test_YourExtractor_2, etc. Note that tests with
only_matching key in test's dict are not counted in.
7. Have a look at youtube_dl/extractor/common.py for possible helper
methods and a detailed description of what your extractor should and
may return. Add tests and code for as many as you want.
8. Make sure your code follows youtube-dl coding conventions and check
the code with flake8:

$ flake8 youtube_dl/extractor/yourextractor.py

9. Make sure your code works under all Python versions claimed
supported by youtube-dl, namely 2.6, 2.7, and 3.2+.
10. When the tests pass, add the new files and commit them and push the
result, like this:

$ git add youtube_dl/extractor/extractors.py
$ git add youtube_dl/extractor/yourextractor.py
$ git commit -m '[yourextractor] Add new extractor'
$ git push origin yourextractor

11. Finally, create a pull request. We'll then review and merge it.

In any case, thank you very much for your contributions!

youtube-dl coding conventions

This section introduces a guide lines for writing idiomatic, robust and
future-proof extractor code.

Extractors are very fragile by nature since they depend on the layout of
the source data provided by 3rd party media hosters out of your control
and this layout tends to change. As an extractor implementer your task
is not only to write code that will extract media links and metadata
correctly but also to minimize dependency on the source's layout and
even to make the code foresee potential future changes and be ready for
that. This is important because it will allow the extractor not to break
on minor layout changes thus keeping old youtube-dl versions working.
Even though this breakage issue is easily fixed by emitting a new
version of youtube-dl with a fix incorporated, all the previous versions
become broken in all repositories and distros' packages that may not be
so prompt in fetching the update from us. Needless to say, some non
rolling release distros may never receive an update at all.

Mandatory and optional metafields

For extraction to work youtube-dl relies on metadata your extractor
extracts and provides to youtube-dl expressed by an information
dictionary or simply _info dict_. Only the following meta fields in the
_info dict_ are considered mandatory for a successful extraction process
by youtube-dl:

- id (media identifier)
- title (media title)
- url (media download URL) or formats

In fact only the last option is technically mandatory (i.e. if you can't
figure out the download location of the media the extraction does not
make any sense). But by convention youtube-dl also treats id and title
as mandatory. Thus the aforementioned metafields are the critical data
that the extraction does not make any sense without and if any of them
fail to be extracted then the extractor is considered completely broken.

Any field apart from the aforementioned ones are considered OPTIONAL.
That means that extraction should be TOLERANT to situations when sources
for these fields can potentially be unavailable (even if they are always
available at the moment) and FUTURE-PROOF in order not to break the
extraction of general purpose mandatory fields.


Say you have some source dictionary meta that you've fetched as JSON
with HTTP request and it has a key summary:

meta = self._download_json(url, video_id)

Assume at this point meta's layout is:

"summary": "some fancy summary text",

Assume you want to extract summary and put it into the resulting info
dict as description. Since description is an optional meta field you
should be ready that this key may be missing from the meta dict, so that
you should extract it like:

description = meta.get('summary') # correct

and not like:

description = meta['summary'] # incorrect

The latter will break extraction process with KeyError if summary
disappears from meta at some later time but with the former approach
extraction will just go ahead with description set to None which is
perfectly fine (remember None is equivalent to the absence of data).

Similarly, you should pass fatal=False when extracting optional data
from a webpage with _search_regex, _html_search_regex or similar
methods, for instance:

description = self._search_regex(
webpage, 'description', fatal=False)

With fatal set to False if _search_regex fails to extract description it
will emit a warning and continue extraction.

You can also pass default=<some fallback value>, for example:

description = self._search_regex(
webpage, 'description', default=None)

On failure this code will silently continue the extraction with
description set to None. That is useful for metafields that may or may
not be present.

Provide fallbacks

When extracting metadata try to do so from multiple sources. For example
if title is present in several places, try extracting from at least some
of them. This makes it more future-proof in case some of the sources
become unavailable.


Say meta from the previous example has a title and you are about to
extract it. Since title is a mandatory meta field you should end up with
something like:

title = meta['title']

If title disappears from meta in future due to some changes on the
hoster's side the extraction would fail since title is mandatory. That's

Assume that you have some another source you can extract title from, for
example og:title HTML meta of a webpage. In this case you can provide a
fallback scenario:

title = meta.get('title') or self._og_search_title(webpage)

This code will try to extract from meta first and if it fails it will
try extracting og:title from a webpage.

Regular expressions

Don't capture groups you don't use

Capturing group must be an indication that it's used somewhere in the
code. Any group that is not used must be non capturing.


Don't capture id attribute name here since you can't use it for anything





Make regular expressions relaxed and flexible

When using regular expressions try to write them fuzzy, relaxed and
flexible, skipping insignificant parts that are more likely to change,
allowing both single and double quotes for quoted values and so on.


Say you need to extract title from the following HTML code:

<span style="position: absolute; left: 910px; width: 90px; float: right; z-index: 9999;" class="title">some fancy title</span>

The code for that task should look similar to:

title = self._search_regex(
r'<span[^>]+class="title"[^>]*>([^<]+)', webpage, 'title')

Or even better:

title = self._search_regex(
webpage, 'title', group='title')

Note how you tolerate potential changes in the style attribute's value
or switch from using double quotes to single for class attribute:

The code definitely should not look like:

title = self._search_regex(
r'<span style="position: absolute; left: 910px; width: 90px; float: right; z-index: 9999;" class="title">(.*?)</span>',
webpage, 'title', group='title')

Long lines policy

There is a soft limit to keep lines of code under 80 characters long.
This means it should be respected if possible and if it does not make
readability and code maintenance worse.

For example, you should NEVER split long string literals like URLs or
some other often copied entities over multiple lines to fit this limit:





Inline values

Extracting variables is acceptable for reducing code duplication and
improving readability of complex expressions. However, you should avoid
extracting variables used only once and moving them to opposite parts of
the extractor file, which makes reading the linear flow difficult.



title = self._html_search_regex(r'<title>([^<]+)</title>', webpage, 'title')


TITLE_RE = r'<title>([^<]+)</title>'
# ...some lines of code...
title = self._html_search_regex(TITLE_RE, webpage, 'title')

Collapse fallbacks

Multiple fallback values can quickly become unwieldy. Collapse multiple
fallback values into a single expression via a list of patterns.



description = self._html_search_meta(
['og:description', 'description', 'twitter:description'],
webpage, 'description', default=None)


description = (
self._og_search_description(webpage, default=None)
or self._html_search_meta('description', webpage, default=None)
or self._html_search_meta('twitter:description', webpage, default=None))

Methods supporting list of patterns are: _search_regex,
_html_search_regex, _og_search_property, _html_search_meta.

Trailing parentheses

Always move trailing parentheses after the last argument.



lambda x: x['ResultSet']['Result'][0]['VideoUrlSet']['VideoUrl'],


lambda x: x['ResultSet']['Result'][0]['VideoUrlSet']['VideoUrl'],

Use convenience conversion and parsing functions

Wrap all extracted numeric data into safe functions from
youtube_dl/utils.py: int_or_none, float_or_none. Use them for string to
number conversions as well.

Use url_or_none for safe URL processing.

Use try_get for safe metadata extraction from parsed JSON.

Use unified_strdate for uniform upload_date or any YYYYMMDD meta field
extraction, unified_timestamp for uniform timestamp extraction,
parse_filesize for filesize extraction, parse_count for count meta
fields extraction, parse_resolution, parse_duration for duration
extraction, parse_age_limit for age_limit extraction.

Explore youtube_dl/utils.py for more useful convenience functions.

More examples

Safely extract optional description from parsed JSON

description = try_get(response, lambda x: x['result']['video'][0]['summary'], compat_str)

Safely extract more optional metadata

video = try_get(response, lambda x: x['result']['video'][0], dict) or {}
description = video.get('summary')
duration = float_or_none(video.get('durationMs'), scale=1000)
view_count = int_or_none(video.get('views'))


youtube-dl makes the best effort to be a good command-line program, and
thus should be callable from any programming language. If you encounter
any problems parsing its output, feel free to create a report.

From a Python program, you can embed youtube-dl in a more powerful
fashion, like this:

from __future__ import unicode_literals
import youtube_dl

ydl_opts = {}
with youtube_dl.YoutubeDL(ydl_opts) as ydl:

Most likely, you'll want to use various options. For a list of options
available, have a look at youtube_dl/YoutubeDL.py. For a start, if you
want to intercept youtube-dl's output, set a logger object.

Here's a more complete example of a program that outputs only errors
(and a short message after the download is finished), and
downloads/converts the video to an mp3 file:

from __future__ import unicode_literals
import youtube_dl

class MyLogger(object):
def debug(self, msg):

def warning(self, msg):

def error(self, msg):

def my_hook(d):
if d['status'] == 'finished':
print('Done downloading, now converting ...')

ydl_opts = {
'format': 'bestaudio/best',
'postprocessors': [{
'key': 'FFmpegExtractAudio',
'preferredcodec': 'mp3',
'preferredquality': '192',
'logger': MyLogger(),
'progress_hooks': [my_hook],
with youtube_dl.YoutubeDL(ydl_opts) as ydl:


Bugs and suggestions should be reported at:
https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl/issues. Unless you were prompted
to or there is another pertinent reason (e.g. GitHub fails to accept the
bug report), please do not send bug reports via personal email. For
discussions, join us in the IRC channel #youtube-dl on freenode

-v flag to YOUR COMMAND LINE, copy the WHOLE output and post it in the
issue body wrapped in ``` for better formatting. It should look similar
to this:

$ youtube-dl -v <your command line>
[debug] System config: []
[debug] User config: []
[debug] Command-line args: [u'-v', u'https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaW_jenozKcj']
[debug] Encodings: locale cp1251, fs mbcs, out cp866, pref cp1251
[debug] youtube-dl version 2015.12.06
[debug] Git HEAD: 135392e
[debug] Python version 2.6.6 - Windows-2003Server-5.2.3790-SP2
[debug] exe versions: ffmpeg N-75573-g1d0487f, ffprobe N-75573-g1d0487f, rtmpdump 2.4
[debug] Proxy map: {}


The output (including the first lines) contains important debugging
information. Issues without the full output are often not reproducible
and therefore do not get solved in short order, if ever.

Please re-read your issue once again to avoid a couple of common
mistakes (you can and should use this as a checklist):

Is the description of the issue itself sufficient?

We often get issue reports that we cannot really decipher. While in most
cases we eventually get the required information after asking back
multiple times, this poses an unnecessary drain on our resources. Many
contributors, including myself, are also not native speakers, so we may
misread some parts.

So please elaborate on what feature you are requesting, or what bug you
want to be fixed. Make sure that it's obvious

- What the problem is
- How it could be fixed
- How your proposed solution would look like

If your report is shorter than two lines, it is almost certainly missing
some of these, which makes it hard for us to respond to it. We're often
too polite to close the issue outright, but the missing info makes
misinterpretation likely. As a committer myself, I often get frustrated
by these issues, since the only possible way for me to move forward on
them is to ask for clarification over and over.

For bug reports, this means that your report should contain the
_complete_ output of youtube-dl when called with the -v flag. The error
message you get for (most) bugs even says so, but you would not believe
how many of our bug reports do not contain this information.

If your server has multiple IPs or you suspect censorship, adding
--call-home may be a good idea to get more diagnostics. If the error is
ERROR: Unable to extract ... and you cannot reproduce it from multiple
countries, add --dump-pages (warning: this will yield a rather large
output, redirect it to the file log.txt by adding >log.txt 2>&1 to your
command-line) or upload the .dump files you get when you add
--write-pages somewhere.

URL you might want to download, like
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaW_jenozKc. There should be an obvious
video present. Except under very special circumstances, the main page of
a video service (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/) is _not_ an example URL.

Are you using the latest version?

Before reporting any issue, type youtube-dl -U. This should report that
you're up-to-date. About 20% of the reports we receive are already
fixed, but people are using outdated versions. This goes for feature
requests as well.

Is the issue already documented?

Make sure that someone has not already opened the issue you're trying to
open. Search at the top of the window or browse the GitHub Issues of
this repository. If there is an issue, feel free to write something
along the lines of "This affects me as well, with version 2015.01.01.
Here is some more information on the issue: ...". While some issues may
be old, a new post into them often spurs rapid activity.

Why are existing options not enough?

Before requesting a new feature, please have a quick peek at the list of
supported options. Many feature requests are for features that actually
exist already! Please, absolutely do show off your work in the issue
report and detail how the existing similar options do _not_ solve your

Is there enough context in your bug report?

People want to solve problems, and often think they do us a favor by
breaking down their larger problems (e.g. wanting to skip already
downloaded files) to a specific request (e.g. requesting us to look
whether the file exists before downloading the info page). However, what
often happens is that they break down the problem into two steps: One
simple, and one impossible (or extremely complicated one).

We are then presented with a very complicated request when the original
problem could be solved far easier, e.g. by recording the downloaded
video IDs in a separate file. To avoid this, you must include the
greater context where it is non-obvious. In particular, every feature
request that does not consist of adding support for a new site should
contain a use case scenario that explains in what situation the missing
feature would be useful.

Does the issue involve one problem, and one problem only?

Some of our users seem to think there is a limit of issues they can or
should open. There is no limit of issues they can or should open. While
it may seem appealing to be able to dump all your issues into one
ticket, that means that someone who solves one of your issues cannot
mark the issue as closed. Typically, reporting a bunch of issues leads
to the ticket lingering since nobody wants to attack that behemoth,
until someone mercifully splits the issue into multiple ones.

In particular, every site support request issue should only pertain to
services at one site (generally under a common domain, but always using
the same backend technology). Do not request support for vimeo user
videos, White house podcasts, and Google Plus pages in the same issue.
Also, make sure that you don't post bug reports alongside feature
requests. As a rule of thumb, a feature request does not include outputs
of youtube-dl that are not immediately related to the feature at hand.
Do not post reports of a network error alongside the request for a new
video service.

Is anyone going to need the feature?

Only post features that you (or an incapacitated friend you can
personally talk to) require. Do not post features because they seem like
a good idea. If they are really useful, they will be requested by
someone who requires them.

Is your question about youtube-dl?

It may sound strange, but some bug reports we receive are completely
unrelated to youtube-dl and relate to a different, or even the
reporter's own, application. Please make sure that you are actually
using youtube-dl. If you are using a UI for youtube-dl, report the bug
to the maintainer of the actual application providing the UI. On the
other hand, if your UI for youtube-dl fails in some way you believe is
related to youtube-dl, by all means, go ahead and report the bug.


youtube-dl is released into the public domain by the copyright holders.

This README file was originally written by Daniel Bolton and is likewise
released into the public domain.