Youtube-dl is a free, public domain tool for downloading Youtube videos. It’s easy to use and quite reliable.
It is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. The program is command-based — it runs in a terminal window.
It has a number of useful features including:
- The ability to download entire YouTube playlists
- The ability to download videos in several formats such as MP4 or WebM
- The ability choose the quality of the video being downloaded — if the video is available in 4K, you can download it in 4K, 1080p or 720p
- The abillity to download videos from hundreds of sites besides YouTube (see the full list here)
- Automatic pausing and resuming video downloads
- The ability to bypass YouTube geo-restrictions
A Few Notes On Operating Youtube-dl
If the video URL has an ampersand (“&”) in it, you must put the URL in quotes
Use this format for downloading entire playlists:
youtube-dl -cik –yes-playlist VIDEO_PLAYLIST_LINK
Here’s what the command line arguments mean:
The “c” means to resume partially downloaded files. The “i” means to ignore any errors. The “k” means to keep the video on the disk after the post-processing is finished. The “–yes-playlist” portion affirms that the URL points to a video playlist.