About youtube-dl, the best video downloader


Youtube-dl is a awesome download tool for almost every stream video website including youtube, bilibili, **hub… Some website tend to hide their video URL in HTML by using JavaScript codes running in the background or even block any visible entrance.

So geeky people may try to use F12 browser tools to get network source link and download directly, which is non-elegant too and not effective for every website.

Youtube-dl is such a redeemer to save us from this situation.


Youtube-dl is a terminal program without installment. After you unzip it and add to environment, you can run it anywhere.

Here is a simple method for quick view.

$youtube-dl -cit [link] [link] [link]

‘-cit’ means you can list all links you want, youtube-dl would choose a best version with video and audio for each.

$youtube-dl -F [link]

‘-F’ means try to find all versions with different qualities. Output would be a list which have such magic numbers & version key values. Then just type $youtube-dl -f [num] [link] , and you can get the exact version.

this magic num is set for a specific quality version in a specific website, as a result you can just recite it.


For users from Chinese mainland, you still need proxy to download views over the wall. It’s proxy settings follows system, so better with setting ‘global mode’ in Shadowsocks. Or you can add argument like --proxy socks5://


Too heavy and too much waiting time as a terminal program.


Youtube-dl is single thread by default. If you have demands of speeding up, use aria2 with extra command argument --external-downloader aria2c --external-downloader-args "-x 16 -k 1M. ‘-x’ means the number of threads, ‘-k’ means the size of blocks.

Plus, you may also need FFmpeg to download high quality video (higher than 1080p FHD), due to Youtube separates videos and audios for high resolution.

Last and least

check full document with argument --help


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