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Never pay to download media again

Jan 19, 2022


When you find something you'd like to download, websites will either ask you to pay, make an account, or both. Some sites do not give you the option to download at all.

Enter youtube-dl and its forked version yt-dlp.

Despite the name, both programs can download from many different websites. The complete list of supported sites can be found here.

These programs are available in the repos for most distributions, and you can easily download them on other platforms.

What's the difference?

yt-dlp is slightly less popular than youtube-dl, so you may have a harder time finding it in your repos.

If you can get it, use yt-dlp, otherwise, use youtube-dl.

yt-dlp is “A youtube-dl fork with additional features and fixes”.

I've noticed that bugs tend to be fixed faster in yt-dlp.

Despite these differences, either one works for downloading media.

How to use it

The best place to read about all the options is the manual page (youtube-dl, yt-dlp). Some basic examples are listed below. You may need to replace youtube-dl with yt-dlp depending on which one you're using.

To extract audio, use the following command:

youtube-dl -x --audio-format mp3 [url]

To download video, just run the command with the url as the argument. For example:

youtube-dl [url]