Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

Origins of the youtube-dl project

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Ricardo García describes the origins of the youtube-dl project, which was recently banned from GitHub.

Any video that was moderately big would take ages to download. For example, a short 10 MB video would take, if you do the math, 40 minutes to download, making streaming impossible. A longer and higher-quality video would take several hours and render the connection unusable for other purposes while you waited for it to be available, not to mention the possibility of the connection being interrupted and having to start the download process again. Now imagine liking a specific video a lot after watching it and wanting to watch it a second or third time. Going through that process again was almost an act of masochism.

I use youtube-dl or some other YouTube downloaders, like the Android app NewPipe, to watch videos while traveling with the train. My internet plan on the phone is pretty limited, cell phone connections are bad and the WiFi on the trains is even worse. Whenever I need to travel with the train for a few hours, I first download some videos onto an external drive or SSD or on my phone. Even with 4G and VDSL or fiber, video downloaders still have a use.


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