[sf-lug] YouTube downloading

Brian Morris cymraegish at gmail.com
Wed May 18 17:45:20 PDT 2011

I use the firefox plug-in "Video Download Helper" (dwhelper) and it always
works. Play the videos with VLC.

No need for anything else.

I have one machine I managed to get the free-flash working to play Utube,
unfortunately I did not make good note of what I did, and I have not been
able (maybe not trying much as I prefer above method really) to reproduce

On Wed, May 18, 2011 at 2:42 AM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> (Copying over a conversation from CABAL's mailing list:)
> Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 19:49:43 -0700
> From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
> To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
> Subject: Re: [conspire] get back to me first
> Organization: If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already.
> Quoting Bruce Coston (jane_ikari at yahoo.com):
> > I need to get a distro on one of my many small-ish laptop partitions
> > that will play back YouTube videos I suck at the library after I
> > suspend to disk and go home during our many summer Internet outages.
> > My elive install suffers real problems with this, after I take it off
> > disk suspend, back home.
> Bruce --
> I'm going to make a longer post on this subject that aims to be more
> comprehensive, but here's the short version:
> You're relying on local cache state of the Adobe Flash interpreter being
> useful and complete after suspend to disk. Bad strategy. Instead,
> install scripts or browser extensions to download the clips to local
> disk.
> Slight elaboration: I'm assuming Flash (Sorenson H.263 encoding in FLV
> container) for the sake of discussion, though Google's YouTube service
> also offers video in MPEG Licensing Authority's patent-problematic H.264
> encoding in either FLV or MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14) containers (often
> inaccurately called 'HTML5' video), in Google's (ex-On2) VP8 encoding in
> WebM containers (which along with Vorbis encoding in a Matroshka
> container is part of the HTML5 draft), and in MPEG-4 Visual encoding in
> 3GP containers (a format primarily intended for mobile 'phones). It's
> pretty much the same problem regardless.
> Why a problem? Your media player plugin (Adobe Flash, for the sake of
> discussion) is streaming-in the inbound A/V bitstream and dumping it
> into ~/.mozilla/firefox/[hash]/Cache on an ongoing basis, but that
> cached copy isn't guaranteed complete and useful at any given moment.
> Also, it's not the least bit surprising to hear that Adobe Flash acts
> stunned and stupid if it suddenly wakes up after being suspended to
> disk. So, no, you're actually lucky if that ever works, because you can
> be sure that the buggy spaghetti code in question isn't designed to do
> it.
> So, let's say you look at the page HTML on a YouTube page to try to find
> the .flv direct link so you can pull a copy down using wget or curl.
> Surprise, you can't find it. Why not? Because you are not Google's
> customer; you are their product -- and they are far, far more eager to
> make Our Lords in Hollywood happy than they are you. So, they cause
> YouTube to wrap the .flv link in inscrutable JavaScript, in order to
> make it difficult to puzzle out. Moreover, they gratuitously change that
> JavaScript obfuscation occasionally, to screw people up who've
> de-obscured the latest version and are letting others know how.
> (They do that because Our Lords in Hollywood don't want users to have
> local copies that cannot be retroactively withdrawn from availability.)
> Nonetheless, there are folks who gamely keep up with the changes, and
> you can & should benefit from their work:
> clive (Perl script)
> cclive (newer C++ rewrite of clive)
> youtube-dl (Python script)
> Flash Video Downloader (Firefox extension)
> Easy YouTube Downloader (Firefox extension)
> Get 'em all.
> There are distro packages for clive, cclive, youtube-dl (judging by
> Debian). You may find the distro packages' frequency of update adequate
> to keep up with JavaScript mischief at YouTube, Photobucket,
> Dailymotion, Metacafe, Facebook, Yahoo, depositfiles.com, etc. -- or
> not. If not, you might need to have them as locally installed and
> updated software.
> There's a persistent misconception, spread about by the ill-informed,
> that the open source Flash interpreters (Gnash, Swfdec, and GPLFlash)
> are inadequate to handle the Flash served by YouTube. No, wrong. It's
> really just the obfuscatory JavaScript.[1] Which, if you use a
> downloader such as those listed above, and it works, suddenly becomes a
> non-problem. So, in addition to the recommendations above, please
> consider losing the Adobe Flash proprietary garbage, or at least using
> Gnash in preference. (For one thing, the Gnash developers don't spy on
> users, about which please see http://lwn.net/Articles/129729/.)
> [1] Adobe consistently withheld Flash's technical specifications from
> the open source community, making selected details available only under
> restrictive agreements. Starting June 2009, in the face of mounting
> competition from alternatives (H.264 in MP4, VP8 in WebM, Vorbis in
> Matroshka, and especially Microsoft Silverlight), they finally coughed
> up the SWF file format specification without restriction, but omitted
> anything about the key Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) and Sorenson
> Spark codec. Moreover, the open source community had already
> independently reverse-engineered everything Adobe did disclose.
> Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 19:55:15 -0700
> From: Rick Moen <rick @linuxmafia.com>
> To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
> Subject: [conspire] YouTube downloading software (was: get back to me
> first)
> Organization: If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already.
> I should also acknowledge Micah Lee's really useful posting on this
> subject. Thanks, Micah!
> This is my compendium of links relative to my suggestion to Bruce
> Coston, just posted
> (http://linuxmafia.com/pipermail/conspire/2011-May/006225.html) that he
> deal with his video streaming problem with YouTube and similar sites
> through use of downloaders, which in turn can also permit, if he wishes,
> losing that dreadful Adobe Flash plugin software and substituting
> open-source compatibles (Gnash, Swfdec, GPLFlash).
> Here's the laundry list, which I hope will prove useful. Remember, you
> should usually favour distro packages where available, rather than going
> to upstream links (such as those cited). All codebases mentioned are
> genuine open source (except for Google's Chrome Web browser).
> clive is a Flash video extraction tool in Perl for user-uploaded video
> hosts such as Youtube, Google Video, Dailymotion, Guba, and Metacafe. It
> can be chained with 3rd party tools for subsequent video re-encoding and
> playing and playing.
> http://home.gna.org/clive/
> clive-utils is a collection of add-on tools to parse RSS feeds, parse
> video pages, and manage login passwords related to video sites.
> http://code.google.com/p/clive-utils/
> cclive is a rewrite of clive in C++ for lower system load.
> http://cclive.sourceforge.net/
> abby is a Qt-based graphical front end in C++ for clive and cclive.
> http://code.google.com/p/abby/
> youtube-dl is a (command-line) Python script for downloading Flash or
> WebM (vp8 + Vorbis) video clips for YouTube.com, Google Video,
> Photobucket, Yahoo Video, Dailymotion, DepositFiles, and some other
> sites. You provide the clip's URL, and youtube-dl saves the clip as a
> local file with file extension .flv.
> http://rg3.github.com/youtube-dl/
> For maximum compatibility with even the more difficult (DRM-obscured)
> YouTube clips, you should also install the rtmpdump program to decrypt
> files served using Adobe's proprietary 'RTMP' protocol. See:
> http://rg3.github.com/youtube-dl/documentation.html
> YouTube Downloader GUI is a Qt/kdelibs front-end for youtube-dl:
> http://linux.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Video/Youtube-Downloader-GUI-28348.shtml
> Qttube is a similar Qt front-end for youtube-dl:
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/QtTube
> Flash Video Downloader is a Firefox extension to download Flash video
> clips from YouTube, Dailymotion, Break.com, and many other sites.
> http://www.flashvideodownloader.org/
> Easy YouTube Downloader is a Firefox (and Chromium / Chrome) extension
> to download YouTube videos in FLV, 3GP, MP3, MP4 and 720p HD and 1080p
> Full-HD qualities.
> http://www.yourvideofile.com/
> https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/easy-youtube-video-downl-10137/
> quvi is a command-line tool in C for parsing Flash video links out of
> YouTube and similar sites.
> http://quvi.sourceforge.net/
> PyTube is a Python app that searches and downloads YouTube video clips
> and encodes them using FFMpeg:
> http://pytube.sourceforge.net/
> (gone from: http://bashterritory.com, http://www.getdeb.net/app/PyTube,
> http://www.marcosrodriguez.me/pytube/)
> pytube (different codebase) is a Python script for YouTube and MetaCafe
> that de-obscures the video clip's URL from its obscuring JavaScript, so
> that you can download it.
> http://code.google.com/p/pytube/
> Note: There was for a long time a Python / gtk+2 graphical application
> also called Pytube, but unfortunately everyone relied on someone else to
> host it, and it it appears to have vanished from the Internet.
> Utube Ripper (formerly Youtube Downloader for Linux) is an application
> written in Gambas that works exclusively on Linux. It's useful to
> download and convert Youtube videos in a simple and efficient way.
> http://sourceforge.net/projects/utube/
> (g)vdown is an application that can download videos from video sharing
> websites like YouTube, Google Video, MyVideo and so on. It is written in
> Python. It has a command-line interface (vdown) and a PyGTK interface
> (gvdown).
> http://code.google.com/p/vdown/
> Get YouTube Video is a KDE service menu usable with Konqueror to
> download YouTube Flash video clips.
> http://www.kde-apps.org/content/show.php/Get+YouTube+Video+(improved)?content=41456<http://www.kde-apps.org/content/show.php/Get+YouTube+Video+%28improved%29?content=41456>
> gnetvideoplayer is a C program for GNOME that serves as a player and
> downloader for YouTube and Stage6 videos, and depends on wget, MPlayer,
> and GtkMediaPlayer.
> https://forxa.mancomun.org/frs/?group_id=108
> youshell is a Python script to search and download Flash video clips
> from YouTube and load them into Mplayer.
> http://code.google.com/p/youshell/
> Elltube is a graphical Python / Qt4 YouTube Flash downloader and
> converter.
> http://elltube.sourceforge.net/
> MP3 Rocket is a Java program to download YouTube and other clips
> http://www.mp3rocket.com/
> Articles:
> http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/442454-youtube-tools-for-the-linux-desktop
> http://arun.wordpress.com/2007/01/29/download-youtube-videos-the-linux-way/
> http://www.junauza.com/2010/01/download-youtube-videos-from-linux.html
> http://maketecheasier.com/download-youtube-videos-for-offline-viewing-on-linux/2009/02/09/
> http://linux.byexamples.com/archives/302/how-to-wget-flv-from-youtube/
> http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/columns/youtube_and_gnu_linux_download_and_convert_videos_easy_way
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