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My Hard drive has very little free space left. Thus I am trying to get youtube-dl to save the videos onto my external drive. With no luck, so far. Has anyone tried that? Or any ideas on how to proceed? I am new to linux and my interactions with the command prompt can be found below.

me@mycomputer:/$ youtube-dl -o 'media/New Volume/Youtube Downloads'
me@mycomputer:/$ youtube-dl -o '/media/New\ Volume/Youtube\ Downloads'

I thought that would save the videos on the external drive, but instead the things are getting saved in my home folder under ~/media/New Volume/Youtube Downloads. Any help is welcome!

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

How about:

cd '/media/New Volume/Youtube Downloads'
youtube-dl URL1...
youtube-dl URL2...

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wow. didn't know the folder from which the program was being executed, mattered. thanks a lot. – Wilson Canda Mar 11 '13 at 14:52

All of these work for me when run from /home/vasa1. I don't have to first cd to the target folder (or drive):

  • youtube-dl -o "/media/vasa1/TOSHIBA EXT/%(title)s" (an external USB drive)

  • youtube-dl -o "/media/vasa1/EC82B9BF82B98E98/%(title)s" (an NTFS partition on the internal hard disk)

  • youtube-dl -o "/home/vasa1/Downloads/%(title)s"

    I suggest you run youtube-dl --version and then look for your version here: When you click on your version from the list, you'll be taken to a page that has a detailed section on usage.

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It should have %(title)s.%(ext)s to also write the extension of the file. – DannyRe Nov 27 '13 at 20:35
@DannyRe, thanks for your comment. I never really thought of needing the extension because my player (gnome-mplayer) plays videos even without extensions although there was a time I did use the .webm extension in my code. – user25656 Nov 28 '13 at 2:26
@DannyRe, I had a bad experience yesterday when the video I downloaded tried to open in Geany because the system thought it was a TROFF document (whatever that is) and the CPU usage rocketed :(. I repeated the download but this time took care to use an extension in the command! – user25656 Nov 30 '13 at 6:01

This simple function would save "Nyan Cat 10 hours (original).mp4" from youtube in the Videos folder:

youtube-dl -o "/Users/daniel/Videos/%(title)s.%(ext)s" $1 -f mp4

Usage from your terminal:
$ video

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