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It seems that youtube-dl is dead in the water since June 6, 2021 and it has reached a point where it cannot handle YouTube's downloading speed throttling at all.

  1. Does anyone know what has happened or will happen with it?
  2. What about yt-dlp? Is it safe to switch to it? One of the reasons I'm asking this question is that it is not included in the official repos at all, whereas youtube-dl is.

Thank you.

3
  • I use youtube-dl somewhat regularly without issue. What version are you using? 2021.06.06-1 works for me (it's been downloading a vid as I type this without issue). I've had issues on rare occasion in the past; I've submitted a bug report (where it gets behind) & in time a newly patched version is made & issue resolved again. It can have issues with 'new' videos though in my experience; but once over a week old it's gold in my experience.
    – guiverc
    Oct 13, 2021 at 10:06
  • 1
    This is the output of youtube-dl -U: youtube-dl is up-to-date (2021.06.06). The problem is that it doesn't download anything faster than approximately 60 Kb/s anymore. I used to be able to bypass this and have youtube-dl use the whole bandwidth, by stopping and restarting the download several times. Now this trick doesn't seem to work anymore.
    – Stormlord
    Oct 13, 2021 at 11:06
  • @guiverc the speed throttling happens somewhat randomly. It seems more likely to be throttled when downloading higher resolutions or when you've just downloaded some other video. I'm also getting throttled in Chromium with uBlock Origin btw.
    – Nemo
    Oct 24, 2021 at 8:07

2 Answers 2

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yt-dlp appears reasonably safe (hence the >7K stars on Github). It is a fork of youtube-dlc (now also a dead project) which was a fork of youtube-dl.

As you can probably tell, it is much more active in terms of development and has many extra features such as better extractors and other options. In most cases, minimal to no changes are required when transitioning from one to the other. I transitioned a few weeks ago with no problems whatsoever.

As for what happened to the original, I'm not sure anyone has any idea, you could try opening an issue on Github asking about it, but don't expect any responses that aren't from the developers themselves to be reliable.

In general, I think yt-dlp is better anyway - they process pull requests and respond to issues a lot faster too. I don't see any drawbacks in using it for development over youtube-dl, except that because it constantly has new commits, it might be considered more unstable (but youtube-dl is currently inactive anyway, what choice do you have?).

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There is an alternative in the ubuntu software center:

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Not tried it yet personally but there are good recent reviews:

enter image description here

AFAIK youtube-dl continues to work from the command line and I have not experienced any issues recently using it.

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