So I'm trying to download an entire youtube channel using youtube-dl. I know that if you use the -F command, it gives you a list of the quality type of the videos. My question is this: how to download the best quality of all the videos so the download doesnt default to 460p or something low like that.
This answer won't work on older versions of youtube-dl. You need to update youtube-dl to the latest version. You can either install the latest version of youtube-dl locally inside a Python virtual environment (virtualenv), or you can download the latest version of youtube-dl and install it with
sudo apt remove youtube-dl && sudo apt install python-pip && pip install --user youtube-dl). youtube-dl is also a snap package. To install it type:
sudo snap install youtube-dl # launch it with snap run youtube-dl
Open the terminal and type:
youtube-dl -f best -ciw -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" -v <url-of-channel>
<url-of-channel> is replaced by the URL of the channel.
Note: If you are downloading a lot of videos, you should change directories to the directory where you want to save the videos before you start downloading them.
-f, --format FORMAT video format code. The special name "best" will pick the best quality. -c, --continue force resume of partially downloaded files -i, --ignore-errors continue on download errors, for example to skip unavailable videos in a channel -w, --no-overwrites do not overwrite files -o, --output Output filename template, this example functions similarly to the old --title option -v, --verbose print various debugging information
TL;DR use the
-f 'bestvideo[height>=720]+bestaudio/best' flag to get a higher resolution. The full command I used is:
youtube-dl -f "bestvideo[height>=720]+bestaudio/best" -ciw -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" -v <url-of-channel>
Here is why
-f best might not give you the highest resolution.
When you use the
-F flag to list the possible file formats, sometimes it lists a 360p format as "best", for example:
youtube-dl -F https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmZXCqqx6q0 [youtube] FmZXCqqx6q0: Downloading webpage [info] Available formats for FmZXCqqx6q0: format code extension resolution note 249 webm audio only tiny 61k , opus @ 50k (48000Hz), 12.74MiB 250 webm audio only tiny 80k , opus @ 70k (48000Hz), 16.87MiB 140 m4a audio only tiny 132k , m4a_dash container, mp4a.40.2@128k (44100Hz), 31.35MiB 251 webm audio only tiny 158k , opus @160k (48000Hz), 33.34MiB ... 244 webm 854x480 480p 271k , vp9, 30fps, video only, 35.05MiB 398 mp4 1280x720 720p 443k , av01.0.05M.08, 30fps, video only, 102.27MiB 247 webm 1280x720 720p 480k , vp9, 30fps, video only, 63.02MiB 136 mp4 1280x720 720p 489k , avc1.4d401f, 30fps, video only, 114.12MiB 18 mp4 640x360 360p 360k , avc1.42001E, 30fps, mp4a.40.2@ 96k (44100Hz), 87.29MiB (best)
As you can see the last option is listed as the best despite it's low resolution. There are a few ways we can get around this, I was trying to download from a channel that uploads in 720p so the easiest way was for me to use the
-f 'bestvideo[height>=720]+bestaudio/best' flag.
Depending on your situation you might have to play with the format selector expression, perhaps either increasing it from 720 to 1080 or selecting a specific file format like mp4.
You will need to install ffmpeg or convert from mkv.