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A simple, yet versatile Python library (and command-line) for downloading YouTube videos.

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pytube is a lightweight, dependency-free Python library (and cli) for downloading YouTube Videos.


Downloading videos from YouTube shouldn’t require some bloated library, it’s unusual to have to do so in the first place. So I present to you, PyTube!


  • Python 2.6+ (2.7 or 3.4 recommended)

  • PIP (for some installation methods)

  • GIT (for some installation methods)


If you are on Mac OS X or Linux, chances are that one of the following two commands will work for you:

Using PIP via PyPI

pip install pytube

Using PIP via Github

pip install git+git://

Adding to your requirements.txt file (run pip install -r requirements.txt afterwards)


Manually via GIT

git clone git:// pytube
cd pytube
python install

Command-Line Usage

You can download a video by simply passing the -e (or --extension=) switch and setting it to the desired filetype:

$ pytube -e mp4

Same thing for specifying a resolution:

$ pytube -r 720p

You can also specify a download file path (-p or --path=):

$ pytube -e mp4 -p ~/Downloads/

and/or optionally choose the filename (-f or --filename=):

$ pytube -e mp4 -f Dancing Scene from Pulp Fiction

Library Usage

from pytube import YouTube

# not necessary, just for demo purposes
from pprint import pprint

yt = YouTube("")

# Once set, you can see all the codec and quality options YouTube has made
# available for the perticular video by printing videos.


# [<Video: MPEG-4 Visual (.3gp) - 144p>,
#  <Video: MPEG-4 Visual (.3gp) - 240p>,
#  <Video: Sorenson H.263 (.flv) - 240p>,
#  <Video: H.264 (.flv) - 360p>,
#  <Video: H.264 (.flv) - 480p>,
#  <Video: H.264 (.mp4) - 360p>,
#  <Video: H.264 (.mp4) - 720p>,
#  <Video: VP8 (.webm) - 360p>,
#  <Video: VP8 (.webm) - 480p>]

# The filename is automatically generated based on the video title.  You
# can override this by manually setting the filename.

# view the auto generated filename:

# Pulp Fiction - Dancing Scene [HD]

# set the filename:
yt.set_filename('Dancing Scene from Pulp Fiction')

# You can also filter the criteria by filetype.

# [<Video: Sorenson H.263 (.flv) - 240p>,
#  <Video: H.264 (.flv) - 360p>,
#  <Video: H.264 (.flv) - 480p>]

# Notice that the list is ordered by lowest resolution to highest. If you
# wanted the highest resolution available for a specific file type, you
# can simply do:
# <Video: H.264 (.mp4) - 720p>

# You can also get all videos for a given resolution

# [<Video: H.264 (.flv) - 480p>,
# <Video: VP8 (.webm) - 480p>]

# To select a video by a specific resolution and filetype you can use the get
# method.

video = yt.get('mp4', '720p')

# NOTE: get() can only be used if and only if one object matches your criteria.
# for example:


#[<Video: MPEG-4 Visual (.3gp) - 144p>,
# <Video: MPEG-4 Visual (.3gp) - 240p>,
# <Video: Sorenson H.263 (.flv) - 240p>,
# <Video: H.264 (.flv) - 360p>,
# <Video: H.264 (.flv) - 480p>,
# <Video: H.264 (.mp4) - 360p>,
# <Video: H.264 (.mp4) - 720p>,
# <Video: VP8 (.webm) - 360p>,
# <Video: VP8 (.webm) - 480p>]

# Notice we have two H.264 (.mp4) available to us... now if we try to call get()
# on mp4...

video = yt.get('mp4')
# MultipleObjectsReturned: 2 videos met criteria.

# In this case, we'll need to specify both the codec (mp4) and resolution
# (either 360p or 720p).

# Okay, let's download it!

# Note: If you wanted to choose the output directory, simply pass it as an
# argument to the download method.'/tmp/')

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