Youtube Downloader

PHP script for downloading videos from youtube; also parsing youtube feed into RSS enclosures for podcatchers
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YouTube Downloader

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PHP Library with Web UI to download videos from YouTube.


  • Create a library that delivers data and download links for youtube videos.
  • Create a UI for downloading the videos.
  • Have no external dependencies to other services.
  • Have no external dependencies to other libraries in production.
  • Installation should be simple (unzip on server and go)

To achieve this goals this project contains two parts:

  1. A semantic versioning 2 following PHP library that delivers data and download links for youtube videos.
  2. A Web interface that uses this library

Support for Cipher signature

YouTube Downloader supports YouTube videos with a cipher signature too. 🎉 Please note that this functionality is hidden behind a config flag because it downloads JavaScript code from a 3rd party (YouTube) server and interprets it. This MAY harm your server, if the 3rd party server delivers malicious code.

You can activate this by setting the enable_youtube_decipher_signature to true in /config/custom.php. If the file don't exists you can simple create it or copy from /config/default.php.

// in config/custom.php
return [
    'enable_youtube_decipher_signature' => true,


You must fit at least this requirements to use YouTube-Downloader:

  • PHP >= 5.6
  • Web server (Apache/Nginx/PHP built-in)


There are multiple ways to set up YouTube-Downloader

ZIP Download

  1. Download the code for the newest release:
  2. Unzip the code to your web server
  3. Open the folder with your browser


  1. Clone the code on your server with

     git clone
  2. Checkout the latest release tag with

     git checkout $(git describe --abbrev=0 --tags)
  3. Open the folder with your browser


You can use the PHP library in your project by installing the code via Composer.

The library isn't available on at the moment, so you must add the repository in your composer.json manually. Your composer.json should look like this

	"require": {
		"jeckman/YouTube-Downloader": "dev-master"
	"repositories": [
		{"type": "vcs", "url": ""}

Now install the dependencies with $ composer update

Note: Instead of using the master branch you should use a specific release like "jeckman/YouTube-Downloader": "0.XX". You can found all releases here.


You can manually visit a web form (the index.php file), enter a YouTube video id, and get in return a list of links showing the various formats in which that video can be downloaded. You can simply choose "save link as" or the equivalent to download the file.

Second, you can directly target the getvideo.php script, passing in a videoID and preferred format, and you will get redirected to the file itself.

Potential formats:

  • best = just give me the largest file / best quality
  • free = give the largest version including WebM, lower priority to FLV
  • ipad = ignore WebM and FLV, look for best MP4 file

You can also pass in a specific format number, if you know it.

Note this approach, because it redirects you to the file itself, currently bypasses the proxy option, so if your browser/server setup requires the proxy to work these will fail.

Feed subscription

You can subscribe both to YouTube channels and users via RSS. Feeds can be generated in the formats listed above.

Generating a feed for a YouTube channel works as follows:

To generate a feed for a YouTube user:

The generated feed is a standard RSS feed and can be subscribed to in any feed reader.


ZIP Download

  1. Backup your config file from config/custom.php.
  2. Delete all files in the project folder
  3. Download the newest release from
  4. Unzip the code to your project folder
  5. Place your config file back to config/custom.php.


Fetch the master branch and checkout the latest annotated tag.

git remote update
git fetch origin master
git checkout $(git describe --abbrev=0 --tags master)


Update your composer.json to use the latest version. Then run:

composer update


You can help making this project better by reporting bugs or submitting pull requests. Please see our contributing guideline for more information.

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