In this article, we will guide you through the process of downloading a YouTube playlist using
youtube-dl and how to skip existing files. This can be particularly handy if you want to download a large playlist but avoid re-downloading videos you’ve already saved.
To download a YouTube playlist with youtube-dl and skip existing files, you can use the command
youtube-dl -ci . This command will resume partially downloaded files and continue with the next video when a download error occurs. If you want to download the playlist as MP3 files and skip already downloaded files, you can use the command
youtube-dl --download-archive downloaded.txt --no-post-overwrites -ciwx --audio-format mp3 -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" . This command will record the video IDs of downloaded videos, prevent overwriting files, and convert video files to audio-only files in MP3 format.
Introduction to youtube-dl
youtube-dl is a command-line program that lets you download videos from YouTube.com and a few more sites. It requires the Python interpreter (2.6, 2.7, or 3.2+), and it is not platform-specific, meaning it can be used on Windows, macOS, Linux, and other Unix-like operating systems.
Before we start, ensure you have youtube-dl installed on your system. If not, you can download it from the official site.
Downloading a YouTube Playlist
To download a YouTube playlist, you will need the playlist’s URL. Once you have that, you can use the following command to download the playlist:
-ci is a combination of two options:
--continue: This forces youtube-dl to resume partially downloaded files.
--ignore-errors: This continues with the next video when a download error occurs.
Downloading as MP3 and Skipping Existing Files
If you want to download the playlist as MP3 files and skip already downloaded files, you can use the following command:
youtube-dl --download-archive downloaded.txt --no-post-overwrites -ciwx --audio-format mp3 -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s"
Let’s break down this command:
--download-archive downloaded.txt: This option makes youtube-dl record the video IDs of downloaded videos in the file
downloaded.txt. This way, it can skip these videos in future downloads.
--no-post-overwrites: Prevents youtube-dl from overwriting files.
-ciwx: A combination of several options:
--continue: Forces youtube-dl to resume partially downloaded files.
--ignore-errors: Continues with the next video when a download error occurs.
--no-overwrites: Prevents youtube-dl from overwriting existing files in the output directory.
--extract-audio: Converts video files to audio-only files (requires ffmpeg or avconv and ffprobe or avprobe).
--audio-format mp3: Specifies that the downloaded files should be in MP3 format.
-o "%(title)s.%(ext)s": Sets the output filename format. The downloaded files will be named after the video title and the appropriate extension.
youtube-dl, downloading a YouTube playlist and skipping already existing files is a straightforward process. This tool is incredibly versatile and can save you a lot of time and bandwidth if you regularly download videos or audio from YouTube.
To install youtube-dl, you can visit the official site at youtube-dl.org and follow the installation instructions provided for your specific operating system.
Yes, youtube-dl is compatible with Windows, as well as macOS, Linux, and other Unix-like operating systems. You can download and install it on your Windows machine following the installation instructions provided on the official site.
Yes, youtube-dl supports downloading videos from various sites in addition to YouTube. While YouTube is the most popular site, you can use youtube-dl to download videos from sites like Vimeo, Dailymotion, Facebook, and many others.
Yes, you can download only the audio of a video using youtube-dl. By specifying the
--extract-audio option and choosing an appropriate audio format (e.g.,
--audio-format mp3), youtube-dl will convert the video file to an audio-only file.
To skip already downloaded files, you can use the
--download-archive option with a specified file name (e.g.,
--download-archive downloaded.txt). This will record the video IDs of downloaded videos in the specified file, allowing youtube-dl to skip those videos in future downloads.
If a download error occurs, youtube-dl will continue with the next video by default. You can use the
--ignore-errors option to explicitly instruct youtube-dl to ignore errors and continue with the download process.
Yes, you can resume partially downloaded files using youtube-dl. By using the
--continue option, youtube-dl will resume downloading partially downloaded files instead of starting from scratch. This can be useful if a download was interrupted or if you want to update an already downloaded video.