GeniusOfEvil’s Blog

It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.

Howto Get Direct YouTube Video (FLV) URL

with 7 comments

This post is based on paulg’s description of  Youtube video url protocol . Time is precious, so let’s get straight to the point – here’s the Python implementation

import httplib,urllib

video_id = 'PB8pWjMlxxE'
eurl = '' #
params = urllib.urlencode({'video_id':video_id, 'eurl':eurl})
conn = httplib.HTTPConnection("")
response = conn.getresponse()
status,reason = response.status, response.reason
data =
video_info = dict((k,urllib.unquote_plus(v)) for k,v in
                               (nvp.split('=') for nvp in data.split('&')))

Now video_info is a dictionary containing a lot of information about video ( author, length,title, etc) – but we still don’t have direct video URL.

conn.request('GET','/get_video?video_id=%s&t=%s' %
                 ( video_info['video_id'],video_info['token']))
response = conn.getresponse()

YouTube will respond with HTTP 303 See Other

direct_url = response.getheader('location')

Final Solution

# #!/usr/bin/env python  
# # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

import httplib,urllib
__author__ = 'Jarosław Przygódzki'
__copyright__ = 'Copyright (c) 2009 Jarosław Przygódzki'
__date__ = '30.04.2009'
__license__ = 'GPL'
__version__ = '0.1.1'

def GetYoutubeVideoInfo(videoID,eurl=None):
	Return direct URL to video and dictionary containing additional info
	>> url,info = GetYoutubeVideoInfo("tmFbteHdiSw")
	if not eurl:
		params = urllib.urlencode({'video_id':videoID})
	else :
		params = urllib.urlencode({'video_id':videoID, 'eurl':eurl})
	conn = httplib.HTTPConnection("")
	response = conn.getresponse()
	data =
	video_info = dict((k,urllib.unquote_plus(v)) for k,v in 
                               (nvp.split('=') for nvp in data.split('&')))
	conn.request('GET','/get_video?video_id=%s&t=%s' %
                         ( video_info['video_id'],video_info['token']))  
	response = conn.getresponse()
	direct_url = response.getheader('location')
	return direct_url,video_info 

Written by Jarek Przygódzki

April 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Programing, Python

7 Responses

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  1. I am not getting a HTTP 303 back, it returns 9 headers with no Location Header

    Header:: Content-Disposition == attachment; filename=”video.flv”
    Header:: Connection == close
    Header:: Content-Length == 2465703
    Header:: Cache-Control == public,max-age=3600
    Header:: Content-Type == video/x-flv
    Header:: Date == Sun, 24 May 2009 10:23:21 GMT
    Header:: Expires == Sun, 24 May 2009 11:23:21 GMT
    Header:: Last-Modified == Sat, 14 Mar 2009 02:39:31 GMT
    Header:: Server == gvs 1.0

    Norwan Jee

    May 24, 2009 at 11:23 am

    • Can you can copy and paste your code?
      It works fine for me

      >>> url, info = GetYoutubeVideoInfo('PB8pWjMlxxE')
      >>> info['title']
      'Team0xf Deadlock 1.0 presentation (Part 1/3)'
      >>> url

      You paste the entire URL into browser address bar and see that it works.

      Jarek Przygódzki

      May 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm

  2. Works perfectly for me but it would be interesting for me how to do this in C#…


    June 2, 2009 at 1:32 am

    • System.Net.HttpWebRequest
      HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(myUrl);
      request.Method = "GET";
      request.AllowAutoRedirect = false;
      HttpWebResponse response = (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse();
      string locationHeader = response.GetResponseHeader("Location");

      You can fill the gaps…

      Jarek Przygódzki

      June 3, 2009 at 10:43 am

  3. jarek, nice job. I’m doing a perl script that i’d like to use youtube api to pull all video urls from a specific user then obtain the actual flv url (like your script does) and spit it out to an xml file. yt has started changing the flv urls every so often so the script would need to run every day. Any suggestions or code enhancements u can provide would be greatful!


    July 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm

  4. Hi Jarek,

    Thanks for such a nice script. But can u converte it in php. I want it to be in php language

    Thanks & Regards
    Virender Kumar


    February 5, 2010 at 9:41 am

  5. I would be interested in a java version… Don’t understand that python code…


    March 14, 2010 at 12:25 pm

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