Using YouTube

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YouTube is the second most popular website in the world, behind only Google. However, unlike Google, YouTube does not function at all without proprietary JavaScript (see The JavaScript Trap). This guide describes a number of options for accessing this wealth of knowledge and entertainment. It also provides alternatives to posting videos to YouTube so we can reduce our dependence on it.

Invidious

By far the easiest option is to use a public instance of invidious.

Youtube links looks like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaA1a1AaA-a

Invidious links look like this: https://www.invidio.us/watch?v=AaA1a1AaA-a

Links can be manually changed or converted with an add-on.

self-hosting invidious

Command-line Programs

youtube-dl

Open a terminal.

Install youtube-dl on a Debian based system.

   sudo apt install -y youtube-dl

Download a video with a command like this:

   youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaA1a1AaA-a

ytdl

RSS

You can get an RSS feed of a channel if you have its ID like so:

   https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id={channel_id}

For example, here is the feed for Kero Kero Bonito's youtube channel:

   https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC87PQkY3dDS-FastDm97emA

You can find a channel's id either in its URL or by inspecting the source and searching for "channelid"