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I would be happy if I had a cross-platform (Linux and Windows) tool for automatically downloading and converting a whole playlist from YouTube to MP3.

An add-on for Firefox would be very desirable, but is not required.

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Tinyogg worked for a while (you could download & convert on your own w/ ffmpeg), but that's been discontinued. This seems like one of those tools that just leads to copyright infringement, sadly. –  Broam Sep 16 '11 at 13:47
4k video downloader comes with a superb linux version, best ever! –  qed Jun 11 at 16:27

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

jdownloader let you download a standalone video copying the url, if you want the complete list you'll have to copy all the urls of the videos from the page of the list.

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Opera has extensions for downloading video from YouTube. There must be a extension for FireFox too. –  Alpine Sep 16 '11 at 15:04
Sure... video downloadhelper is one, but it's shareware, you'll have to pay a licence to have a clean video without any watermark. In any case, jdownloader is the best option. –  n00b Sep 16 '11 at 20:49
I found the jdownloader page full of google ads to other downloads that I found questionable, please be careful using this download. –  Stephen Jan 24 at 13:22
Use adblock plus and you'll only see the real download options. –  n00b Jan 29 at 18:49

For a single youtube video, I use the firefox addon called Video DownloadHelper, which lets you choose between different quality of videos, and then convert them for you.

A better option in my opinion would be the command line tool youtube-dl, which can convert whole playlists.

You would use it like:

youtube-dl -x PLAYLIST_URL

The x flag converts video files to audio-only files (It requires ffmpeg or avconv and ffprobe or avprobe)

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Ok, the youtube-dl -x PLAYLIST_URL does the trick in a fascinating way! Thank you very much. Tested on Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS –  Geppettvs D'Constanzo Sep 10 '13 at 20:05

You may try Wondershare AllMyTube which supports video and the whole playlist downloads. It's for Mac and Windows, but not for Linux. And also the software to download YouTube playlist to mp3 in one single click.

There is also Python-based script called youtube-dl, once installed you can download the whole playlist via:

youtube-dl --audio-format mp3 https://www.youtube.com/user/X

If you'd like to convert video files to audio-only files (it requires ffmpeg or avconv and ffprobe or avprobe), then add additional parameter --extract-audio.

Check youtube-dl --help for more options.

See also:

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+1! youtube-dl works like a charme! –  Preexo Aug 11 at 10:17

I don't have any one tool that does all the different steps in one program, but there are plenty of ways to download youtube videos.

I personally I use the firefox script BYTube http://preview.tinyurl.com/kab6er8) to generate a full list of the links to download and then use down-them-all to download them in one go.

I then have 2 batch scripts that use ffmpeg to either convert all the flv videos into mp4 or one that strips out mp3 out of both flv and mp4 files.

Both the scripts can handle single files to multiple folders at once, but they're 80 lines long and as I said batch scripts so they really only work for Windows. (tell me if you want me to post them anyway though)

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