I'm using ffmpeg for taking screenshots from video. Is it possible to take screenshots from YouTube video without downloading video to hard drive?

  • doubt it, seems you want timed screenshots of a video as it streams, don't know how
    – barlop
    Nov 25, 2013 at 12:02
  • @barlop Yes, you are right. I am looking for solution, but don't know too.
    – Matt
    Nov 25, 2013 at 12:17

2 Answers 2


ffmpeg used to have support for libquvi that would allow to download video directly. Since it does not support the library anymore, to process a video from YouTube, you should download it using youtube-dl instead.

I am not aware of any live-processing capabilities.

  • 1
    Hey, i found nothing on how to do it for windows. Would you possibly have any clue in which direction i should be looking? And does this method still work for youtube? Apr 11, 2014 at 13:27
  • I honestly don't know, perhaps you should ask the quvi developers for hints! The method should still work for YouTube.
    – slhck
    Apr 11, 2014 at 14:28
  • 3
    I found something else. Youtube-dl.exe and it works like a charm. I can download the files and compile them with ffmpeg afterwards Apr 11, 2014 at 14:30
  • 1
    Yes, that's the usual way of accessing YouTube videos. quvi is just if you don't want to create intermediate files, which sometimes helps saving space (and time, of course).
    – slhck
    Apr 11, 2014 at 14:31
  • 1
    @IvanKolesnikov Yes, ffmpeg 3 removes libquvi support. I'll add a warning to this answer.
    – slhck
    Dec 12, 2017 at 11:14

The answer to this is yes it is possible. You need to use PageSpeed Insights API. Use the Youtube API to showcase the video with a start and end time in a unique page, then allow PageSpeed Insights API to take and save screenshots of that page. Edit that screen shot accordingly. Then you have snapshots of the video at the specified time stamps.

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