Sunday, May 24, 2009

Get HD version of YouTube videos

I had to get a copy of the Wall•E/Watchmen trailer mash-up.  I knew their were tools that would grab the video for me, but I really wanted to HQ version, I really didn’t want to have to install software just to do it.

Turns out you can get even better than the HQ version, you can get the original HD version.  And you can get it with a simple bookmarklet.  You can read the details of how at UnlockForUs or just or just copy and paste the following Javascript code into your browsers address bar as you’re watching the desired Youtube video:

javascript:window.location.href = '' + swfArgs['video_id'] + "&fmt=22" + "&l=" + swfArgs['l'] + "&sk=" + swfArgs['sk'] + '&t=' + swfArgs['t'];


troy-sobotka said...


You are aware that if you flip to the HD version and let it buffer it will magically appear in your /tmp directory right? That is of course assuming you are running Linux, which might be a huge assumption.


microUgly said...

I'm running windows, but even then, it's not hard to get the "HQ" video. The technique above described how to get the "HD" or source video--that is, the original video before YT optimises it for streaming. You should see that the version the bookmarklet grabs is better quality than the version in your /tmp folder.

Although the bookmarklet isn't working for me at the moment, so maybe they closed up that hole.

microUgly said...

To correct myself, I didn't realise YT videos can have either a HD or HQ button. The bookmarklet only works when a HD button is present. So I might be wrong about the difference in quality... I didn't think YT would stream videos that are hundreds of MBs in size.

Troy James Sobotka said...

Greets Micro -

To the best of my knowledge the /tmp version that shows up is the version. I may be way off base on this, but it appears to be the direct encode from the stream. It seems to appear for every 'new generation' piece of YouGoo content - that is - since they moved to MPG4. Strictly earlier edition Flash content doesn't seem to get cached in the same manner (IE in the /tmp directory).

For the longest time I was under the impression you ran Linux. How strange. Stranger still that you haven't wandered out into those waters... ;)

microUgly said...

I don't have anything against Linux, but I'm just too at home with Windows, and when I was most interested in it 10 years ago, it was far too much effort for myself. But I've just installed Ubuntu the other day in a VM so I could fiddle around--and was most impressed with its ease.

I'll have to take a look at the tmp copy of the video to see how it compares.

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