I had reason this week to try and find the actual direct path to an.flv on YouTube, I was trying out the excellent JW Media Player by Jeroen Wijering it supports playback of flv files among a host of other formats heres a quick excerpt from his website.


“JW Media Player supports playback of a single media file of any format the Flash Player can handle (MP3, FLV, SWF, JPG, PNG and GIF). It also supports RSS, XSPF and ATOM playlist (with mixed mediatypes and advertisement possibilities), a wide range of flashvars (settings) for tweaking both behavior and appearance and an extensive, documented javascript/actionscript API.”


The Problem?

While coding the xml playlist file for the player I tried adding a YouTube video but couldn’t find the actual path to the .flv file on YouTube’s servers. YouTube dont allow downloading of the video files and they have the path to the files pretty well hidden. So with a little tinkering around I came up with this trick…

The Solution!

I used this website www.keepvid.com to decode the url from YouTube. First go to YouTube and load a video, copy the url in the address bar it should show something like this:

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=TvedUxLtZKQ

Now go to the www.keepvid.com website and paste the url into the box provided, select Youtube from the drop down options and then click the Download button.
You can download the file direct but in this case I only need the path to the flv file so just under the url input box there will appear a Download box like the image below.

Right click on the >>Download Link << and select “Copy Link Location” (Firefox) or “Copy Shortcut” (Internet Explorer)

KeepVid

Now paste the result into notepad or directly to your xml file it will show like this:

http://chi-v48.chi.youtube.com/get_video?video_id=TvedUxLtZKQ

One thing left to do, add .flv to the end of the url so it ends up like this:

http://chi-v48.chi.youtube.com/get_video?video_id=TvedUxLtZKQ.flv

That’s it, the final url path to your YouTube video.


I know that this tip breaches the YouTube terms and conditions as using a third party player to stream the flv is therefore stealing their bandwidth and not allowing them to run any advertising on the video page, but hey! rules are sometimes broken and this tip is for purely experimental purposes! ;)

Time Saver Tip…

KeepVid provide a handy link to drag to your links toolbar it’s a great time saver if you intend on getting paths to video files or just to download videos files direct for free. I have it here for you, simply drag the button below to your Links Toolbar and when you are viewing a video on any website just hit the link on you toolbar and it redirects you to their website with the video ready for download or just to get the path.

Keep It!

Hope this helps you…..

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