Programming language: C#
Tags: Misc    
Latest version: v4.7.9

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YoutubeExplode is a library that provides an interface to query metadata of YouTube videos, playlists and channels, as well as to resolve and download video streams and closed caption tracks. Behind a layer of abstraction, the library parses raw page content and uses reverse-engineered AJAX requests to retrieve information. As it doesn't use the official API, there's also no need for an API key and there are no usage quotas.



  • Retrieves information about videos, playlists, channels, media streams and closed caption tracks
  • Handles all types of videos, including legacy, signed, restricted, non-embeddable and unlisted videos
  • Works with media streams of all types -- muxed, embedded adaptive, dash adaptive
  • Downloads videos by exposing their media content as a stream
  • Supports media stream seeking and segmentation to circumvent throttling
  • Parses and downloads closed caption tracks
  • All metadata properties are exposed using strong types and enums
  • Provides static methods to validate IDs and to parse IDs from URLs
  • Fully asynchronous API
  • Targets .NET Framework 4.5+ and .NET Standard 1.1+
  • No need for an API key and no usage quotas




YoutubeExplode has a single entry point, the YoutubeClient class -- all available integration API can be accessed by calling methods of this class.

A lot of helper methods are provided as extensions for models, make sure to include corresponding using statements to see them.

Media streams come in 3 forms -- Muxed (video & audio), Audio (audio only) and Video (video only). Highest qualities are not available in muxed streams so you'll have to download separate streams and multiplex them yourself using tools like ffmpeg.

You can also use YoutubeExplode.Converter to take care of multiplexing for you.

Parse ID from URL

Most methods require video/playlist/channel ID which you can extract from any valid URL using one of the static parse methods.

var url = "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnsUkE8i0tU";
var id = YoutubeClient.ParseVideoId(url); // "bnsUkE8i0tU"

Get video info

You can get video metadata by passing its ID to GetVideoAsync method.

var client = new YoutubeClient();

var video = await client.GetVideoAsync("bnsUkE8i0tU");

var title = video.Title; // "Infected Mushroom - Spitfire [Monstercat Release]"
var author = video.Author; // "Monstercat"
var duration = video.Duration; // 00:07:14

Download video

If you want to download a video, you first need to get info on all its streams using GetVideoMediaStreamInfosAsync, then choose the stream you want to download, then pass it to DownloadMediaStreamAsync method. You can also use GetMediaStreamAsync to get the stream itself.

Keep in mind that the streams are split into Muxed (audio+video), Audio (audio only) and Video (video only).

var client = new YoutubeClient();

// Get metadata for all streams in this video
var streamInfoSet = await client.GetVideoMediaStreamInfosAsync("bnsUkE8i0tU");

// Select one of the streams, e.g. highest quality muxed stream
var streamInfo = streamInfoSet.Muxed.WithHighestVideoQuality();

// ...or highest bitrate audio stream
// var streamInfo = streamInfoSet.Audio.WithHighestBitrate();

// ...or highest quality & highest framerate MP4 video stream
// var streamInfo = streamInfoSet.Video
//    .Where(s => s.Container == Container.Mp4)
//    .OrderByDescending(s => s.VideoQuality)
//    .ThenByDescending(s => s.Framerate)
//    .First();

// Get file extension based on stream's container
var ext = streamInfo.Container.GetFileExtension();

// Download stream to file
await client.DownloadMediaStreamAsync(streamInfo, $"downloaded_video.{ext}");

Extract closed captions

Similarly to streams, you can extract closed captions by getting the info on all available tracks using GetVideoClosedCaptionTrackInfosAsync, choosing the one you're interested in, then resolving it with GetClosedCaptionTrackAsync. If you want, you can also download the track as an SRT file by calling DownloadClosedCaptionTrackAsync.

var client = new YoutubeClient();

// Get metadata for all closed caption tracks in this video
var trackInfos = await client.GetVideoClosedCaptionTrackInfosAsync("_QdPW8JrYzQ");

// Select a closed caption track in English (assuming it exists)
var trackInfo = trackInfos.First(t => t.Language.Code == "en");

// Resolve the closed caption track
var track = await client.GetClosedCaptionTrackAsync(trackInfo);

// Get the caption displayed at 1:01
var caption = track.GetByTime(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(61));
var text = caption.Text; // "And the game was afoot."

Get playlist info

YoutubeExplode is not limited to just videos so you can also use it to get the contents of a playlist and all associated metadata by calling GetPlaylistAsync method.

var client = new YoutubeClient();

var playlist = await client.GetPlaylistAsync("PLQLqnnnfa_fAkUmMFw5xh8Kv0S5voEjC9");

var title = playlist.Title; // "Igorrr - Hallelujah"
var author = playlist.Author; // "randomusername604"

var video = playlist.Videos.First();
var videoTitle = video.Title; // "Igorrr - Tout Petit Moineau"
var videoAuthor = video.Author; // "Igorrr Official"


The "Explode" in YoutubeExplode comes from the name of a PHP function that splits up strings, explode(). When I was just starting development on this library, most of the reference source code I read was written in PHP, hence the inspiration for the name.

Libraries used

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