Youtube-dl doesn’t work

I installed Youtube-dl on my new Ubuntu 20.10, but I failed to test it. On my first download, it didn’t work. I got this:

$ youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAa088SDn9E
 NAa088SDn9E: Downloading webpage
 NAa088SDn9E: Downloading embed webpage
ERROR: Unable to extract JS player URL; please report this issue on https://yt-dl.org/bug . Make sure you are using the latest version; see  https://yt-dl.org/update  on how to update. Be sure to call youtube-dl with the --verbose flag and include its complete output.

I decided to download the latest version temporarily to see if that even fixes the problem:

cd Downloads/
wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl
chmod a+rx ./youtube-dl

With the testing version in the download folder, it is able to download the same video.

$ ./youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAa088SDn9E
 NAa088SDn9E: Downloading webpage
 NAa088SDn9E: Downloading js player a3726513
 NAa088SDn9E: Downloading js player a3726513
WARNING: Requested formats are incompatible for merge and will be merged into mkv.
[download] Destination: He's Been Faithful _ Heritage Singers-NAa088SDn9E.f137.mp4
[download] 100% of 95.72MiB in 00:32
[download] Destination: He's Been Faithful _ Heritage Singers-NAa088SDn9E.f251.webm
[download] 100% of 5.84MiB in 00:01
[ffmpeg] Merging formats into "He's Been Faithful _ Heritage Singers-NAa088SDn9E.mkv"
Deleting original file He's Been Faithful _ Heritage Singers-NAa088SDn9E.f137.mp4 (pass -k to keep)
Deleting original file He's Been Faithful _ Heritage Singers-NAa088SDn9E.f251.webm (pass -k to keep)

Version Difference

So, it looks like the repository version is about 2 months old. I guess that’s old enough to prevent it from downloading videos.

$ youtube-dl --version
2020.09.14
$ ./youtube-dl --version
2020.11.24

Installing the Latest Version to the System

So, I went ahead and followed the directions on the Youtube-dl website to install it globally:

sudo wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
youtube-dl --version

Strangely, the program didn’t report the new version until I rebooted. I’m not exactly sure why that was. I assume something somehow cached in memory.

One thought on “Youtube-dl doesn’t work

  1. So the solution turned out to be very simple! Thanks for the tip.

    I noticed one more issue with the newest version of Ubuntu. The one with dragging the desktop icons. It is known that dragging desktop icons to an open window does not work, however, when you accidentally do this – the system freezes.

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