YouTube is a website which was synonymous to online streaming before the emergence of the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime. That's not to say it has lost its value. In fact, by continuous innovation, it is still a dominant force in media streaming services. One such innovation is YouTube playlist. During your time of streaming YouTube, you must have come across at least one. If you're looking for ways to download a YouTube playlist, then this how-to guide is for you.
What is YouTube Playlist?
YouTube Playlist is a feature of YouTube which help you organize your content in the form of a library. Videos are linked together by a common factor or preference. The videos contained therein play in order, one after the other. You can create a playlist on literally anything ranging from cute penguin videos to Lady Gaga music videos.
A thing to note here is that there are two types of playlists on YouTube. One is "Creators" playlist and the other is "Users" playlist. The one you create as a viewer is called a user playlist. A playlist which is created by a content creator is called a creators playlist. The playlists you come across randomly while scrolling is either a Creator's playlist or is compiled by a user like you.
If the list is created by you, then you can add, deleted, and modify the contents inside of it. If someone else has created it, you can work on top of it and add your own collection. Every playlist in YouTube is identified by a unique URL. Within the playlist, you're going to have metrics like views, average view duration, watch time, playlist starts, views per playlist starts, etc.
How to Download YouTube Playlist?
Once you've created a playlist or have seen an excellent collection, you might get tempted to downloading it for viewing offline. But then you realize that there's no 'Download' button present which will let you save it on your device. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can use to download a playlist from YouTube.
Using VLC Media Player
If you're surprised to learn that you can use something as common as VLC Media Player to download a playlist from YouTube, then you're not alone. This versatile cross-platform media player is present in almost every other computer out there. It is popular because of its capability of playing most, if not all, video and audio formats which includes DVD and CD formats.
While you're using VLC as merely a media player, it has got tons of useful features up under its sleeve. One of them is downloading content from streaming sites. Here's how you achieve this feat:
- Open VLC Media Player.
- From the top menu bar, click on Media>Network Stream.
- You'll see a blank space for inputting network uRL.
- Go to YouTube and open the playlist you want to download, if you haven't already.
- Get the playlist uRL and paste it into the box and press "Play".
- Now navigate to Tools and Codec information. You'll see the first video of the playlist playing in the background.
- From the location box located at the bottom, copy the codec data.
- Paste the data in the browser's address tab and press Enter. You'll see the video will play in the browser.
- Just like you would, right click on it and select "Save As."
- This will download the first video of the playlist.
The only disadvantage of this method is that you'll have to do some manual, repetitive task. Like saving each track from the browser. But VLC will go through the playlist for you and turn to your computer. So you only would have to follow from Step 4 through 8.
How much time would the entire process take depends upon the video quality, your internet speed, and number of media files in the playlist.
If, for any reason, you don't want VLC to download the videos for you, there's another method.
There are few software programs that can automatically download all of the videos from a playlist. Just input the playlist uRL and it'll do its magic. Both online and system software versions are available for use. Some of the best ones are:
YouTube Playlist is a website that does it job slightly differently. It'll take the playlist, line it up and then download the entire selection. This is a completely online tool and there's no download required whatsoever. Simply select the playlist uRL, and paste it wherever prompted. It'll then collect the required data from the playlist.
MediaHuman YouTube Downloader
MediaHuman is a media conversion software company that also enable users to download YouTube playlists. This is a cross-platform downloadable software which needs to be installed properly. Being a freemium software, you need to pay a free for playlists that have more than 20 videos.
4K Video Downloader
4K Video Downloader is another downloadable desktop software program that works offline. The process of downloading the playlist is the same: get the playlist uRL and paste it inside the program. This will read the files and download them one by one. One of the best features of using this is you can choose particular files to download and also the quality. So the first video can be a 480p file, second can be a 1080p, and third can be a MP3 file. There's a one-time fee which you need to pay at the time of downloading for availing unlimited download.
But isn't Downloading YouTube Content Illegal?
Yes, downloading any form of content from YouTube (other than their own offline download feature) is considered illegal under their Terms of Service. Everything published on their platform is licensed by YouTube.
But even if you're downloading by any means, it should strictly be for personal use and you cannot, under any circumstances, reproduce it for commercial or noncommercial purposes. We'll leave the final decision to you to make sure you're not breaching any copyright law.
As for personal use, you can definitely play around with the playlist, trim sections, convert to other file types among other possibilities.