I'm trying to figure out where to find the actual FLV video YouTube files. I've found several tutorials on the Internet, but none that work. So if anyone knows, that'd be much appreciated.


3 Answers 3


VLC may serve.

From The Best Hidden Features of VLC:

  1. Find a video on YouTube and copy the URL from the address bar.
  2. In VLC, head to Media > Open Network Stream.
  3. Paste the YouTube link in the box and click Play.
  4. Under Tools, click Codec Information.
  5. In the box that says Location, right-click the block of text and click Select All. Copy this text to your clipboard.
  6. Go back to your browser and paste the link in the address bar. This will open the source file directly on YouTube's servers.
  7. Right-click the video as it plays and select Save Video As.

That'll give you an mp4 file. VLC can also convert some file formats.

  • I need the direct link so I can import my videos in my apps without importing the interface. The URL you get from VLC is apparently temporary and get changed. So, I couldn't use this information to get the actual url for the video.
    – user220893
    Jun 15, 2019 at 16:26
  • Doesn't seem to work anymore. Video is not loading.
    – winklerrr
    May 6, 2020 at 15:44
  • Still works for me. Jun 28, 2021 at 22:06

You cannot directly obtain a source of the video from YouTube. There are many websites that allow you to download videos from YouTube in various formats such as an FLV format. An application like JDownloader works great for YouTube videos and many more!

  • 3
    If there is no way to obtain these sources, than how do applications such as JDownloader do it?
    – T Hexi
    Aug 4, 2013 at 1:26
  • 1
    @THexi Well, manually it is not really feasible to do, though if you know any programming take a look at something like this: sajithmr.me/download-youtube-videos-using-php-code Aug 4, 2013 at 1:29

Atube Catcher is another program that allows to download Youtube videos.

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