How I watch youtube with
I find that the youtube web ui is designed to keep users on the site by feeding them an unending stream of information. Bright colors, distracting thumbnails, peanut galleries, etc. I prefer to consume my videos in the same way I consume everything else: via RSS.
RSS is my favorite way of aggregating things that other people have made because it allows me, the user, to interact with their things
The only dependencies not on a standard UNIX system are
newsboat and a video player. I also use
yt-dlp to download videos for later viewing. I like
mpv but you can substitute your own.
$ sudo $pkgmrg install newsboat mpv yt-dlp
Getting RSS feeds from youtube
Youtube (currently) provides RSS feeds for channels.
Finding Youtube channel ID
Sometimes channels have vanity URLs that can make it difficult to find the channel ID. Other times, the URL contains the channel ID. All youtube channel IDs start with the string
UC so we can easily grep for them.
$ curl https://www.youtube.com/c/RMCRetro | grep --color "href=\"https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC"` [ lots of nonsense ] href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLEoyoOKZK0idGqSc6Pi23w" [ lots of nonsense ]
In order to turn this channel ID into something useful, we create the following URL:
The export format is a CSV that contains the channel IDs for all of our subscriptions.
Channel Id,Channel Url,Channel Title UCLEoyoOKZK0idGqSc6Pi23w,http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLEoyoOKZK0idGqSc6Pi23w,RMC - The Cave
Newsboat url list
Newsboat reads it’s list of URLs from
~/.config/newsboat/urls. Every url we add to this list will be automaticlly fetched. You can make separate URL lists for your list of videos and list of standard text based RSS feeds
If you have an exported CSV, you can easily modify it so that newsboat will accept it as a list of URLs by deleting row 1, column 1+comma, and replacing the comma between the URL and channel name with a tab character. Doing a
sed 's/channel\//feeds\/videos.xml?channel_id=/g' on the file is an easy way to replace the website URL with the feed url. Newsboat only reads the first field of every row so the channel name can be kept for easier subscription management.
http://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCLEoyoOKZK0idGqSc6Pi23w RMC - The Cave
In order to play videos, we need to add some macros to the newsboat config file at
Mine looks like this.
# load URLS on launch auto-reload yes # vim binds bind-key j down bind-key k up bind-key j next articlelist bind-key k prev articlelist bind-key J next-feed articlelist bind-key K prev-feed articlelist bind-key G end bind-key g home bind-key d pagedown bind-key u pageup bind-key l open bind-key h quit bind-key a toggle-article-read bind-key n next-unread bind-key N prev-unread bind-key D pb-download bind-key U bashow-urls bind-key x pb-delete # macro setup browser linkhandler macro , open-in-browser # launch video player macro v set browser "setsid -f mpv" ; open-in-browser ; set browser linkhandler # download vidoe macro d set browser "yt-dlp"; open-in-browser ; set browser linkhandler # download audio only macro a set browser "yt-dlp --embed-medatada -xic -f bestaudio/best" ; open-in-browser ; set browser linkhandler
This is a demo of using newsboat with videos. In order to execute the macros, you type
v or whatever other letter you set the macro to.
video in webm format your web browser or operating system does not support free video codecs :(
A url list to get you started
https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC3ts8coMP645hZw9JSD3pqQ Andreas Kling https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC9-y-6csu5WGm29I7JiwpnA Computerphile https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC15BJjhPr4d5gTClhmC4HRw Elliot Coll https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCxQKHvKbmSzGMvUrVtJYnUA Learn Linux TV https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCm9K6rby98W8JigLoZOh6FQ LockPickingLawyer https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCl2mFZoRqjw_ELax4Yisf6w Louis Rossmann https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC2eYFnH61tmytImy1mTYvhA Luke Smith https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC7YOGHUfC1Tb6E4pudI9STA Mental Outlaw https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCjFaPUcJU1vwk193mnW_w1w Modern Vintage Gamer https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCLEoyoOKZK0idGqSc6Pi23w RMC - The Cave https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC4rqhyiTs7XyuODcECvuiiQ Scott The Woz https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC5I2hjZYiW9gZPVkvzM8_Cw Techmoan https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCy0tKL1T7wFoYcxCe0xjN6Q Technology Connections https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC8uT9cgJorJPWu7ITLGo9Ww The 8-Bit Guy https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC5UAwBUum7CPN5buc-_N1Fw The Linux Experiment https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCFMx-JitepTttWc-ABHhu8A This Week in Retro https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCsnGwSIHyoYN0kiINAGUKxg Wolfgang's Channel https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCJ8V9aiz50m6NVn0ix5v8RQ decino