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Author Topic: Archive YouTube NOW! (And your fav websites too!) - Archival Tools List  (Read 3812 times)
Melooon
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« on: May 31, 2023 @4.78 »

Archive NOW!

Earlier this year YouTube reported that they would be deleting old videos from inactive accounts, they later rolled that back saying they would not, but Iv seen some reports floating around the old accounts are getting deleted anyway. A few people have spotted old accounts that are mysteriously vanishing.

While it's hard to verify why exactly those videos are vanishing; Overall it's a good ongoing reminder that you can't rely on companies (or even other individuals) to archive your favourite videos and other online media! You must do it! Once something is gone, it's too late  :tnt:

It really doesn't matter if it's an important piece of media or just a video or website you liked as a kid. Web media is worth saving, and if you have ever loved a piece of web media it's even more worth saving! This goes for videos you like, forums you visit, websites you visit etc. Especially including more obscure websites (like ones made by this community - web revival sites are actually the most at risk of being lost).

Also don't depend on Archive.org!! The Internet Archive is a wonderful resource and it's great to add your archives to it, but you really should be keeping local archives too.

Some great programs Im aware off that can be used for local archiving are listed here: (Feel free to mention more)

YouTube and other videos:


  • YouTube DL Gui - Simple-ish local downloader, though possibly abandoned? (Mac?, Windows, Linux) Free (very easy)
  • Stacher - same as above but different! (Mac?, Windows, Linux) Free (very easy)
  • Downie - a simple downloading program (Mac) Paid or with SetApp (very easy)
  • YouTube DLP - a command line program (Mac, Windows, Linux) Free (quite techy)

Websites and Forums:

  • SiteSucker - a great easy to use downloader (Mac, iOS) Paid on modern macs, free on retro ones (very easy)
  • HTTrack - like SiteSucker for Windows however its abandonware and may be outdated (Windows, Linux) (easy)
  • ArchiveBox - command line or with a UI, this is prob the most up to date Windows option (Mac, Windows, Linux) Free (a bit techy)
  • wget - because people will shout if I don't mention it (Mac, Windows, Linux)  Free (very techy)

Use this tool to download sites from the WayBackMachine  (quite techy, but not too hard) - Updated to a newer working version!

Most arching programs do have a bit of a learning curve to get what you want, but it's worth it! Ideally, you want websites and video archives to be browsable and functional when you check back on them in the future, a broken or obscure archive is not a very good archive - so keep your organization in check too! Archive whole youtube channels if possible, not just one video, and archive whole websites not just one page.

If you are making local archives, consider investing in a good big hard drive and make sure to follow good backup advice so that your archives are not lost!!

What archiving tips do you have and how do you organize your archives??

I have a few archive folders, both for my projects and also for other unique archive projects (like all the sites or videos from a particular creator).

Happy archiving!  :ha:
« Last Edit: June 01, 2024 @853.76 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2023 @670.60 »

Archiving, a topic of no mercy. You'll quickly pile up a lot of GB when saving lots of videos and will quickly realise, that your hard disk isn't big enough to save the whole internet on it.

To download Youtube videos, I watch them on an Invidious instance, like yewtu.be. Then right-click on the video and select "Save video As..."
(See the image in the attachments)
Set the video quality to "medium" if a reduction of the file size is desired.
Usually, podcasts on Youtube come with an unnecessary video stream. I let Audacity or VLC extract the audio. For non-music, lowering the quality to 64 kbits and going mono instead of stereo also reduces the file size a lot.

I've archived around 70 videos/podcasts. That's all my capacity for cultural preservation can offer, the hard disks are out of space. I guess you somewhat have to specialise on the topics, you're really interested in. So now it's up to you to save the other 999999999 videos.

Archiving websites is much easier fortuneatly. Press CTRL+S, select complete web page. And done. Always useful, if you see a nice design of which you want to copy the source code, because then you have it on the disk.


* melytdownload2.png (69.01 kB, 1012x914 - viewed 80 times.)
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Melooon
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2023 @683.70 »

Archiving websites is much easier fortunately. Press CTRL+S, select complete web page
You can definitely do that for a quick archive, but I'd always advocate for saving whole websites instead of just pages, and for that, it's good to have a proper crawling program to find everything on the site for you! All of the programs I listed allow you to enter a URL and it will rip the entire site, even pages you didn't know existed for later exploration :grin:

You'll quickly pile up a lot of GB when saving lots of videos and will quickly realise, that your hard disk isn't big enough
This is painfully true! Though it really depends on the videos - I downloaded 3500 short meme videos today and it came to a total of 4.7GB (because they were all a few seconds long) - yesterday I did an archive of about 250 1950s movies and that hit 90GB - the average older Youtube channel with around 300 videos comes in at around 10-20 GB!

Good 5TB hard drives are about 180 euro, and you want redundancy; so 5TB of redundant storage is 360 euro. That means each channel costs around 1 euro to archive at maximum quality (I tend to keep things maxed)!

Uggh I'll be reaching for my wallet soon! I was already running out of storage before I started this venture :tnt: But I think 5TB should be plenty for all the channels I personally would want to keep, along with most of the sites (which are MUCH smaller - you could prob archive most of Neocities on a 5TB drive)

So its an investment, but not an unreasonable one!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2023 @692.34 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2023 @739.51 »

archiving is great, but it's very easy (in my experience) to fall into the trap of saving everything because, as Melon rightly said: /you can't rely on others/

the difference being that i try to save things that are useful to me or others: examples of modern-day history that shouldn't repeat itself that is tied into something i've created highlighting why the example is bad; saving films because i really enjoyed them and now they're in the top five of all time. these are prominent examples of why /i/ save things (albeit other folks have different ideas as to what's important which are just as valid!)

i think it's equally important to teach yourself and others to let go of stuff that disappears of the web as it is to teach yourself and others how to save things, especially when it comes to creative media. the amazing property of the web is that stuff like my website lasts as long as it needs to. yes, it's a place where i can share resources that should long outlive me - but it's also a place where i express myself, ergo the torches for both should always be passed onto another person so that they can step into the limelight and people can enjoy them for who they are. at least, that's my two cents with stuff like music: i'd never hear of any new indie bands if i only listened to the stuff i have downloaded!
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2023 @645.81 »

This is a great list, Melon! I personally use ArchiveBox on one of my home servers, and it works pretty well for most of my needs. However, the IT bro in me HAS to say that BACKUPS are also very important!!! Hard drives are finnicky things and tend to die at the most random of paces. I have had many "healthy" drives up and quit on me with no luck on data recovery. I really like Free File Sync because it's simple, works on Win/Mac/Linux, and lets you save your backup batches for easy reuse. It's also good with renaming and file structure consistency, but there are a ton of backup suites out there if it doesn't strike your fancy.

I know not all of us are lucky enough to have the extra cash floating around for a room full of hard drives, but I like to mentally set aside half of all my "archive" drive space for backup. Redundancy is my best friend!
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2023 @995.35 »

THANK YOU for this resource list!! I was still using youtube to MP4 sites for downloading YouTube videos, haha. And thank god for the Passport external hard drive my dad had lying around to give to me... I've been archiving my tumblr blog, my boygirlfriend's tumblr blog, and my website to it regularly for a couple of months now! And now I can save my favorite YouTube videos too!

I want to encourage everyone to archive their favorite queer media especially. There's lots of laws being thrown around that want to censor the internet and queer media online... Archive that shit NOW! While you still can! Your favorite queer cartoons, your favorite queer books, even your favorite fanfics!! You can't rely on the corporate 'net to keep it up anymore!!
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2023 @260.14 »

I use cobalt to download videos
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2023 @906.38 »

I don't really have a specific site I use that I can remember, just whatever the first Youtube to MP4 site that pops up (and is usable and not shady) is. I do have a pretty sizable archive on an external SSD on my desktop, and if I weren't really comfortable on the couch with my laptop right now I'd tell you how big it is, but I'd guess probably in the double digits of GB. I also download music videos I like and keep them on my iPod. I have a bunch of old site archives, and a relatively recent one I made using HTTrack on an XP VM, but sadly my site seems to have passed the bizarre arbitrary Neocities limit about how small a site must be to download a ZIP archive---my site's 100 to 150 MB, much of that photos that I show on my site. But I do love archive.org and have their extension, and really like archiving pages I visit as well as their outlinks. I do hope someone has a copy of their data! I sadly only have the one external HDD, so I can't really do redundancy on a lot of it (considering my desktop only has a TB of internal storage, most of which is already taken up) but I want to get another drive ASAP, likely an SSD but I'm not sure since they seem more durable but also much more expensive.
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2023 @151.86 »

When it comes to saving videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, or a bunch of other sites, I use Clipgrab! Allows one to save videos as MP4 and MP3 files, so SFX videos can instantly go to MP3 format.
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2023 @659.17 »

I use Tartube for saving my youtube video's. I use it mostly to download complete album recordings, or muzak (like) compilations for on my MP3 player.

Its a front-end for Youtube DL
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2023 @479.48 »

When it comes to youtube audio, I use this page - it was meant to be a less scary alternative to actually downloading + using the yt-dip program :]

https://y232.live/
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2023 @59.97 »

I am kind of disatisfied with how people have been so conditioned to just take for granted the unbelievable (and more importantly utterly unsustainable) services provided by vc funding or corporations on the internet. Its crazy that people just EXPECT free file or video hosting as if that makes any logical sense. This is part of the reason I'm so adamantly in favor of people using things like Mumble and Jabber; it teaches you the REAL limitations of the web without the miles of vc funded padding that make it feel normal to use insant amounts of storage and bandwidth that you don't control. It is super worth getting into archiving things that you care about. Buy yourself a usb3.0 flash drive about 128 gigs, or a larger external hard drive, and get to work! Its also worth noting, this also applies to other things! If you buy your video games on steam, (to my knowledge) steam is legally able to just evaporate the games you own into thin air if they deem your account in violation of their terms (btw if you give your account to someone else or if someone gave it to you, that is reason enough for them to vaporize your library). If you only buy movies on amazon prime video they can do the same, or they can take a movie out of their database and you'll randomly lose it (i think, citation needed though). Even worse if you use a proper streaming service for music or anything else, where your favorite music can just randomly vanish from you library for any reason. This happened to me dozens of times when I used spotify. So yeah, archive things you truly care about (legally if you can and if its ethical lol).
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2024 @157.69 »

This thread is a great resource! yt-dlp is my friend when it comes to saving both video and music from YouTube and various sites. If you want a friendly GUI that uses invidious I recommend FreeTube.

By the way, yt-dlp supports A LOT of sites.
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2024 @161.56 »

OH NOOOOOOO I have fallen victim to old videos I used to love being deleted before I ever thought to archive them!!!
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2024 @420.76 »

Interesting topic ( this years Fubar's theme is archiving) for my own work I have one dedicated computer which contains currently around 14 terabytes of storage ( and growing need to add another hardrive ) motherboard is a low powered amd a8 doesnt need to be overly powerful - i added extra drive bays to an old antec atx tower by gutting the drive bays out of a newer dell optiplex and drilling and pop riveting them in place plus extra drive adpators . I archive by year , into seperate folders for images / video /technique plus folders for iso's of each os I'm using and software I might have downloaded with seperate archives for xp / win 7 / win 98 / win 95 / dos / linux plus non work stuff and boring stuff like accounts invoices etc . For youtube downloading I use YoutubeDownloader a flatpak to be found on flathub i find it works better than youtube-dl or ytp-dl though i like to run everything downloaded through handbrake just to keep the files correct and readable across other devices / places.

I'm currently also working on a super secret project to archive a lot of glitch art before it dissapears ( taking ubuweb as an inspiration) - for that we are using next cloud as a repository( as well as keeping personal archives). We are using httrack to archive websites and various other software as well ( keeping to naming conventions is stupidly important) for myself Im building the information I find into a zim notebook which is like a personal desktop wiki which Ive found really helpful.
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