Alexito's World

A world of coding 💻, by Alejandro Martinez

Download Youtube videos from the Safari Reading List

This weekend I wrote a little script that helped me to connect two of the main things that I do everyday: save things into the Safari Reading List and watch Youtube videos offline.

It has been a while since I started using the Safari reading list as my only read it later service. I was using Pocket before but at the end I found that, for my use, SRL is better. It’s integrated in all my devices, automatically syncs and it works pretty well. Right now almost every time that I’m browsing the web or reading my Twitter timeline I end up with a couple more items in that list. But one thing that annoys me is when I have videos on the list, because I watch videos in a special way.

I use heavily the ability of VLC to reproduce videos at increased speed. I get used to listen podcasts at a faster speed a while ago and since I discovered that VLC can do the same with videos (local or remote) I’m enjoying every day. I love to watch videos, but I hate wasting my time, and there is a lot of good content to consume, but I also need time to create, so this is the best approach to have both things for now. (maybe someday we can install knowledge directly to our brain).

As I said, VLC can play Youtube videos with no problem, but sometimes the download speed is not the best you want for HD videos (even if your connection works perfectly) so I end up using the ‘youtube-dl’ command line tool to download the videos and play them offline.

So I realized that the best way to make me happy was removing the videos from the SRL and have them stored in a local folder to watch them with VLC at an increased speed. This is basically what the script does. It has been fun to dig into the PLIST that Safari uses to store the URL. I wish there was an officially supported way to do that but this works for now.

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