Thursday, January 16, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

YouTube RSS Feeds

Thomas Brand:

In 2020 I am watching less stupid on YouTube by skipping the algorithm. Instead of letting the YouTube decide which videos it wants to show me, I am watching only the videos I want to see by subscribing to my favorite content creators via RSS.

[…]

[Append] the Channel ID to the end of this URL https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=

The combined URL + Channel ID is the Feed URL of that YouTube channel, and can be added to my feed reader.

Too bad there’s no way to do this for Twitter.

Nick Heer:

YouTube isn’t the only website that buries its RSS feeds in this manner. I don’t know that it’s deliberate — in the sense that they’re trying to discourage the use of RSS. I think it might be a result of product teams convincing themselves that RSS is something used only by the technically-proficient, so it’s put in a place where that group can find it. The trouble is that only the technically-proficient will end up using it, so it’s cyclical.

Why not just put it in a <link> tag?

Previously:

Update (2020-04-20): Vítor Galvão:

In several feed readers (e.g. Reeder) you don’t need to figure out the feed yourself: paste the channels’s URL and it’ll auto-detect the feed

If you want the feed for a specific youtube playlist, use https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?playlist_id=

It works in News Explorer, too.

17 Comments

Twitter offered RSS feeds until somewhere around 2013.

Not RSS, but you can subscribe to individual Twitter accounts in Feedbin and have the tweets delivered in an RSS-like format. It's the best way to read Twitter.

You can use Granary (https://granary.io/) to get an RSS feed of your Twitter timeline (or the tweets of a single account). In my experience, it lags significantly behind real-time, since there are a lot of people using the single instance. You can also host your own copy if you want, although then you need to worry about obtaining API keys and stuff like that.

If you use Feedbin for RSS, you can subscribe to a Twitter account and it will appear like any other feed, including in third-party apps that sync with Feedbin.

Have been using this YouTube hidden feature for a while in pair with Mailbrew (https://mailbrew.com/), a service that allows to get RSS feeds and Twitter feeds via email.

There's a userscript (for Tampermonkey et al.) that will create an RSS button on a YouTube channel's homepage. Very handy: https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/1760-youtube-rss-feed

Use https://nitter.net/ for Twitter with RSS feeds.

This seems like a more cumbersome alternative to YouTube's "Subscriptions" tab, which, as far as I can tell, only shows you videos from channels you're subscribed to. Given that you still have to visit the YouTube website to watch the video, I'm not sure I see this being worth the effort.

Much like Feedbin, NewsBlur supports adding both Twitter and YouTube feeds — just copy and paste the URL of the Web page and it’ll turn it into a feed for you. Particularly this is nice with high-volume YouTube feeds where I can apply NewsBlur’s filters to them if I only want to see a subset of videos.

(disclaimer: I worked on the NewsBlur iOS app and wrote a Mac helper app for it, but these are both open source and I was not compensated for my work on them.)

besides feedbin and newsblur, inoreader also allows subscribing to Twitter accounts and lists. I love that feature.

If you are a Firefox user, this will give you a button for the RSS feed. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/youtube-rss-finder/

@Moonlight To me it’s much less cumbersome because I can see what’s new and mark as read the videos I don’t want to watch right from my RSS reader—no need to periodically visit an extra site.

Are there any usable extensions or scripts to remove the Up Next section from a YouTube page? I did some searching last month and couldn't find any viable option that was up-to-date with the latest YouTube design.

@Michael Ah, truly, cumbersomeness is in the eye of the beholder. Cheers to those who make such use of their RSS reader!

I suppose I ought to mention I use YouTube's built-in search and organization tools (particularly history and playlists) fairly substantially and find them quite helpful. Perhaps this is just a different usage orientation that is always going to be somewhat incompatible with an RSS-based approach. I acknowledge it does require you to be logged in, which the original article calls letting Google track you. I'm not sure I agree with this characterization. Personalization within an app like Spotify, Netflix, Apple Music, or YouTube feels different to me than the "tracking" across the web at-large.

Olivier Simard-Casanova

RSS Bridge is a great tool to turn almost anything into a RSS feed (including Twitter feeds): https://github.com/RSS-Bridge/rss-bridge

News Explorer also allows to turn Twitter feeds into RSS feeds (and imo its by far the best implementation on the market).

Apart from channel_id you can also find RSS feeds for user ID and even playlist ID: https://indieweb.org/YouTube#Atom_feeds

For people making the first step from YouTube to their RSS reader, YouTube still allows you to export all of your subscriptions to a single OPML file with all of the feed URLs in one click. At the bottom of the Manage Subscriptions page there is an “Export to RSS Readers” option, though it only seems to be available through a direct link since a YouTube redesign a couple months ago: https://www.youtube.com/subscription_manager

I created a simple AppleScript (JSX), that will create and open the correct RSS feed url when you are on a YouTube profile page:

var base = "https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id="
var safari = Application('Safari')

var url = safari.windows[0].currentTab.url()
var res = url.split("/")
var id = res[res.length - 1]

safari.windows[0].currentTab.url = base + id

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