Friday, February 7, 2020

YouTube Audio to Overcast

Mike Rockwell:

There’s just so many videos on YouTube that don’t really need the video component. Whether they be information videos or talk shows, often times you can get by without the visuals. For those videos, the YouTube app is a bit heavier than what is necessary for listening. Something like Overcast with its Smart Speed feature, is a much better solution.


So I put together a shortcut — Push To Overcast — that lets me download a video from YouTube, convert it to an audio file, and then easily upload it to Overcast.


The shortcut utilizes to download the YouTube videos. I don’t know too much about the site or who built it, but it’s the best method I’ve found for downloading videos from YouTube.

I’ve been using Softorino YouTube Converter 2 for this, but it’s cool to see that it can be done from iOS, too.

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$ brew info youtube-dl

youtube-dl: stable 2020.01.24, HEAD
Download YouTube videos from the command-line
/usr/local/Cellar/youtube-dl/2020.01.24 (12 files, 2.1MB) *
Built from source on 2020-01-31 at 17:22:31
==> Options
Install HEAD version
==> Caveats
Bash completion has been installed to:

zsh completions have been installed to:
==> Analytics
install: 68,086 (30 days), 189,987 (90 days), 872,307 (365 days)
install-on-request: 58,140 (30 days), 161,067 (90 days), 714,865 (365 days)
build-error: 0 (30 days)

As suggested by Doekman - youtube-dl is probably the best tool for this job if you have access to a CLI environment (on Mac/Win/Linux). It’s a great open-source project that is updated several times a week and works with hundreds of sites. It has a ton of CLI options to just get the type of file and metadata you want. It’s available on homebrew or from its main webpage (with lots of documentation):

It’s so good that I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the tools and sites in this area just rely on it for parsing in the backend (Huffduff does).

Side plug: I built a watch-later iOS/Web app called ToWatchList that lets you make a list of videos to watch and use this script to automatically download them for home viewing and archival (again leveraging youtube-dL). Check out the python script at and my main site at if you’re interested.

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