How To Download a YouTube Playlist Without Installing an App
Everybody uses YouTube, whether it’s to watch instructional videos on how to repair a bicycle tire or just for funny cat videos. We stream literally billions of videos every day from the service. Yet some people prefer to download a YouTube playlist so they can watch videos while offline. There are a number of reasons for wanting to do that. Sometimes we have a fast connection in one place but a slow one in others, and would like to grab our media while we can from the fast service. Sometimes we have places where we have no service at all. Whatever the reason, lots of people are searching for a solution that would let them download music and video playlists without having to install a new app. In this article, I will show you how to do just that.
A YouTube playlist is just a collection of individual videos linked together by whatever common factor the compiler decides. A playlist could be made up of videos by the same artist, TV shows in the same series, a mix of tracks in the same genre or something completely different. A playlist can be created by whoever published the media online and can be arranged in any way they see fit.
Playlists are immensely popular on streaming services like Spotify. You can create your own or access other people’s. They are a way to listen for hours without having to interact with the program or to discover new music. Many are created by users but some services get bots to create them.
Download a complete YouTube playlist
Technically, downloading media from YouTube is against their ToS and perhaps against the law. As all kinds of media with all kinds of licensing is published on the platform, we will leave it to you to ensure you’re not breaching copyright by downloading from YouTube.
Download a playlist with VLC
Nearly everyone out there already has VLC installed as it is the best media player out there. VLC is an unsurpassed video utility toolbox, but it has a bunch of other tricks up its sleeve. One of those tricks is being able to download media from streaming sites. The downside is that you have to manually save each track but VLC will work through the entire playlist for you.
- Open VLC and select Media from the top menu.
- Select Network Stream.
- Copy the playlist URL from YouTube, paste it into the Network Stream box and select Play.
- Select Tools and Codec Information. The first video should still be playing in the background.
- Copy the data in the Location box at the bottom.
- Paste that location data into a browser tab and hit Enter. The video should now play in your browser.
- Right click anywhere in the browser window and select Save As.
This process will download each video in the playlist in turn. You will have perform Steps 4-7 for each track but that’s it. Depending on how many tracks the playlist contains this could take a while. This is by far the most reliable way to download a complete YouTube playlist even if you cannot download the whole list in one go. We all have VLC, it is a known quantity and we know it works.
If you don’t want to use VLC, there is another way to download a playlist without you having to save each individual track.
There is a website called YouTube Playlist that will actually do exactly what you need. It will select an entire playlist, line it up and download. It may take a while to download the entire playlist, especially at peak times, but otherwise is a good little tool.
- Navigate to YouTube Playlist and select the title Download YouTube to get around the ad. Don’t download any software even if prompted, there is no need.
- Paste in the playlist URL from YouTube into the center box and hit Enter.
- Select the audio format you require.
- Let the site collect the playlist data. You should see it load below the blue box with the number of videos in the playlist.
- Select the green download button next to each track.
Originally, this site allowed you to download the entire playlist with the click of a single button. You can no longer do that but you can export the playlist to Spotify if you like. Otherwise, just hit Download MP3/MP4 under each track.
Those are the two ways I know of to download a complete YouTube playlist. They won’t download the entire list for you automatically but they do provide reliable ways to download the list for yourself with the minimum of effort. Plus, you don’t have to download and install any new third-party software which is always a good thing!