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How to download Youtube HD video without losing any quality?

The first step is to download Youtube HD video (1080P, 2K, 4K, 6K & 8K) and audio separately.

To watch youtube HD videos offline, you should download the HD video file (without sound), and the audio file (128kps, m4a). For the HD video file, choose your preferred format, 1080P or 4K. If the HD video file is huge, it will take a while to finish downloading. Then you can choose to merge them with ffmpeg or just load both the video and audio files to the normal video player (VLC, potplayer, etc.) to watch.

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Why do I need to download youtube video and audio files separately? 

A while back YouTube started to use DASH format (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) for 1080p, 2k, 4k, 6k and 8k videos. DASH is an adaptive bitrate streaming technology where a multimedia file is partitioned into one or more segments and delivered to a client using HTTP. Now instead of single multimedia file, there are at least 2 separate files: one with the audio line, the other is video file without sound. 


At the moment DistillVideo does not provide service to merge them automatically on the server. However we added the facility to download both audio/video files so you can combine them later into a single one with ffmpeg or similar tools. Custom filename is  supported.  The audio file has the quality of 128kps with the format of m4a. 


Option 1: Merging audio and video using ffmpeg 

Once you have downloaded both video and audio files (distillvideo.mp4, distillvideo.m4a), here’s how you can merge them into a single file:

  • Download and install ffmpeg.

  • Open a Command Prompt window in your downloads folder and run the following command

    • In case of MP4 format (all, except 1440p 60fps & 2160p 60fps):

    • ffmpeg -i distillvideo.mp4 -i distillvideo.m4a -c:v copy -c:a copy output.mp4
    • In case of WebM format (1440p 60fps and 2160p 60fps):

    • ffmpeg -i distillvideo.webm -i distillvideo.m4a -c:v copy -c:a copy output.mkv
  • Wait until ffmpeg finishes merging audio and video into a single file named "output.mp4".

*Note: You also can merge the video and audio files by using VLC player, but it is very slow and not recommended here.


Option 2: Load HD video and audio files together

VLC media player allows you to watch the video with an external audio track.

On Windows, you need to:

  • Go to Media  Open Multiple Files....

  • In the Open Media window, click Add....

  • In the Select one or multiple files window, select the desired video file. Click Open.

  • In the Open Media window, tick Show more options, then tick Play another media synchronously. Click Browse....

  • In the second Open Media window, click Add....

  • In the Select one or multiple files window, select the desired file that contains the audio which will be played on top of the video previously selected. Click Open.

  • In the second Open Media window, click Select.

  • In the first Open Media window, click Play.

  • If you have more than one audio track available, go to Audio  Audio Track and pick the one that corresponds to the desired audio overlay.

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On Mac OS X:

  • Go to File  Advanced Open File....

  • In the Open Source window, click Browse....

  • In the appeared dialog window, select the desired video file. Click Open.

  • Tick Play another media synchronously. Click Choose....

  • In the Open window, select the desired file that contains the audio which will be played on top of the video previously selected. Click Open.

  • In the Open Source window, click Open.

  • If you have more than one audio track available, go to Audio  Audio Track and pick the one that corresponds to the desired audio overlay.

This manual is also available at the VideoLAN wiki.


PotPlayer:

You also can use potplayer, which is popular and free as well. First open the HD video file with potplayer, then right click on the screen, click "Open" and "Load external audio...". Thus, you can play youtube HD video with sound offline.

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