Download Youtube videos

I have made a macro to download primarily Youtube-videos. Even tough it works on other videosites.
Sometimes I need to take some videos to places where I do not have internet.

Videos are download into your downloads folder. Subtitles are downloaded as well.

For the macro to work you need to have the youtube-dl command line tool installed on your Mac. A comfortable way to install the latest version is via Homebrew:

brew install youtube-dl

Keyboard Maestro “Download video/sound” Macro

Download video-sound.kmmacros (2.5 KB)


Yes, youtube-dl is absolutely great!

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Thanks @JimmyHartington ! Great idea and macro!

I didn’t know youtube-dl existed. After having used dozens of websites and Chrome extensions to download YouTube videos, I think I finally found the ultimate tool. I adapted your macro to use it with Chrome and, as I regularly download MP3s from YouTube for my teen daughter, I created another macro with the following shell script:

export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH; youtube-dl -x --embed-thumbnail --audio-format mp3 -o '~/Downloads/%(title)s.%(ext)s' $KMVAR_YoutubeLink

The macro will download an MP3 file with the YouTube embed thumbnail as cover art.

Thanks again!



Hey Jimmy,

Well done.  :smile:

I prefer to do the download in the Terminal, so I have progress indicators, etc.

My script here is worth a look:

I’ll have to revisit it and look at the various switches you and Cary have demonstrated.

NOTE: I bought a copy of Downie and have been pretty happy with it. I also own a copy of VideoBox.

Because of Downie I don’t use my script much anymore.


Hi Chris

I have previosly used this 4K Video Downloader (free).
But since the videofiles are normally small I do not mind not seeing any progress.
Like the fire and forget of the macro. :slight_smile:

// Jimmy

I forgot to mention something very important to download MP3s.

From the youtube-dl documentation:

Convert video files to audio-only files requires ffmpeg or avconv and ffprobe or avprobe

Personally, I installed ffmpeg via Homebrew:

brew install ffmpeg


I use Macports myself.

You must have Macports and Xcode installed.

sudo port install youtube-dl

sudo port install ffmpeg

sudo will require you to enter your password.


Does KM only work with browser-related things if you’re using Safari? or will it work if you’re using Chrome too?

I’m switching from TE to KM, and I had a TE expansion that would pop up and ask for the URL that I’d manually copied from $BROWSER… but if KM reads the URL from the browser session then… KM - WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! :open_mouth:


KM has virtually identical support for Safari and Chrome:

See these KM Wiki Searches:

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Hey Aaron,

Keyboard Maestro only supports Safari and Google Chrome directly, and it can do that because both of these browsers have AppleScript support (which KM uses under-the-hood).

Some other browsers like iCab also have AppleScript support. While KM does not directly support these browsers, it does directly support AppleScript itself – so many things are possible.

Hiding in plain sight for the last 12+ years… :sunglasses:


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Some sites are also available, such as keepvid,savefrom ,catchvideo that enable you to download videos during surfing online. Easy and useful!

I highly recommend Allavsoft.

It works great in batch downloading videos, music, playlist, subtitles from YouTube.

Here is the easy guide

It also helps to download from Spotify, Vimeo, TED, etc 10000+ websites.

I have closed this topic as it is a spam magnet. @JimmyHartington if you wish to update the macro or whatever, just let me know.