“yt-dlp” Format Selection examples

# Download and merge the best video-only format and the best audio-only format,
# or download the best combined format if video-only format is not available
$ yt-dlp -f "bv+ba/b"

# Download best format that contains video,
# and if it doesn't already have an audio stream, merge it with best audio-only format
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*+ba/b"

# Same as above
$ yt-dlp

# Download the best video-only format and the best audio-only format without merging them
# For this case, an output template should be used since
# by default, bestvideo and bestaudio will have the same file name.
$ yt-dlp -f "bv,ba" -o "%(title)s.f%(format_id)s.%(ext)s"

# Download and merge the best format that has a video stream,
# and all audio-only formats into one file
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*+mergeall[vcodec=none]" --audio-multistreams

# Download and merge the best format that has a video stream,
# and the best 2 audio-only formats into one file
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*+ba+ba.2" --audio-multistreams


# The following examples show the old method (without -S) of format selection
# and how to use -S to achieve a similar but (generally) better result

# Download the worst video available (old method)
$ yt-dlp -f "wv*+wa/w"

# Download the best video available but with the smallest resolution
$ yt-dlp -S "+res"

# Download the smallest video available
$ yt-dlp -S "+size,+br"



# Download the best mp4 video available, or the best video if no mp4 available
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*[ext=mp4]+ba[ext=m4a]/b[ext=mp4] / bv*+ba/b"

# Download the best video with the best extension
# (For video, mp4 > webm > flv. For audio, m4a > aac > mp3 ...)
$ yt-dlp -S "ext"



# Download the best video available but no better than 480p,
# or the worst video if there is no video under 480p
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*[height<=480]+ba/b[height<=480] / wv*+ba/w"

# Download the best video available with the largest height but no better than 480p,
# or the best video with the smallest resolution if there is no video under 480p
$ yt-dlp -S "height:480"

# Download the best video available with the largest resolution but no better than 480p,
# or the best video with the smallest resolution if there is no video under 480p
# Resolution is determined by using the smallest dimension.
# So this works correctly for vertical videos as well
$ yt-dlp -S "res:480"



# Download the best video (that also has audio) but no bigger than 50 MB,
# or the worst video (that also has audio) if there is no video under 50 MB
$ yt-dlp -f "b[filesize<50M] / w"

# Download largest video (that also has audio) but no bigger than 50 MB,
# or the smallest video (that also has audio) if there is no video under 50 MB
$ yt-dlp -f "b" -S "filesize:50M"

# Download best video (that also has audio) that is closest in size to 50 MB
$ yt-dlp -f "b" -S "filesize~50M"



# Download best video available via direct link over HTTP/HTTPS protocol,
# or the best video available via any protocol if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -f "(bv*+ba/b)[protocol^=http][protocol!*=dash] / (bv*+ba/b)"

# Download best video available via the best protocol
# (https/ftps > http/ftp > m3u8_native > m3u8 > http_dash_segments ...)
$ yt-dlp -S "proto"



# Download the best video with either h264 or h265 codec,
# or the best video if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -f "(bv*[vcodec~='^((he|a)vc|h26[45])']+ba) / (bv*+ba/b)"

# Download the best video with best codec no better than h264,
# or the best video with worst codec if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -S "codec:h264"

# Download the best video with worst codec no worse than h264,
# or the best video with best codec if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -S "+codec:h264"



# More complex examples

# Download the best video no better than 720p preferring framerate greater than 30,
# or the worst video (still preferring framerate greater than 30) if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -f "((bv*[fps>30]/bv*)[height<=720]/(wv*[fps>30]/wv*)) + ba / (b[fps>30]/b)[height<=720]/(w[fps>30]/w)"

# Download the video with the largest resolution no better than 720p,
# or the video with the smallest resolution available if there is no such video,
# preferring larger framerate for formats with the same resolution
$ yt-dlp -S "res:720,fps"



# Download the video with smallest resolution no worse than 480p,
# or the video with the largest resolution available if there is no such video,
# preferring better codec and then larger total bitrate for the same resolution
$ yt-dlp -S "+res:480,codec,br"

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