How to grab videos from YLE

How to grab videos from YLE

Culture is not meant to be streamed. Culture should be absorbed, shared and sometimes saved for later. Unfortunately, not all people responsible for today’s culture media understand this and many choose to employ complicated and often annoying technical methods that prevent the free (as in not limited within some boundaries) absorption of cultural media.

One service suffering from employing such people is YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company) which covers its vast media collection with anti-downloading techniques. Fortunately culture always wants to be free and, with the help of resourceful and smart people, it finds a way to liberate itself from under such blockades.


You’ll need a fairly recent operating system distro (CentOS is too conservative and failed for me, but Ubuntu 16.04 LTS worked fine) and a couple of programs and packages:

sudo apt-get install python-pip python-crypto wget php php-bcmath php-curl php-mcrypt php-simplexml ffmpeg rtmpdump

Once these are done make sure pip is up-to-date:

pip install --upgrade pip

And then install the yle-dl script:

pip install --upgrade yle-dl

If all goes well and no errors are encountered you’re not all set to grab your favourite YLE videos.

Grabbing the videos

To do that, simply run the following command with your desired YLE Areena:

yle-dl [options] URL

For example


The tool is capable of retrieving videos from several YLE sites. Check out its Github page for more info.


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