Youtube (and other video site) to Internet Archive Uploader

archival, gplv3, internet-archive, preservation, python, video, youtube, youtube-dl, yt-dlp
pip install tubeup==2023.9.19


Tubeup - a multi-VOD service to uploader

Unit Tests Lint

tubeup uses yt-dlp to download a Youtube video (or any other provider supported by yt-dlp), and then uploads it with all metadata to the Internet Archive using the python module internetarchive.

It was designed by the Bibliotheca Anonoma to archive single videos, playlists (see warning below about more than video uploads) or accounts to the Internet Archive.


This script strongly recommends Linux or some sort of POSIX system (such as macOS), preferably from a rented VPS and not your personal machine or phone.

Reccomended system specifications:

  • Linux VPS with Python 3.8 or higher and pip installed
  • 2GB of RAM, 100GB of storage or much more for anything other than single short video mirroring. If your OS drive is too small, symlink it to something larger.

Setup and Installation

  1. Install ffmpeg, pip3 (typically python3-pip), and git.
    To install ffmpeg in Ubuntu, enable the Universe repository.

For Debian/Ubuntu:

   sudo apt install ffmpeg python3-pip git
  1. Use pip3 to install the required python3 packages. At a minimum Python 3.8 and up is required (latest Python preferred).
   python3 -m pip install -U pip tubeup
  1. If you don't already have an Internet Archive account, register for one to give the script upload privileges.

  2. Configure internetarchive with your Internet Archive account.

   ia configure

You will be prompted for your login credentials for the Internet Archive account you use.

Once configured to upload, you're ready to go.

  1. Start archiving a video by running the script on a URL (or multiple URLs) supported by yt-dlp.. For YouTube, this includes account URLs and playlist URLs.
   tubeup <url>
  1. Each archived video gets its own item. Check out what you've uploaded at

Perodically before running, upgrade tubeup and its dependencies by running:

   python3 -m pip install -U tubeup pip


Dockerized tubeup is provided by etnguyen03/docker-tubeup. Instructions are provided.

Windows Setup

  1. Install WSL2, pick a distribution of your choice. Ubuntu is popular and well-supported.
  2. Use Windows Terminal by Microsoft to interact with the WSL2 instance.
  3. Fully update the Linux installation with your package manager of choice. sudo apt update ; sudo apt upgrade
  4. Install python pip and ffmpeg.
  5. Install Tubeup using steps 4-6 in the Linux configuration guide above and configuring internetarchive for your account.
  6. Periodically update your Linux packages and pip packages.


  tubeup <url>... [--username <user>] [--password <pass>]
                  [--proxy <prox>]
                  [--quiet] [--debug]
                  [--output <output>]
  tubeup -h | --help
  tubeup --version
  <url>                         yt-dlp compatible URL to download.
                                Check yt-dlp documentation for a list
                                of compatible websites.
  --metadata=<key:value>        Custom metadata to add to the
  -h --help                    Show this screen.
  -p --proxy <prox>            Use a proxy while uploading.
  -u --username <user>         Provide a username, for sites like Nico Nico Douga.
  -p --password <pass>         Provide a password, for sites like Nico Nico Douga.
  -a --use-download-archive    Record the video url to the download archive.
                               This will download only videos not listed in
                               the archive file. Record the IDs of all
                               downloaded videos in it.
  -q --quiet                   Just print errors.
  -d --debug                   Print all logs to stdout.
  -o --output <output>         yt-dlp output template.
  -i --ignore-existing-item    Don't check if an item already exists on


You can specify custom metadata with the --metadata flag. For example, this script will upload your video to the Community Video collection by default. You can specify a different collection with the --metadata flag:

   tubeup --metadata=collection:opensource_audio <url>

Any arbitrary metadata can be added to the item, with a few exceptions. You can learn more about metadata here.

Collections users can upload to four open collections:

Note that care should be taken when uploading entire channels. Read the appropriate section in this guide for creating collections, and contact the collections staff if you're uploading a channel or multiple channels on one subject (gaming or horticulture for example). Internet Archive collections staff will either create a collection for you or merge any uploaded items based on the YouTube uploader name that are already up into a new collection.

Dumping entire channels into Community Video is abusive and may get your account locked. Talk to the Internet Archive admins first before doing large uploads; it's better to ask for guidence or help first than run afoul of the rules.

If you do not own a collection you will need to be added as an admin for that collection if you want to upload to it. Talk to the collection owner or staff if you need assistance with this.


  • Some videos are copyright blocked in certain countries. Use the proxy or torrenting/privacy VPN option to use a proxy to bypass this. Sweden and Germany are good countries to bypass geo-restrictions.
  • Upload taking forever? Getting s3 throttling on upload? Tubeup has specifically been tailored to wait the longest possible time before failing, and we've never seen a S3 outage that outlasted the insane wait times set in Tubeup.

A note on live videos

Do not use Tubeup to archive live Youtube (or any other site) video. We will not/cannot fix it, it's not even our problem, and any solutions are unpalitable since they involve more code complexity to be maintained ontop of having to disable livechat for one extractor only for live video.

Major Credits (in no particular order)

  • emijrp who wrote the original in 2012
  • Matt Hazinski who forked emijrp's work in 2015 with numerous improvements of his own.
  • Antonizoon for switching the script to library calls rather than functioning as an external script, and many small improvements.
  • Small PRs from various people, both in and out of BibAnon.
  • vxbinaca for stabilizing downloads/uploads in yt-dlp/internetarchive library calls, cleansing item output, subtitles collection, and numerous small improvements over time.
  • mrpapersonic for adding logic to check if an item already exists in the Internet Archive and if so skips ingestion.
  • Jake Johnson of the Internet Archive for adding variable collections ability as a flag, switching Tubeup from a script to PyPi repository, ISO-compliant item dates, fixing what others couldn't, and many improvements.
  • Refeed for re-basing the code to OOP, turning Tubeup itself into a library. and adding download and upload bar graphs, and squashing bugs.

License (GPLv3)

Copyright (C) 2020 Bibliotheca Anonoma

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see