Download videos from Yle servers
Python PHP Shell

Download videos from Yle servers

Build Status PyPI version

Copyright (C) 2010-2018 Antti Ajanki,

License: GPLv3


Source code:

yle-dl is a tool for downloading media files from the video streaming services of the Finnish national broadcasting company Yle: Yle Areena, Elävä Arkisto and Yle news.


Below are general installation instructions. See a separate page for specialized installation instructions for Debian, Ubuntu, Mac OS X and Windows.

1. Install the dependencies

  • Python 2.7 or 3.5+
  • pip
  • pycryptodome
  • wget
  • ffmpeg
  • setuptools (when installing from the sources)

Optionally for certain types of streams:

  • PHP interpreter with bcmath, curl, openssl and SimpleXML extensions: live TV and certain news broadcasts
  • rtmpdump: Areena audio streams. Version 2.4 or newer, preferably the latest development version from the project homepage

Enable the PHP extensions by appending the following lines with the correct paths in the php.ini:


2. Install yle-dl

Easier way (installation without downloading the source codes):

pip3 install --user --upgrade yle-dl

Installation from sources. Download the sources and run the following on the source directory:

python3 install --user

Installation with youtube-dl as an alternative downloader backend

By default, yle-dl downloads streams from Yle Areena using the included copy of AdobeHDS.php. If the default downloader does not work for some reason, it is possible to use youtube-dl instead. yle-dl will automatically fall back to youtube-dl if it is installed and downloading with AdobeHDS.php fails.

Follow the above installation instructions (except for the PHP and the PHP libraries) and additionally install youtube-dl:

  • Mac OS X: brew install youtube-dl
  • Debian/Ubuntu/other operating systems: pip3 install --user --upgrade youtube_dl

Using with libav instead of ffmpeg

yle-dl --ffmpeg avconv --ffprobe avprobe ...

Integration tests

python3 pytest

Some tests succeed only when run on a Finnish IP address because some Areena streams are available only in Finland. To skip those test, set the environment variable ENABLE_FINLAND_TESTS to 0:

python3 pytest

Packages for various distros

A list of available packages


yle-dl [options] URL


yle-dl [options] -i filename

where URL is the address of the Areena or Elävä arkisto web page where you would normally watch the video in a browser.

yle-dl options:

  • -o filename Save stream to the named file

  • -i filename Read input URLs to process from the named file, one URL per line

  • --latestepisode Download the latest episodes

  • --showurl Print the URL of the stream, don't download

  • --showtitle Print stream title, don't download

  • --showmetadata Print stream metadata as JSON

  • --vfat Create Windows-compatible filenames

  • --audiolang lang Select stream's audio language if available, lang = fin (default) or swe

  • --sublang lang Download stream's subtitle language, lang = fin, swe, smi, none or all (default)

  • --resolution res Maximum vertical resolution in pixels

  • --maxbitrate br Maximum bitrate stream to download, integer in kB/s or "best" or "worst". Not all streams support limited bitrates.

  • --rtmpdump path Set path to rtmpdump binary

  • --adobehds cmd Set command for executing AdobeHDS.php script

  • --postprocess cmd Execute a command cmd after a successful download. The command is called with the downloaded FLV file as the first parameter and subtitle files (if any) as the following parameters.

  • --proxy uri Proxy for downloading stream manifests. Example: --proxy socks5://localhost:7777

  • --destdir dir Save files to dir

  • --pipe Dump stream to stdout for piping to media player. E.g. yle-dl --pipe URL | vlc -.

  • --backend vals Downloaders that are tried until one of them succeeds (a comma-separated list). Possible values: adobehdsphp (download HDS streams using AdobeHDS.php), youtubedl (download HDS streams using youtube-dl).

  • -V, --verbose Show verbose debug output

Type yle-dl --help to see the full list of options.

Any unrecognized options will be relayed to rtmpdump process (when downloading RTMP streams).

Firewall must allow outgoing traffic on ports 80 and 1935.


yle-dl -o video.flv
yle-dl --backend youtubedl -o video.flv

Playing in vlc (or any other video player) without downloading first:

yle-dl --pipe | vlc --file-caching=10000 --sub-track=0 -

Executing a script to postprocess a downloaded video (see the example postprocessing script at scripts/muxmp4):

yle-dl --postprocess scripts/muxmp4

Set default values for arguments using alias:

alias yle-dl-defaults="yle-dl --resolution 720p --destdir ~/videos"