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Terminal based YouTube player and downloader
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Wheel Status


  • Search and play audio/video from YouTube
  • Search tracks of albums by album title
  • Search and import YouTube playlists
  • Create and save local playlists
  • Download audio/video
  • Convert to mp3 & other formats (requires ffmpeg or avconv)
  • View video comments
  • Works with Python 3.x
  • Works with Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
  • Requires mplayer or mpv

This project is based on mps, a terminal based program to search, stream and download music. This implementation uses YouTube as a source of content and can play and download video as well as audio. The pafy library handles interfacing with YouTube.

FAQ / Troubleshooting common issues



A standard search is performed by entering / followed by search terms.

Local Playlists

Search result items can easily be stored in local playlists.

YouTube Playlists

YouTube playlists can be searched and played or saved as local playlists.


Content can be downloaded in various formats and resolutions.


A basic comments browser is available to view YouTube user comments.

Music Album Matching

An album title can be specified and mps-youtube will attempt to find matches for each track of the album, based on title and duration. Type help search for more info.


Search results can be customised to display additional fields and ordered by various criteria.

This configuration was set up using the following commands:

set order views
set columns user:14 date comments rating likes dislikes category:9 views

Type help config for help on configuration options



Note: ~/.local/bin should be in your PATH for --user installs.

Using pip:

$ pip3 install --user mps-youtube

To install the experimental development version and try the latest features:

$ pip3 install --user -U git+

Installing youtube-dl is highly recommended:

$ pip3 install --user youtube-dl
and to upgrade:
$ pip3 install --user youtube-dl --upgrade

(youtube-dl version dowloaded directly from youtybe-dl website can't be used by mps-youtube. While the version in the repositories is usually outdated)

For mpris2 support, install the python bindings for dbus and gobject:

$ pip3 install --user dbus-python pygobject


You can install mps-youtube directly from the official repositories:

[sudo] apt install mps-youtube

Arch Linux

You can install mps-youtube directly from the official repositories:

[sudo] pacman -S mps-youtube

macOS X

Install mpv (recommended player) with Homebrew:

brew install mpv

Alternately, you can install mplayer with MacPorts:

sudo port install MPlayer

Or with Homebrew:

brew install mplayer

Install mps-youtube using Homebrew:

brew install mps-youtube

Additional Windows installation notes

As an alternative to installing with pip, there is a standalone binary available. Go to Releases and download mpsyt-VERSION.exe under downloads for the latest release.

Install the python colorama module to get colors (optional):

pip3 install colorama

Mpsyt requires a player to use as a backend, with either mpv or mplayer supported. Mpv is the recommended option.

Mpv can be downloaded from

Extract both mpv.exe and to the same folder as mpsyt.exe or to a folder in the system path.

Alternately, mplayer can be downloaded from

Extract the mplayer.exe file, saving it to the folder that mpsyt.exe resides in (usually C:\PythonXX\Scripts\) or to a folder in the system path.

Run via Docker container

Using Docker, run with:

sudo docker run --device /dev/snd -it --rm --name mpsyt rothgar/mpsyt

Additional Docker notes

If you would like to locally build the container you can run the following steps

Check out this repo:

git clone

Enter the directory and run docker build:

cd mps-youtube
sudo docker build -t mpsyt .

Now run the container interactively with:

sudo docker run -v /dev/snd:/dev/snd -it --rm --privileged --name mpsyt mpsyt

In order to have access to the local sound device (/dev/snd) the container needs to be privileged.


Upgrade pip installation:

[sudo] pip3 install mps-youtube --upgrade


mps-youtube is run on the command line using the command:


Enter h from within the program for help.


An IRC channel #mps-youtube for the project is available on Freenode ( You can join directly by clicking this link.

How to Contribute

Contributions are welcomed! However, please check out the contributing page before making a contribution.

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