Youtube Custom RSS Search Results

Posted by Artem Russakovskii on October 3rd, 2006 in Programming, Technology

Updated: June 6th, 2008

Update: The method described here is obsolete. Youtube and Google released a beautiful API located here: http://code.google.com/apis/youtube/developers_guide_protocol.html. You can do everything mentioned in this article and a lot more using it. Here's a sample: http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/videos?alt=rss&racy=include&vq=BBC+Five&start-index=201&max-results=50

So it looks like YouTube updated its RSS page recently and now has the ability to create RSS feeds by tags or user, like so:

For example, if you wanted to create an RSS feed for the tag "monkey," you would enter: http://www.youtube.com/rss/tag/monkey.rss

For example, if you wanted to create an RSS feed for the user "YouTube," you would enter: http://www.youtube.com/rss/user/youtube/videos.rss

The search by tag approach, however, won't necessarily get complete results because it will depend on user tagging the videos. After digging around a bit (really, just trial-and-error method), I found an unpublished (I think) way to create RSS feeds based on actual search results.

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/rss/search/[SEARCH_TERMS].rss

For example, http://www.youtube.com/rss/search/steve%20irwin.rss.

The number of results returned seems to be capped at 20. If anyone figures out a param to get this increased, please comment.

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Artem Russakovskii is a San Francisco programmer and blogger. Follow Artem on Twitter (@ArtemR) or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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  • w0rmw00d

    The /rss/search/ url still performs a tag only search 🙁

    After hacking around for a bit I found that if you prepend 'title:' to the keywords it _will_ do a title based search

    ex: /rss/search/title:steve+irwin.rss

    The only downside is that this does a *title only* search. It doesn't do a mixed tag/title search.

  • w0rmw00d, that's not really true. For example, I just did the search on the same http://www.youtube.com/rss/search/steve%20irwin.rss and this was one of the results:

    Title: steve irwin-all of the words
    Description: steve irwin
    Author: newsboyschic
    Keywords: religious
    Added: March 30, 2008

    It doesn't have any steve irwin tags, yet it came up, so things seem to work.

  • Thanks for the tip! I also added sort by and a MINUS and it worked fine.


    I am now trying to get DOPPLER to download the videos.. 🙂

  • Siva

    This is exactly what I am looking for.

    search_sort parameter as suggested by Carlos didn't work for me. It just ignores that parameter.

  • James

    The rss results dont contain description? any solution for that?

    • Please see the note at the top of the post – you have to use the gdata API which contains descriptions.

  • فرفشة

    Thank u