Tudou.com and Youku.com are great video sites for learning Chinese. If you like a particular video, you might want to download it so you don’t have to constantly have to go back to one of the sites to re-watch it. It previously was a bit difficult if you didn’t live in Mainland China or used a Mainland Chinese IP address, but now there are easy ways to do so. This article will discuss 2 great ways to download Tudou and Youku Videos.
Reasons You Might Want To Download Tudou And Youku Videos
- Learning Chinese. Tudou.com and Youku.com are the top video sites in Mainland China. There are millions of videos there, and you can use the sites for watching the news, watching videos, watching TV shows, and almost anything you can imagine with regards to videos.
- If you are a language teacher in Mainland China. There are so many good videos that are very useful to use to help you teach.
- If you don’t have Flash installed. If you for whatever reason don’t have Flash installed on your computer, you won’t be able to play Youku and Tudou videos through your browser. But, there are tools that allow you to download Tudou and Youku videos even if you don’t have Flash or just refuse to use Flash.
While there may be many tools for downloading videos from Youku and Tudou, I only recommend 2 tools, both of which I have personally used and like. They are: the site tubeninja.net and the software called youtube-dl which is 100% open source and available for Windows and Linux. I will now discuss those tools in depth.
1. Using tubeninja.net To Download Youku and Tudou Videos
This site a very simple and easy to use to download Youku and Tudou videos. Basically, it is as simple as copying the URL from the Youku or Tudou video you want to download and then copy and paste it into tubeninja.net’s download bar, and then click the green button which says “download”. Then, tubeninja will download the video, and then break it up into smaller files which you will have a wide variety of choices for download for each section of the video. You can download files in .flv and .mp4 formats and have a choice of high or average quality for each file. Below is a simple screenshot of an example Youku URL that you can download from tubeninja. And here is a simple URL from Youku that you can test tubeninja with.
Note: You must have your ad-blocker turned off in your browser, otherwise tubeninja.net will refuse to download videos for you.
2.Using the software called youtube-dl To Download Youku and Tudou Videos
youtube-dl is a 100% free and open-source software that allows you to download videos from many different video sites. Examples of sites you can use it on are youtube.com, news.bbc.co.uk, tudou.com and youku.com. Here is the link where you can download the executable files for Windows and Linux. (Note for Linux: you don’t actually have to install this software, you could just run the binary every time).
And if you are interesting in seeing the source code, you can download it via github here.
If you use Ubuntu or Debian, you can also install youtube-dl from the main repositories via doing the command:
sudo apt-get install youtube-dl
(Quick Linux note. Although you can install youtube-dl via apt-get install youtube-dl, if you are using Debian stable or an older version of Ubuntu, you might have an outdated version of youtube-dl which doesn’t work properly on Tudou or Youku, so I recommend you use the newest version by downloading the executable file or source code via github.)
Once you have downloaded and installed youtube-dl, you can then use it to download any video you want. Next, navigate to any directory where you want to have youtube-dl download the video(s).
Then, simply run the command youtube-dl followed by the URL
A simple, real-world example of using youtube-dl
This example uses this URL on Youku.
If you just have the binary (executable), but didn’t install it, navigate to where the binary is and do:
If you actually installed youtube-dl, you can just adjust it by removing the ./ in front of the command and can run the command anywhere from the terminal.
How To Get Youtube-dl help
If you just are running the binary, you can type:
to see a list of all options for the command or if you have the software installed, you can run
Additional Info About Youtube-dl
In addition to downloading from a URL directly, you can do batch downloads, download from file, and so much more. youtube-dl will download the video(s) you choose to download into several smaller files, like tubeninja does. So, either you can watch all of those files individually from youtube-dl, or after downing the video from youtube-dl, you can use another software to combine all of those smaller video files into one larger video file.
Both youtube-dl and tubeninja.net are fantastic tools for downloading Youku and Tudou videos. Using youtube-dl will probably give you better quality than using tubeninja.net, but tubeninja.net is probably initially easier to use, and doesn’t require you to download and install any software. Have you used tubeninja or youtube-dl to download Tudou or Youku Videos? Let’s discuss this in the comments below.