Extracting YouTube Data With Python Using API


In this post we will be looking on how to use the YouTube API in Python. This program will show how we can use the API to retrieve feeds from YouTube. This particular script will show the most popular videos on YouTube right now.

Standard Feeds

Some of the most popular YouTube feeds are most_recent most_viewed top_rated most_discussed top_favorites most_linked recently_featured most_responded

Getting Started

To start getting the data that we want from the YouTube feeds, we begin by importing the necessary modules.

import requests
import jsonmeo-api-examples

We make it a bit “prettier” by printing out what the program does. Then we get the feed by using the requests module. I used to use the urllib2 module to open the URL, but ever since Kenneth Reitz gave us the Requests module, I’m letting that module do most of my HTTP tasks.

r = requests.get("http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/standardfeeds/top_rated?v=2&alt=jsonc")

After we have got the feed and saved it to the variable “r”, we convert it into a Python dictionary.

data = json.loads(r.text)

Now, we have a python dictionary and we can use a for loop to go through the data

for item in data['data']['items']:

This can sometimes be the tricky part and you need to look carefully how the structure is presented to you. Using a JSON editor will make it easier.

Using the YouTube API to get data

This script will show the most popular videos on YouTube.

# Import the modules
import requests
import json

# Make it a bit prettier..
print "-" * 30
print "This will show the Most Popular Videos on YouTube"
print "-" * 30

# Get the feed
r = requests.get("http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/standardfeeds/top_rated?v=2&alt=jsonc")

# Convert it to a Python dictionary
data = json.loads(r.text)

# Loop through the result. 
for item in data['data']['items']:

    print "Video Title: %s" % (item['title'])

    print "Video Category: %s" % (item['category'])

    print "Video ID: %s" % (item['id'])

    print "Video Rating: %f" % (item['rating'])

    print "Embed URL: %s" % (item['player']['default'])


Using string formatting makes it a lot easier to view the code.

# Sample Output ------------------------------ This will show the Most Popular Videos on YouTube ------------------------------ Video Title: PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (?????) M/V Video Category: Music Video ID: 9bZkp7q19f0 Video Rating: 4.614460 Embed URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0&feature=youtube_gdata_player Video Title: PSY - GENTLEMAN M/V Video Category: Music Video ID: ASO_zypdnsQ Video Rating: 4.372500 Embed URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASO_zypdnsQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player Video Title: MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS - THRIFT SHOP FEAT. WANZ (OFFICIAL VIDEO) Video Category: Music Video ID: QK8mJJJvaes Video Rating: 4.857624 Embed URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK8mJJJvaes&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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