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How to download public YouTube captions in XML using Pytube in Python?

  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 23 Aug, 2021

Prerequisite: Pytube

Pytube is a dependency-free lightweight Python library for downloading YouTube videos. There are various APIs to fetch metadata from YouTube. In this article, we are going to see how to download public YouTube captions in XML using Python.

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Before starting we need to install this module:

pip install pytube


  • Import pytube : from pytube import YouTube.
  • Instantiate the object using YouTube() function which takes in the youtube video link as a parameter.
  • The instance for e.g. in the code below is ‘src’ which has a caption attribute to get a list of languages and their respective language code for a particular video.
  • To get a Caption in a particular language we use get_by_language_code(‘en’) en stands for English as shown in the code below.
  • By default, the captions are downloaded in XML format only.
  • To explicitly convert it into string data type we need to typecast it using ‘generate_srt_captions()‘ as shown in the code below.

Below is the implementation:


from pytube import YouTube
src = YouTube(link)
# prints all available captions in various languages.
print('Captions Available: ', src.captions)
# Getting only English captions by specifying 'en' as parameter
en_caption = src.captions.get_by_language_code('en')
# Instead of Captions in XML format we are converting it to string format.
en_caption_convert_to_srt = (en_caption.generate_srt_captions())


XML Captions 

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