Created: 2011-07-18 20:13
Updated: 2018-12-24 07:38
License: gpl-3.0



A free console browser for online videos, written in python with vim-like keybindings.


If you are already familiar with vim the controls should be pretty intuitive.
There are two modes: command mode and browse mode.

In command mode you can search for videos by typing :s VIDEOSEARCH and hitting ENTER.
This will generate a list of videos and switch to browse mode.

In browse mode you can download the videos by hitting ENTER and play them with p. To abort the download of a video select it and hit a. Note that this won't delete the partially downloaded file, in fact you can resume the download if you hit ENTER again.
You can also open the YouTube page by hitting o or directly stream the video with MPlayer by hitting s.
CTRL n lists the next videos of your previous search and CTRL r clears the screen.

To search for the string SOMETHING in the current video list type **/**SOMETHING and hit n to get to the next or N to get to the previous item.
With the command :videos or just :v all downloaded videos will be listed. A pattern can also be specified, so :v monty will list all videos containing the substring monty. Since local searches are case-insensitive, the commands :v monty and :v Monty (or /monty and /MONTY) are equivalent.
Downloaded videos can be deleted with the command :delete. (WARNING: no undo)

All downloaded videos are stored in ~/.videotop/videos.


For streaming you might want to add something like this in your MPlayer config (~/.mplayer/config), the values depend on your internet connection:

cache = 8192 # 8 mb cache
cache-min = 5 # play if 5% of the cache is loaded in memory

Command Table

Command Mode Browse Mode Description
:search, :s Search for videos
:videos, :v Show all downloaded videos
:13 Select video 13
:delete Remove the selected video
:clear CTRL r Clear the video list
CTRL n List the next videos of the previous search
ENTER Download the selected video
a Abort downloading the selected video
o Open the YouTube page of the selected video in your default web browser
p Play the selected video with MPlayer
s Stream the selected video with MPlayer
j Move down
k Move up
CTRL d Move down
CTRL u Move up
g Move to the first video
G Move to the last video


  • urwid to provide an ncurses frontend.
  • gdata and youtube-dl to search for and download youtube videos.
  • (optional) mplayer to play the downloaded videos.


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