How to automate a YouTube Channel
tl;dr I created a program that takes care of this YouTube Channel on its own! Wanna know how? Keep reading!
I also created a YouTube video covering this blog post.
One day after I streamed on twitch.tv/scriptworld I thought about all that footage that gets deleted after the stream ended. What can I do with that data?
So I got that idea: Shrinking down a 10 hours stream to its most exciting 5 minutes and automatically upload that to YouTube.
After researching and prototyping some hours, I realised, that the outcome still takes human interaction to be a ‘nice’ video. At some point I already spend weeks into improving my algorithm but yet haven’t event uploaded one video you YouTube. Not even a ‘bad’ one. I needed to get back focussing on a MVP.
Keep it simple. Where can I get some decent footage? Right, Twitch Clips!
I decided to take the most viewed Twitch clips for a certain game in the past week, cut them together and upload this video to the channel. Automatically, every day another game, repeating after a week.
Creating the Videos
All code that is creating the Videos is found in my GitHub Repo called Highzer.
Twitch got a really nice API to discover clips and download them.
curl -H "Accept: application/vnd.twitchtv.v5+json" \ -H "Client-ID: uo6dggojyb8d6soh92zknwmi5ej1q2" \ "https://api.twitch.tv/kraken/clips/top?limit=5&game=Overwatch&trending=false&period=week"
This code fetches the top 5 clips based on view count from the game ‘Overwatch’. But … what about the
Client-ID? Yo need to register a Twitch application for that? Ouh man …. Even though this is free I really don’t wanna do that…
But how can you view the top clips in the browser even if you are not logged in with your account? Right, they got a static
Client-ID for this purpose. Every non-logged in user uses this particular
Client-ID. Just grab it from the HTML source in your browser and off you go:
When searching on Google: how to cut 2 video clips togehter via cli, you realise, there is this one tool called ffmpeg which does the trick.
via cli? Simple answer. I want to run this whole script without user interaction. So every information the cutting / merging tool needs to produce my clip, has to be provided as command line arguments.
Long story short: I experimented for hours with this tool and only got a low quality output without any transition between the clips. Have a look at this one I uploaded.
I ended up using an awesome Python Lib called MoviePy. With less than 10 lines of code i was able to resize, crossfade and merge my clips together!
def concat_clips(files, out_file): clips = list() for i, file in enumerate(files): clip = VideoFileClip(file).resize((1920, 1080)) \ .crossfadeout(1).crossfadein(1) comp = CompositeVideoClip([clip]) clips.append(comp) final_clip = concatenate_videoclips(clips, method="chain") final_clip.write_videofile(out_file)
This felt so great after my ffmpeg struggle.
All the code for handling the uploads is found in this GitHub Repo.
At first i thought: YouTube got an API right? Uploading should be the easy part of this project. Then i ended up spending 10x more time than i actually wanted. As always…
Turns out that once you uploaded a Video with the YouTube API, it will be private and you won’t ever be able to make it public. Unless you have a YouTube verified API. Tried getting this one -> no luck! Why? Not even YouTube was able to tell me that!
So… what to do when APIs suck? Right… Chromedriver! This time i wanted to try out pupeteer because it is a Google Product and i wanted to fight YouTube with its own weapons! Screw you!
The code is nothing fancy, just have a look at those files in the repo. I encoutered just one weird thing… When i try to run the youtube-uploader in headless mode, the YouTube page stays blank. If i remove all cookies (so i am not logged into my Google account), YouTube loads fine. I login to Google -> run in headless mode -> blank website.
It seems like YouTube is preventing me to browse headless while being logged into my account. Until today, i don’t know how to solve it since i didn’t spend more time investigating, even though this topic is really interesting!
If you experienced similar problems, let me know in the comments, i am curious!
How did i upload my videos now? Since my Server got now user interface, i put RaspbianOS on my Raspberry Pi which now handles the uploading everyday for me.