Downloading private videos from Vimeo

Recently I wanted to watch Design Disruptors, a new documentary about the rising importance of design as a competitive advantage in disruptive technologies. If you are interested, you can easily request access, and they will email you a link for free. Unfortunately, this video is hosted privately on Vimeo so you cannot just download it and watch it offline once you want. I wanted to be able to play it on my iPad with Infuse while traveling.

Sadly you will not be able to download it with JDownloader that can be used to download public Vimeo videos because private videos are segmented into hundreds of small files. But luckily somebody wrote a Python that script that is capable of downloading all segments and combining them with FFmpeg into a single file.

First, you will need to get FFmpeg and Python. If you are on Windows, you can use Chocolatey.

choco install ffmpeg python

On macOS, you can use Homebrew.

brew install ffmpeg python3

Once you have these, you need to download the repository with the script. After that, you can install dependencies.

pip install -r requirements.txt

In case you are on macOS, use pip3.

Once you have the dependencies installed, you need to get a link to the video that contains information about the segments. You can get it with developer tools, or you can download this extension that will just show you all video links available on the page.

Once you have the link to the file that contains all segments you can execute the script, and it will start downloading all segments, and after that, it will combine them and produce a single file.

python vimeo-download.py --url http://your-link --output video.mp4

In case you are on macOS, use python3.

If you are interested in videos from other sites that you would like to download you can have a look at youtube-dl.

You should use this only for private use and not repost or share videos publicly with others.

Tomáš Linhart

Tomáš Linhart

Principal iOS Engineer at Lesson Nine GmbH • Swift & iOS and Mac lover and enthusiast •  • A bit .NET, Android lover...

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