Ask HN: Yt-Dlp Reduced Quality?

Hi HN!

I maintain a playlist of youtube clips for offline use in case I run out of internet, and recently I noticed something strange.

I was listening to this clip on youtube: , I then downloaded it with `yt-dlp` and listened locally with intention to loop until end of my day. And I noticed when I play this clip on youtube the sound is much more vibrant and the clip sounds much better than the downloaded version.

Is there any magic switch I'm missing? I already tried `-f bestvideo+bestaudio`




It might be pulling an audio format that either youtube resampled, or that ffmpeg had to resample when merging the video because it's not compatible with the video format.

There's a way to pick preferred audio and video formats it will choose over what's simply the best bitrate, but you'll have to look in the manual for more details.


Hmm... I listed available presets with `-F` option, and then downloaded various different presets (actually, examples have this nice option to download and merge all available audio presets `yt-dlp -f 'bv*+mergeall[vcodec=none]' --audio-multistreams `). All of them sound like from within a cartboard box when played in vlc, much worse than when I play it on youtube... This is very notable around 00:00:50 of the clip.

Maybe I misinterpret logs but I checked and I can't see anything that would suggest the audio is resampled


Silly me. I had VLC audio effects enabled and that was resulting in song sounding different than on youtube. Sorry!


The highest quality audio is generally tag 251 (webm/opus). You can stream or download through an Invidious instance: