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how to remove dead youtube videos



5:54 pm on Apr 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've a got a website that covers images, articles, projects, etc about a widget.

It also imports videos via RSS from youtube, metacafe, etc. The majority of the videos come from youtube.

Now with time, a lot of these videos have become dead (probably due to copyright infringement), but how do I identify these videos ? Youtube still keeps the thumbnail image so I cant use a 404 as an identifier.

My site seems unprofessional when a large number of videos appear dead.

I need a way to identify dead videos so I can remove them from my database.

Suggestions ?


6:15 pm on Apr 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

One would be to have a feature where users can report dead videos.
A warning, though. I've found that if you leave a page open for 15 minutes and then try to play a YouTube video, it says "This video is no longer available" ... but click refresh and it's available, so watch out for that (add a refresh every 10 minutes to your pages maybe).
As far as an 'official' way to check I'm not sure.


2:34 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I have the same issue. Most of the embedded youtube clips are no longer available. I cant think of any solution other than tracking all pages.

There are softwares out there where you can download the youtube videos (videos you think dont have any copyright issues). You can then host them on your own server. Just an FYI that this process does take time, especially if you have several videos to convert in a day.

If you come up with any other solution please let me know.


8:56 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

i did find a better solution. It seems that youtube will reply a 303 "see other (moved)" http reply back on a HEAD request on dead videos and a "200 OK" on good videos.

I now run a job weekly that deletes dead videos based on the http reply.

Make sure you keep an interval between checks...


5:09 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Nice darkage, useful info!


7:10 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

that's a very interesting technique to consider in general.
i haven't heard of many cases where HEAD returns a different status than GET.
or did you check to see if the thumbnail response returns 200 OK?


10:18 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

thumbnail is always 200 OK, as they keep them even for dead videos (go figure...)

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