YouTube Preservation Issues

Hi, I was wondering if any one else has experienced any playback issues with preserving YouTube pages.
I’ve been preserving this channel for a few days and would spot check to verify playback and it seems to be hit or miss on whether it will play.
When I look through the collection archive, I’m seeing some hefty file sizes

but trying to playback the file, it will attempt to play an ad. If there is one ad, it will cycle through a timer and then play the video; if there is more than 1 ad, I get a playback error.
When I initially am recording the video, none of these ads are displaying so I’m guessing YouTube inserting this code that the plugin is picking up.

I also notice previously preserved videos just don’t play at all and I receive the same playback problem error as above.

If this is an unavoidable problem, I’ll likely have to rethink how to preserve these files.



I’m having exactly this issue. There is this “known issue” summary:

which I followed (ie deleting the youtube app) and thought I had solved the problem but it is now recurring :frowning:


Hello there @alphie and @RachelM,

I meant to reply to this sooner! Archiving YouTube Playlists is really tricky! Each video can be associated with 8-10 different ‘fuzzy’ URLs, each with variable parameters.

The URL is different if a viewer has chosen to watch a Playlist in sequence, or has opted to watch a specific video. For example, if viewed in the Playlist sequence, ‘What was the 1848 Mahele and was it Great - Donovan Preza’ has the URL, but if you select it directly from the Videos tab, the URL is

I would advise capturing the videos one by one, via their canonical URLs. The canonical URL for a YouTube video is the one you would use if you were embedding a video into your website. It looks like this:

You can find this URL by clicking Share, at the lower right corner of any video on YouTube. Either create the URL yourself by combining “” with the character string following the final forward slash “J0F-ZhzyJXo”

Screenshot 2021-10-05 at 12.32.25

Or, select Embed and copy the whole URL from within the given code.

Screenshot 2021-10-05 at 12.32.06

When you’ve captured all the videos, you could consider re-constructing the Playlist. ArchiveWeb.Page doesn’t currently offer the facility (previously offered in Webrecorder Desktop) to create lists or write Collection Descriptions, but as I understand it these options will be re-introduced in some form. For now, a work-around would be to download your Collection as a .warc file, then upload it to Conifer. You can explore a YouTube Playlist I created recently here.

You’ll see that my Collection Description provides context – briefly outlining what this web archive is, who created it, when, and using which tool. But you could write a more detailed summary or introduction if you wanted to.

When you create Lists, you can adjust the order, and edit the titles of the pages or ‘Bookmarks’. In this case, I decided to add the duration of each video in brackets after the title. I added an annotation in the List Description to document that decision.

Hope this example is helpful.
Let me know if you have questions, or if I can help you to move forwards with this work!


Much appreciated, Anisa. That explains a lot with what I’m seeing and I’ll reorient my workflow to follow your suggestions