Play YouTube videos in Second Life – Video Tip of the Week #35

[UPDATE – 2008-08-19] The method below is deprecated due to YouTube inconsistency/bugginess. See this for better workarounds!

[UPDATE – 2008-05-25 @ 2:07 PM] Be sure to read the helpful comments, including mention of Resident-created products to get fresh links — another caveat is that YouTube’s MP4 download links expire after some duration of time. I’m sorry it isn’t as effortless/reliable as we’d like it to be; let’s keep sharing knowledge.

Following our first “Ask Torley!” session, I present an instructional experience highly entertaining in its executionals, most audaciously garnished in SPECTACULARITY! It will go down in the annals of our history as a prize to be treasured when you too, understand the simpleniceness of doing it. But beware of the fine print!

TRANSLATION: You can watch YouTube videos in Second Life and I’m here to share the wealth! *flashes info-bling* Many (but not all… yet) videos have a corresponding MP4 “high-quality” link which is compatible with QuickTime, which means it can be shown inworld on your parcel. With the use of this link-maker tool (others exist, but I like this one), you can easily search for a vid, grab the correct link (e.g., try getting the MP4 URL from this video), and paste it inworld just a few seconds later.

Enjoy the show!

DOWNLOAD HIGH-QUALITY VERSION (this is hosted on Linden Lab’s webspace, is even better quality, and can be played in Second Life too!)

00:19 – Find the easy link-maker tool
01:24 – Search for a YouTube video
02:08 – Get a video’s MP4 link
03:21 – Where to change the Media URL
03:47 – Make a movie screen
05:19 – Paste the media URL
05:57 – Improve your movie playback
06:47 – Recap of what to do!

You should know:

  • Playback performance is dependent on YouTube, and obviously, your bandwidth. In the past few days, I’ve had occasional choppiness, so if you get that too, it’s not just you. Also remember not all videos work — if you get gibberish or a black screen, it means that video isn’t fully-compatible for one or more reasons; it may not have a high-quality (QuickTime-compatible) version yet.I wish there was an easier way to tell beforehand (it’s weird, because some, but not all of my video tutorials play): my investigations revealed that some links that should work are being sent from YouTube’s servers as “text/html” instead of “video/mp4” media type, and only the latter is correct. (I tried to override media type in SL but that doesn’t work… I’ll followup with our parcel media gurus!

    Altho it’s slower, an alternative path is to download a YouTube video from your web browser using the “Download as MP4” link and upload it to a webserver which serves up the correct media type, if you’re so inclined. Then, it can be streamed inworld. Please be mindful of usage rights!

  • If you use Internet Explorer, you need to right-click the “Get YouTube video” link and select “Add to Favorites” instead of dragging it to your toolbar. Don’t miss the instructions!
  • If you feel doing this link-gettery each time is too time-consuming for you, some smart Residents have figured scripted ways to do it: look on SL Exchange and OnRez for suitable devices on the market. I cannot vouch for their authenticity but encourage your exploration and inventive, innovative ingenuity!

Hit me with comments so awesome they’d make Don King’s hair go even higher.

Torley Linden
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58 Responses to Play YouTube videos in Second Life – Video Tip of the Week #35

  1. pantaiputih korobase says:

    good morning torley and friendly greetings

  2. Elvis Orbit says:

    ohh Great tip Torely!!! Love it!

  3. Ann Otoole says:

    Awesome! till now I had no way to show what certain things that leverage windlight glow are really like unless I demo’d them in person. Static pictures just don’t tell the whole story.

    Many thanks!

  4. Pingback: Want to show YouTube videos in Second Life? : The Metaverse Journal - Australia’s Virtual World News Service

  5. Vidal Tripsa says:

    Fabulous stuff indeed! Thank you, Torley. Time to spread the YouTube archive footage love, methinks!

  6. XPhile Boucher says:

    Nice ALT-Avatar, Torley 🙂

  7. Friendly greetings to *you* and thanks! =)

    /me is a fan of showing in motion…

    I’m reading these precious comments (as I always do).

  8. Diag Anzac says:

    Great tip, Torley. I’m just trying to find some videos *other* than yours that work.

    Unfortunately, Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” comes through as text and crashes my viewer.

  9. Winter Ventura says:

    Thanks for the exposure of the “Default Media Texture” in the library.. is that the same texture as the new TEXTURE_DEFAULT in RC 1.20.8?

    Se Jira VWR-7315 for an initiative to rename that LSL constant to the more distinct and appropriate TEXTURE_MEDIA

  10. Shani says:

    Can you suggest a good (free) converter for .flv or .avi files that are already on my HD? I have some blender anims that I would like to try this out on.

    Oh that is..if I had a parcel. Which leads me to my next question- any good testing spots inworld open to homeless resis 😛

  11. Code Tracer says:

    Hi Torley, it is a good trick, howerver, when video stop playing after 5 minutes or so, so you need to go back to youtube and get new mp4 link and set it to your land every 5 minutes. I advice you another tool to watch youtube videos, called youtube viewer. it is at

    Tube Viewer (formerly known as YouTube Viewer) lets you watch YouTube,, Revver, Metacafe… etc videos in SL. And also new version let you subscribe youtube channel and play lists. (it will be released this weekend)

  12. Alyx Sands says:

    Friendly greetings Torley-Meister! You do realise that I, as a linguist and word-lover, delight in chasing down new specimens and that you, oh great Watermelinden, are a choice source of delightful words for my collection? “Simpleniceness”….. tasty! 😉

    (Besides, I loved that outtake where you mute your own alt….hilarious…THAT should be on a continuous loop in SL somewhere…)

  13. torridluna says:

    Hey, that’s great news^^

    I’ve been messing around with converting youtube videos on-the-fly on my server before, but now it’s really easy. Btw, the Python script “youtube-dl” ( is able to extract the download links directly via command line, and it already supports the fmt=-Parameter.

  14. Artemis Halpern says:

    Internet Explorer can’t seem to run the javascript. Is there any special thing I need to do? (I already used the Add To Favorites thing)

    It works fine in Firefox.

  15. Pyewacket Bellman says:

    Torley is my hero! You just solved another one. Thanks.

    We need Torley Orientation Island – click and learn – hint hint 🙂

  16. Django Yifu says:

    Torley oh Torley…what app do you use to get the wonderful yellow circle around your mouse cursor?

  17. Cocoanut Koala says:

    #16 – That is not a half-bad idea. A place in-world where people could go and click to watch any of these tutorials they wish.


  18. Vittorio Beerbaum says:

    Hallo Torley, i believe this won’t work with the new client since it doesn’t recognizes the streaming as video but as a web page. Also youTube seems to use the method 303 (page forwarding) that is not supported by the parcel media setting (neither by the internal browser engine) …im confused how it works for you?! :O

  19. Pingback: Torley shares a wishlist, and another awesome video tip « I’m Just an Avatar

  20. Brenda Maculate says:

    Thank you SO MUCH, Torley! This is an INCREDIBLE tip!

  21. Pierre says:

    @17 this is a build in feature of Camtasia Studio, the tool that Torley uses. For more info about that see this post:

    @19 I’m viewing a video in the 1.20 RC8 viewer (on Windows XP) using the method described in this post. So it does work in the latest version.

    Results may vary however. In particular the time before a video starts playing may be annoying. I did have that problem with some videos using the Code Tracer viewer. On the page posted above, there is a SLURL to a location where you can test it with any YouTube video you like:

    So I’m not sure it is something I really would recommend. Best probably is to use the MP4-link to download a relatively good copy, then convert that to a streaming quicktime version and still use a streaming server (or service) to provide them.

    Haven’t tested the claim that the links only work for 5 minutes yet. If that is the case then that would kind of make the suggested method useless.

  22. Pingback: Cómo ver videos de youtube Dentro de Second Life - El tip de la semana Tecnolives

  23. PS: A new version of FreeView with YouTube support (and soon more) is currently being worked on.

  24. Sumiko Yokosuka says:

    I have a suggestion for a tutorial:

    How not to use racist terms that degrade Asians! All over listings for events and during in world conversations, I see the words “oriental” and “jap” used. I don’t care where you’re from, those are highly offensive to the Asian community.

    So please stop it!

  25. menubar says:

    Any idea what’s up with YooToob the past couple days?

    It buffers worse than RealPlayer. I thought my IP was capping them, but seems other people are experiencing the same thing. It really puts a damper on watching any music videos. I haven’t seen any explanation for the slowness. Has anybody heard anything? Is this going to be a permanent thing for YooToob?

    And, to keep off-topic, what happened to our cool avatar icons here?

  26. Anna M says:

    @Code you also have the cheap Youtube Media manager by ghost menjou.
    Because 2000 is a bit pricy for a lot of people.altough you have to retype the url ,its a good alt for a 2K product.

  27. Hiroaki says:

    Ah, too bad I spent 1000L just today to buy the exact same thing you wrote here… 😦
    I was a bit too fast.

  28. Vittorio Beerbaum says:

    @19: the problem seems to be that with many videos the get_video php scripts forward you to a different IP, so the parcel media doesn’t recognize the “forwarding” and the video won’t start.
    You may look it pasting the link into your browser, for some videos it just let you download the link (eg: mp4) for many others the link of your web browser does change to a different destination.


    Get transformed into:

    I think this may depend by where the request come from.

  29. It works very well thanks for the information. Going to make my streaming video service almost reduntant but thanks, this makes the whole process of video in SL much easier for everybody.

  30. domineaux prospero says:

    this is very cool and very fun:)) Thank you Torley:)

  31. Nadine Neddings says:

    Thanks for the tip, as always Torley!

    Since people are plugging products, I have to let everyone in on an even better alternative:

    Squee (the creator of the Tube-O-Rama) has gone through a lot of work to create a truly advanced YouTube importer.

    Version 3 is to include playlists, and sharing of said playlists–so, basically, users can create their own “channels” and share them with others. I’m personally looking forward to putting my favorite music videos into a channel and letting others enjoy them.

    The business applications would be limitless though: this lowers the bar for common light-technical users to be able to create what amounts to their own TV station in SL, and distribute to other Tube-O-Rama users.

    How cool is that?!

    All of these advances make SL more and more immersive and attractive to the mainstream public.

    Awesome to see such innovation!


  32. Pingback: How to convert YouTube videos for playing in Second Life | Torley Lives

  33. Tao Takashi says:

    This definitely is good news but what even would be more good news to have Flash in Second Life so I would finally be able to stream more stuff into Second Life via and others.

  34. Deep appreciation for the useful comments thus far, including those wherein you help each other! I need to share:

    Thanks to the creators and supporters who named specific devices which aid with YouTube (and other media playing). Hopefully such means will become more prolific and widely-used, it’s good for our entertainment + education.

    Code Tracer has an observation which relates to YouTube’s currently flakeyness with playing links; I haven’t confirmed the “5 minutes” thing but have seen cases in which the same link worked for several days, and then ceased working (I had to swap out the example link in my original post because of that!). ALAS. I wish there simply were standard MP4 fixed links that worked reliably — but me putting this out there is also an invite to spread the knowledge and improve upon it.

  35. Von Johin says:

    The links go dead, unfortunately, so this doesn’t really work.

  36. Wyald Woolley says:

    “…you can easily search for a vid, grab the correct link (e.g., try right-clicking and copying this link), and paste it inworld just a few seconds later.”

    For those with a more advanced computer system, in place of “right click” you do a “control” click, or with newer touch pads, touch the touch pad with TWO fingers and do a “click.”

  37. Von Johin says:

    I was so excited about this I went around an island I own making screens for lots of things, and today none of them work, just blue screen. 😦

  38. OK — I had a chance to check with several videos, and alas, as Von Johin mentions (thanks!), the MP4 download links appear to be dynamic and change periodically, which is an inconvenience if you want to “set it and forget it”. As alluded to earlier, there are scripted devices that’ll help fetch a fresh URL if you want to look into those.

    @Wyald Woolley: Power-user shortcuts! Good stuff.

    I’m also going to ask YouTube about this, but their support hasn’t been responsive previously, so wish me luck.

    This is a likely thread that’ll be revisited in the future… stay tuned…

  39. Vittorio Beerbaum says:

    Torley i would like to donate a free script (open code) to extract the youtube link from the page… it would be a simple parser, if you are interested msg me inworld.

    While on the other hand, as i already mentioned, the link won’t work for any user… it’s based on where you live, it seems that some europeans get transferred on a different IP after the requeste, this confuses the parcel media “browser” (it won’t handle the forwarding).

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  42. Normal Rayna says:

    I’d be interested in knowing how this could be used with YouTube’s Streams.

  43. Zen Zeddmore says:

    HOLEY MOLEY!!! who knew? Default media texture, wow. For A while here I’ve been fuming that I can only watch media on my HUD on my own parcel (because llGetMediaTexture only works if you own the land).

    If people are mostly NOT changing the texture to use then if I change my Hud’s texture to the default media texture I should be able to reap the benifit of “picture in window” so I don’t have to constantly choose between good framing of the media pane and other things inworld that also interest me.

  44. Is this not a violation of point 4C of their Terms of Use to do this?

    C. You agree not to access User Submissions (defined below) or YouTube Content through any technology or means other than the video playback pages of the Website itself, the YouTube Embeddable Player, or other explicitly authorized means YouTube may designate.

    If Linden Lab now encourages the violation of YouTube’s Terms of Use, are we allowed to violate Second Life’s Terms of Service?

  45. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Stream YouTube Videos as MP4 Files in Second Life

  46. Tater Todd says:

    Katherine I was thinking the same thing… We need some clarification on this

  47. Holocluck Henley says:

    Torley, re your comment #39: What have format you been using for your vidtuts on your property? They all seemed to work when I visited – er, crashed a couple weeks ago. It’s not like you were hopping around updating anything while I was checking things out. btw hope you dont mind I tried the piano.

  48. Netsuko Yoshikawa says:

    Hey Torley!

    I have been a great follower of your tutorials. thanks for sharing all this useful information with us.

    Here’s one more thing for all you guys who are going to create their own media screen in SL: Don’t forget to change your media Texture to “Fullbright”. There’s a little box in the texture tab. That way, the videos are displayed much brighter (at maximum brightness actually) and aren’t affected by any in-world lightning, or, non lightning in the cause of nightfall 🙂

  49. Netsuko Yoshikawa says:

    gah.. ok forget that.. i just noticed you also added that… *facepalms* -_-

  50. donnydon dollinger says:

    hello torley thnx i learnt alot from your toturials now i wanna ask i doing that you tube mp4 second life butt iam the only one who can see it?? i tryed every thing!! but nobody can see it only me?? greeting donnydon dollinger creator of EVIL MET@L!!!!

  51. Ziggy Moonflower says:

    We found out that only every 5th of the youtube mp4s is regognized as the correct filetype, all other dont work. And the rest 20% can only be viewed by the mac clint and not windows. Thats our first experience with that. Ziggy

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  53. Abbey Underall says:

    This ability to stream youtube clips in SL is pretty useless, since the links change every cpl of hours and you can’t make it permanent – as Torley also mentions in comment #39 above.
    I was wondering, however, if it is possible to do the same if you download the youtube clip and upload it somewhere else – like MySpace or a personal website for example – and stream from there?

  54. @Abbey, you could try Veodia (, they’re very Second Life-friendly.

    As for the links “changing every couple of hours”, well, there are tricks to deal with that, of course… but they require some programming magic outside of LSL’s limited capabilities 😉

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