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OSINT Tool Review

Analysing YouTube video, playlist and channel metadata


Analysing YouTube video, playlist and channel metadata Analysing YouTube video, playlist and channel metadata https://github.com/mattwright324/youtube-metadata

At OS2INT, we only focus on providing insight on the most effective tools that can be used for Digital Investigations, YouTube Metadata certainly exceeds our expectations and is most certainly in a league of its own. The developer behind YouTube Metadata is the same person who provided us with YouTube Comment Suite; however, YouTube Metadata is a very neat and user friendly Ruby-based user interface. For OSINT’ers or Digital Investigators who haven’t entered the world of Ruby, now is your chance to do so!

YouTube Metadata does exactly what name suggests, it provides Digital Investigators with a wealth of information regarding YouTube videos, playlists and channels. Citing the tool’s GitHub repository, the developer of YouTube Metadata explains that the tool can be used to:

  1. Extract front-end facing information concerning a video, playlist or channel such as,
    • How long has the channel or playlist been around?
    • What’s the like/dislike ratio?
    • What can YouTube tell you?
  2. Provide an array OSINT-rich functionalities including,
    • Tells you what it found and what it didn’t find.
    • Exact date and times for video publish and playlist/channel creation
    • Auto-translations for BCP-47 country and language codes
    • Livestream date and times; actual runtime and how late/early it started
    • Geolocation with direct link to Google Maps
    • Time difference between actual publish date and video recording date
    • Reverse image search for a video’s default 4 thumbnails
    • Whether the video is aimed at children or not
    • Channel long uploads status
    • Tags present on a video
  3. Helpful suggestions as to why video links do not work
    • Google search for the id
    • Archive.org for the link
    • YouTubeRecover.com for the video id
    • SocialBlade.com for the channel username
  4. Extract video metadata in bulk from a list of videos, playlists, or channels
    • Viewable in a searchable sortable table
    • Export table and raw data in a zip
    • Import a previous export to view in the app again

As I have already pointed out, this is a Ruby-based tool. Which requires some basic knowledge of installing Ruby and its associated developer tools on your local machine. From here, you can run Ruby through Command Prompt, navigate to the repository folder on your local machine and use bundle install to install the user interface, then run it and view it via http://localhost:4000. As the image above shows, the user interface is very well constructed and provides us with the information concerning our target in a very clean format. It should be added that users should apply for a YouTube develop account in order to obtain an API. Whilst the tool comes pre-compiled with the developer’s own API key, it is highly recommended that users should apply for their own API before using it beyond local development purposes.

All-in-all, YouTube Metadata is a highly effective tool that comes highly recommended. It’s flawless design and it’s output capabilities make it a highly effective tool for Digital Investigators and OSINT’ers – a must-have for any OSINT toolbox!


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