API Overview Guide
The YouTube APIs and Tools let you bring the YouTube experience to your webpage, application, or device. The Data API
lets you perform most of the operations a normal YouTube user can on the YouTube website. The Player APIs
, which already contains player controls, or the chromeless player
, which lets you create your own player controls.
First, you should decide which of our APIs and tools best suits your needs. Start with the embedded player
. The table below attempts to describe the experience level of a developer for each option:
Note: To allow room for critical player functionality, players must be at least 200px by 200px.The following sections discuss each option and their uses:
The embedded player is the simplest way to place a YouTube video on a webpage. To customize the behavior and color of the player, you can use the documented Player Parameters
. The code to display this player can be quickly generated from a program, making it possible to find a video using the Data API
and then display it using the embedded player.
The Data API allows a program to perform many of the operations available on the YouTube website. It is possible to search for videos, retrieve standard feeds, and see related content. A program can also authenticate as a user to upload videos, modify user playlists, and more.
The Data API is primarily for developers who are used to programming in server-side languages. It is useful for sites or applications that wish to have a deeper integration with YouTube. This integration could be a web application allowing users to upload video to YouTube. It could also be a device or desktop application that brings the YouTube experience to a new platform. The Data API gives you programmatic access to the video and user information stored on YouTube. With this, you can personalize your site or application with the user's existing information as well as perform actions on their behalf (like commenting on and rating videos.)
If you are curious about how the Data API works at the basic level using XML and HTTP, you can read the Protocol Guide
. This guide details the requests and responses that the YouTube API servers expect and return. To learn more about the structure of these requests and responses, read the Reference Guide
. This guide defines the API's feed types, HTTP request parameters, HTTP response codes, and XML elements. You may also want to read about the Google Data Protocol
and the Atom Publishing Protocol
, which are the standards upon which the Data API is built.
To make working with the API easier, we have a number of client libraries that abstract the API into a language-specific object model. These client libraries are open source and can be used and modified under the Apache License 2.0. There are Developer's Guides for Java, .NET, PHP, and Python as well as sample code.