Working with high quality YouTube videos

[Kottke] posted advice for watching and sharing high quality YouTube videos. While it’s not HD quality, it’s much, much better than the normal, fuzzy quality you get on most videos. This hack has been available for some time, but it hasn’t been documented very well until now. When you’re logged in, you can just set the default to “Always play higher-quality video when it’s available”. When you’re linking to a video, add &fmt=18 to the YouTube URL. This also works when you’re embedding the link in WordPress. If you’re not in WordPress, then tack &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 onto each URL in the embeddable code. It’s pretty simple, and makes wasting your day at work much more enjoyable.


  1. Scott says:

    Silly robot, there is no gravity in space.

  2. Novolo says:

    the video is no longer available……

  3. Edward Nardella says:

    I love that video.

  4. BigD145 says:

    novolo, I get that all the time.

  5. Taylor says:

    Video was replaced, lol.

  6. TheBlunderbuss says:

    Did you notice all the graphical artifacts on that “high quality” video?

  7. Duane says:

    You also get stereo audio… which if the video in question is musical in nature, makes it sound much better.

  8. Duane says:

    I had to use


    in my embed.

  9. blizzarddemon says:

    Wow the link also talk about the fmt=22 or 780p thats available now as well. That’s a hell of an upgrade.

  10. Wwhat says:

    Wow that highest quality sample in his update comment that the youtube engineer gave him the link to in an email sure has a prat in it eh, it’s a pity since it prevent me from sharing the link with acquaintances and friends.

  11. Wwhat says:

    Oh I wanted to add: I’d rather have a way to make the damn vids stereo myself rather than this old stuff, stereo sound on youtube is super rare, and so needed, even music clips sony puts up are mono, it’s a tragic assault on the senses, and shows how sony feels about music..
    And another addendum: there are plugins for firefox to force HQ play too, even when you aren’t logged into youtube so your settings aren’t active.

  12. wwhat2 says:


  13. Zibri says:

    Stupid hacks in this case.
    Youtube must upgrade.
    Till then I’ll stick with vimeo ;)

  14. fragged says:

    Great for those of us who are still on limited connections (512kbps here) and still cant handle the (384kbps) standard video that YouTube puts out without juttering, and grinding browsers to a halt!

    Cant wait for these to be embedded on peoples webpages and saturate my connection!

  15. J says:

    i always get this “we’re sorry the video is no longer available message” w/ the hq videos ..
    does this happen to others?

  16. gallery says:

    Yep i have the same error. I think its over. Thats bad…

  17. Glad we all get HQ now.

  18. Your blog is very interresting for me, i will come back here..

  19. Tony K says:

    Related to this, if you want to get a hold of the videos to watch on your desktop in HD, use .

    I put the site together out of the need to watch on my desktop or to listen to while at work, and people seem to like it. I kept it simple, uncluttered, and very functional as it hits almost every format video/audio.


  20. Anya says:

    i am so addicted to Youtube. I watch mostly music videos and funny videos on Youtube sometimes i also upload my own funny videos in youtube. `

  21. Youtube is one of the best Web 2.0 service on the internet today. I really love watching music videos and funny video clips on Youtube.

  22. Kim Schulz says:

    Super zu lesen, dankeschŲn!

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