I remember that I started using it for traveling as a student. Trains weren’t providing a wifi connection and 3G in trains isn’t working well. With this tool, I could download conference talks and watch them in the train without problems. So many hours with interesting content!
For a good while I had very poor internet, but I liked watching YouTube. Instead of hogging up the bandwidth, I wrote a script to download latest videos via RSS and youtube-dl overnight.
Every morning I’d have a load of videos sitting waiting for me!
I probably still use this program 3-4 times a week (in conjunction with mpv to ‘stream’ the video), it’s brilliant.
For a couple years around 2012 or so my laptop broke and I couldn’t afford a new one. I used mpv with the youtube-dl backend to watch videos on my XP-era compaq laptop running Linux. The combination of Linux and mpv/youtube-dl really breathes life back into old hardware which would just be electronic junk otherwise. I am very thankful for this tool!
Just throwing in yet another legitimate use of this tool: the other day I wanted to Chromecast a video I found linked from Twitter. There was just no way to Chromecast it from Twitter on my phone. I couldn’t download it easily, etc.
So I went to my computer, youtube-dl’d it to my desktop, which automatically synced to my phone via icloud, then I was easily able to cast it using VLC on my phone.