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Get Youtube Video Thumbnail and Other Information with PHP and Youtube API

YouTube api version 2 provides all necessary information about videos on YouTube. If you want to create a video gallery or want to embed YouTube videos on your website then it can give you extra power.

In this post I am going to show you how to get YouTube videos information like video title, description, thumbnail and other information with YouTube JSON api and php.

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Youtube API Function

youtube function receives YouTube video url as parameter. It automatically extracts video id from url and sends request to YouTube api server through curl.

 * Youtube
 * @version YouTube API V2
 * @param str youtube video url
 * @return object || void
 * @copyright
function youtube($url)
  # get video id from url
  $urlQ = parse_url( $url, PHP_URL_QUERY );
  parse_str( $urlQ, $query );

  # YouTube api v2 url
  $apiURL = ''. $query['v'] .'?v=2&alt=jsonc';

  # curl options
  $options = array(
    CURLOPT_URL  => $apiURL,

  # connect api server through cURL
  $ch = curl_init();
  curl_setopt_array($ch, $options);
  # execute cURL
  $json = curl_exec($ch) or die( curl_error($ch) );
  # close cURL connect

  # decode json encoded data
  if ($data = json_decode($json))
    return (object) $data->data;


youtube function returns all information as object.

# call youtube api function
$youtube = youtube('');
# title
# duration in seconds
#video description
# thumbnail url High Quality
# thumbnail url Small Quality
# video rating out of five
# total likes
# video category
# total view
# time upload time


  1. thx man , i will use it

  2. i m getting Plain youtube video description..from $youtube->description;
    how to get description same like in youtube?

  3. How to get other websites videos thumbnail images?

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. Live demo is not working, Can you please check?

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