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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?

  7. very interesting blog.This will help lot of user to update their knowledge.Thanks for sharing.

    White Label Website Builder

  8. Thanks for your sharing. Hope you can contribute more quality posts to this page. Thank you!
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  9. It's cool that you report such things. Melinda

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