Downloading one-off videos via yt-dlp is pretty straightforward:

yt-dlp -o "tiktok-videos/tiktok@%(uploader)s:%(id)s:%(title).100B.%(ext)s"

which outputs:

[TikTok] Extracting URL:
[TikTok] 6979637268126420230: Downloading video feed
[info] 6979637268126420230: Downloading 1 format(s): bytevc1_720p_1495094-2
[download] Destination: tiktok-videos/tiktok@june_banoon:6979637268126420230:He lives down the road and we call him Mashed Potatoes #fyp #TakisTransformation #cat #catsoftiktok.mp4
[download] 100% of    2.50MiB in 00:00:00 at 8.19MiB/s

However, if you want to download all of your favorited videos, you’ll have to do a lot of clicking around the UI to get all of the urls.

Turns out you can get a GDPR download of all your data which includes your favorited videos, liked videos, DMs, comments, etc. but it takes a few days to process so instead we can scrape the data!

(Also I wasn’t aware this was a thing until after I got everything working D;)

The Solution

After Copying as cURL and copious amounts of data munging, I arrived at tiktoker which can:

  1. download your favorites metadata
  2. generate a list of video urls for yt-dlp
  3. download tiktok slide show images

It also saves the metadata to sqlite for further perusing and added robustness (an export can be paused part way through and resumed).


It works well so far, but there are a couple caveats:

Prior Art

And after getting it all working, I found there was existing prior art in this space: