Custom term YouTube RSS feed trick

This post will show you how to subscribe to Youtube (YT) channels without having a YT account. You will also be able to subscribe only to videos that match a keyword. For example, say you like “AVGN” videos but don’t care too much for the rest of the stuff on Cinemassacre.

You’ll need an account at IFTTT (If this then that).

Background: YT/Google in their infinite wisdom, decided in 2014 to shut down their RSS feeds. Who needs functionality right? Instead, each channel is its own RSS feed but it isn’t valid.

Step 1 – Get the URL for the channel you want to subscribe to

For cinemassacre aka JamesNintendoNerd this would be https://www.youtube.com/user/JamesNintendoNerd

Step 2 – Get RSS feed URL

We need to make this into a valid feed URL. So head over to a feed validator, in this example we’ll use W3 Schools. So put the URL through the validator and it’ll say the feed isn’t valid, but it’ll spit out an xml URL (an actual RSS feed). Save this for later. In our example, it is https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC0M0rxSz3IF0CsSour1iWmw

The XML feed URL
The XML feed URL

 

Another method is to place the external channel ID at the end of this URL:  http://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=REPLACE_WITH_CHANNEL_ID

Step 3 – Create applet on IFTTT

The UI for this site is not user friendly.

  • Click on ‘My Applets’ then ‘New applet’.
  • Next, click on the blue “+this”.
  • Select RSS feed
  • If you merely want a notification for each new upload regardless
    of video content, select “New Feed Item”.
  • If you want to match a keyword, select “New feed item matches
  • Put in the feed URL from the validator, optional insert keyword.
  • Create Trigger.
  • Now click on the blue “+that”
  • You can choose anything you want for this option. It’s your preference how you want to be notified. We’ll choose email.
  • Select “Send me an Email”.
  • Optional “Complete action fields”. Don’t mess with it too much or it won’t work, the standard boiler plate is often sufficient.
  • Create action.
  • Finish.

Step 4 – Revel in mastery
Congratulations. You are now an RSS expert.

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