Managing YouTube Subscriptions

How do you manage your YouTube subscriptions?

Unless I’m missing something, it seems there is no good way to natively manage them. For example, subscriptions cannot be placed in folders, tagged, or even sorted.

To partially mitigate these shortcomings, under my YouTube account, I’ve created several channels, one for each of my major topics of interest (i.e., Tech, News, etc.).

Although it simple to switch channels on the YouTube mobile app, it’s tedious to switch channels using a computer browser with the method designed by Google. Alternatively, I’ve found a way to switch channels quickly using a properly constructed URL. Although it takes a few minutes to create each URL, it’s well-worth the effort. Here are the steps.

Each YouTube channel has a pageid. This 21-digit integer can be found as follows:

  1. Using Safari navigate to your main YouTube page.
  2. Click account icon in the upper-right, select Switch Account, the select the desired account channel.
  3. The home page for the channel will be displayed. After it fully renders, select Develop > Show Page Source.
  4. In the page source search for the following text: “DELEGATED_SESSION_ID”:
  5. A 21-digit integer will follow the found string. In the URL below, replace XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX with the 21-digit integer.

You can repeat this process for each YouTube channel and save these URL’s to a bookmark folder.

Switching Channels Using Keyboard Shortcuts

As a user of Keyboard Maestro, I’ve created a macro for each channel. Each macro is triggered using using Shft+Cntrl+Opt+Cmd+Y (otherwise known as Hyper+Y) so that a Keyboard Maestro Conflict Palette is rendered when pressing Hyper+Y.


I like your method.

These aren’t technically subscriptions, but I just throw channels into RSS and save individual videos in my reading list from there. Paging through unread items (new videos) using keyboard navigation is fast, and on mobile doesn’t take much scrolling or tapping. Most RSS services autodetect the YouTube RSS format, but you can manually search source of any channel for channelid and then use it in this format to get the feed, e.g. for CNN.

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@cornchip, I do that two for a few of my favorite sites.