#video #streaming #dash #mpeg #download

app dash-mpd-cli

Download content from a DASH-MPEG or DASH-WebM MPD manifest

10 releases

0.1.9 Mar 19, 2023
0.1.6 Nov 27, 2022
0.1.3 Jul 2, 2022
0.1.1 Mar 19, 2022

#37 in Video

Download history 17/week @ 2022-12-04 15/week @ 2022-12-11 21/week @ 2022-12-18 10/week @ 2022-12-25 15/week @ 2023-01-01 15/week @ 2023-01-08 27/week @ 2023-01-15 6/week @ 2023-01-22 45/week @ 2023-01-29 14/week @ 2023-02-05 17/week @ 2023-02-12 21/week @ 2023-02-19 22/week @ 2023-02-26 10/week @ 2023-03-05 6/week @ 2023-03-12 32/week @ 2023-03-19

70 downloads per month

MIT license

290 lines


A commandline application for downloading media content from a DASH MPD file, as used for on-demand replay of TV content and video streaming services like YouTube.

Crates.io Released API docs CI Dependency status LICENSE

Terminal capture

DASH (dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP), also called MPEG-DASH, is a technology used for media streaming over the web, commonly used for video on demand (VOD) services. The Media Presentation Description (MPD) is a description of the resources (manifest or “playlist”) forming a streaming service, that a DASH client uses to determine which assets to request in order to perform adaptive streaming of the content. DASH MPD manifests can be used with content encoded in different formats and containers, including H264/MP4, HEVC/MP4 and VP9/WebM. There is a good explanation of adaptive bitrate video streaming at howvideo.works.

This commandline application allows you to download content (audio or video) described by an MPD manifest. This involves selecting the alternative with the most appropriate encoding (in terms of bitrate, codec, etc.), fetching segments of the content using HTTP or HTTPS requests and muxing audio and video segments together. There is also some preliminary support for downloading subtitles (mostly WebVTT, TTML and SMIL formats, with some support for wvtt format).

This application builds on the dash-mpd crate.


Binary releases are available on GitHub for GNU/Linux on AMD64 (statically linked against musl libc to avoid glibc versioning problems), Microsoft Windows on AMD64 and MacOS on AMD64. These are built automatically on the GitHub continuous integration infrastructure.

You can also build from source using an installed Rust development environment:

cargo install dash-mpd-cli

You should also install the following dependencies:

  • the mkvmerge commandline utility from the MkvToolnix suite, if you download to the Matroska container format (.mkv filename extension). mkvmerge is used as a subprocess for muxing (combining) audio and video streams. See the --mkvmerge-location commandline argument if it's not installed in a standard location.

  • ffmpeg or vlc to download to the MP4 container format, also for muxing audio and video streams (see the --ffmpeg-location and --vlc-location commandline arguments if these are installed in non-standard locations).

  • the MP4Box commandline utility from the GPAC project, if you want to test the preliminary support for retrieving subtitles in wvtt format. If it's installed, MP4Box will be used to convert the wvtt stream to more widely recognized SRT format.

This crate is tested on the following platforms:

  • Linux on AMD64 (x86-64) and Aarch64 architectures

  • MacOS on AMD64 and Aarch64 architectures

  • Microsoft Windows 10 on AMD64

  • Android 12 on Aarch64 via termux (you'll need to install the rust, binutils and ffmpeg packages)

  • OpenBSD on AMD64 (occasionally)


Download content from an MPEG-DASH streaming media manifest

Usage: dash-mpd-cli [OPTIONS] <MPD-URL>

  <MPD-URL>  URL of the DASH manifest to retrieve

      --user-agent <user-agent>
      --proxy <URL>
          URL of Socks or HTTP proxy (eg. https://example.net/ or socks5://example.net/)
      --timeout <SECONDS>
          Timeout for network requests (from the start to the end of the request), in seconds
      --sleep-requests <SECONDS>
          Number of seconds to sleep between network requests (default 0)
      --source-address <source-address>
          Source IP address to use for network requests, either IPv4 or IPv6. Network requests will be made using the version of this IP address (eg. using an IPv6 source-address will select IPv6 network traffic).
      --quality <quality>
          Prefer best quality (and highest bandwidth) representation, or lowest quality [possible values: best, worst]
      --prefer-language <LANG>
          Preferred language when multiple audio streams with different languages are available. Must be in RFC 5646 format (eg. fr or en-AU). If a preference is not specified and multiple audio streams are present, the first one listed in the DASH manifest will be downloaded.
          If the media stream has separate audio and video streams, only download the video stream
          If the media stream has separate audio and video streams, only download the audio stream
          Write subtitle file, if subtitles are available
          Don't delete the file containing video once muxing is complete.
          Don't delete the file containing audio once muxing is complete.
          Don't check the content-type of media fragments (may be required for some poorly configured servers)
      --add-header <NAME:VALUE>
          Add a custom HTTP header and its value, separated by a colon ':'. You can use this option multiple times.
  -q, --quiet
  -v, --verbose...
          Level of verbosity (can be used several times)
          Disable the progress bar
          Don't record metainformation as extended attributes in the output file
      --ffmpeg-location <PATH>
          Path to the ffmpeg binary (necessary if not located in your PATH)
      --vlc-location <PATH>
          Path to the VLC binary (necessary if not located in your PATH)
      --mkvmerge-location <PATH>
          Path to the mkvmerge binary (necessary if not located in your PATH)
  -o, --output <PATH>
          Save media content to this file
  -h, --help
          Print help
  -V, --version
          Print version

If your filesystem supports extended attributes, the application will save the following metainformation in the output file:

  • user.xdg.origin.url: the URL of the MPD manifest
  • user.dublincore.title: the title, if specified in the manifest metainformation
  • user.dublincore.source: the source, if specified in the manifest metainformation
  • user.dublincore.rights: copyright information, if specified in the manifest metainformation

You can examine these attributes using xattr -l (you may need to install your distribution's xattr package). Disable this feature using the --no-xattr commandline argument.


The underlying library dash-mpd-rs has two methods for muxing audio and video streams together. If the library feature libav is enabled (which is not the default configuration), muxing support is provided by ffmpeg’s libav library, via the ac_ffmpeg crate. Otherwise, muxing is implemented by calling an external muxer, mkvmerge (from the MkvToolnix suite), ffmpeg or vlc as a subprocess. Note that these commandline applications implement a number of checks and workarounds to fix invalid input streams that tend to exist in the wild. Some of these workarounds are implemented here when using libav as a library, but not all of them, so download support tends to be more robust with the default configuration (using an external application as a subprocess). The libav feature currently only works on Linux.

The choice of external muxer depends on the filename extension of the path supplied to --output or -o (which will be ".mp4" if you don't specify the output path explicitly):

  • .mkv: call mkvmerge first, then if that fails call ffmpeg
  • .mp4: call ffmpeg first, then if that fails call vlc
  • other: try ffmpeg, which supports many container formats

DASH features supported

  • VOD (static) stream manifests
  • Multi-period content
  • XLink elements (only with actuate=onLoad semantics), including resolve-to-zero
  • All forms of segment index info: SegmentBase@indexRange, SegmentTimeline, SegmentTemplate@duration, SegmentTemplate@index, SegmentList
  • Media containers of types supported by mkvmerge, ffmpeg or VLC (this includes ISO-BMFF / CMAF / MP4, WebM, MPEG-2 TS)
  • Subtitles: preliminary download support for WebVTT, TTML and SMIL streams, as well as some support for the wvtt format.

Limitations / unsupported features

  • Can't download from dynamic MPD manifests, that are used for live streaming/OTT TV
  • Encrypted content using DRM such as Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) and Media Source Extension (MSE)
  • XLink with actuate=onRequest


This project is licensed under the MIT license. For more information, see the LICENSE-MIT file.

Similar tools

Similar commandline tools that are able to download content from a DASH manifest:

  • yt-dlp <MPD-URL>

  • streamlink -o /tmp/output.mp4 <MPD-URL> worst

  • ffmpeg -i <MPD-URL> -vcodec copy /tmp/output.mp4

  • vlc <MPD-URL>

  • gst-launch-1.0 playbin uri=<MPD-URL>

This application is able to download content from certain streams that do not work with other applications (for example xHE-AAC streams which are currently unsupported by ffmpeg, streamlink, VLC, gstreamer).


$ git clone https://github.com/emarsden/dash-mpd-cli
$ cd dash-mpd-cli
$ cargo build --release
$ target/release/dash-mpd-cli --help

The application can also be built statically with the musl-libc target on Linux. First install the MUSL C standard library on your system. Add linux-musl as a target to your Rust toolchain, then rebuild for the relevant target:

$ sudo apt install musl-dev
$ rustup target add x86_64-unknown-linux-musl
$ cargo build --release --target x86_64-unknown-linux-musl

Static musl-libc builds don’t work with OpenSSL, which is why we disable default features on the dash-mpd crate and build it with rustls-tls support.


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