Update: this article is about the chrome extension myfaveTT. When I wrote it, it could only download your Likes, but now it can also download all videos from people you follow, so if you want to archive videos of a particular user, you just need to follow that user.
So I came across something very interesting today - a programmer posted on the
/r/DataHoarder subreddit, said he created a chrome extension to export all the items he has marked Like from tiktok to his hard drive, quote:
…I realized my “Likes” collection (mostly hot girls) are shrinking every day, because people often delete their own videos for unknown reasons, and sometimes they even close their entire account…
Ok, let’s first get the “hot girls” part out of the way - I won’t tell you whether I share his passion, but the point is, normally, people have different brains and like different things: you may hate what others like and like what others hate, but tiktok is an exception - you can’t hate tiktok, because everyone’s tiktok is different, the algorithm knows you well, and only gives you what you like. Saying you hate tiktok is equal to saying you hate your own taste.
Anyway, apparently he likes hot girls, and his tiktok is filled with hot girls who “often delete their own videos for unknown reasons”, so what?
Well, you’d have to understand the subreddit
/r/DataHoarder - it’s a disease (as they call it themselves) where you’re obsessed with owning a local copy of your favorite things on the internet, because you fear they may disappear some day (and they do, very frequently).
In any case, I went and checked out his chrome extension, and I was blown away - he was doing some magic that I’ve never seen before, or I should say I’ve never seen any other chrome extensions capable of doing similar things.
So here’s his work: the tiktok downloader named myfaveTT, which just released yesterday but I suspect will get famous in the future.
First you add it to chrome:
Then you open tiktok.com, and the extension will add a sidebar to the site (notice how the sidebar calls itself “myfaveTT”:
In case you didn’t know, tiktok.com is the web version of the phone app - after signing in you can use it the same way. You can sign in in many ways, but I recommend scanning QR code with your phone app, this way you don’t need to recall which email or phone numbers you signed up with.
After signing in, simply follow the instructions in the sidebar, specify a target folder, and start exporting:
Remember I said this extension was doing magic? Here comes the first magical part: it’s downloading hundreds of files one by one, without needing your interaction. Maybe you haven’t realized what’s so special about it so here’s a hint: it’s obviously not using the default conventional download method, because it’s not triggering the drawer thing at the bottom of chrome. With the drawer thing you can only download one file at a time, each time an animation of a new item would appear in the drawer. Usually you trigger a download by clicking something, and each click typically triggers only one file to be downloaded - you can’t click once and download two files, let alone hundreds.
The second magical part lies in the target folder. The sidebar tells me that “to see the results, double click
Archive.html in the target folder”. Wait what? I thought I was downloading mp4 files? Yes, but that’s not all. Opening the target folder reveals an
Archive.html and a
data folder. Digging into the
data folder I indeed found all the mp4 files (located in
data\Likes\videos ), but when I double clicked the
Archive.html I got a full-blown local gallery with a ton of features.
The screenshot doesn’t do it justice, you’ll have to try it yourself to experience all the features. It’s a very powerful offline gallery containing all the info about what you’ve downloaded, all the videos with metadata like caption, thumbnail, post date, like-count, author details, etc. It also has different sorting options, a search box, keyboard shortcuts, etc - basically all the powerful features you can expect from a video gallery, and of course you can play the videos too. The most magical thing about the local gallery is it’s not an executable software, it’s just a single html file that you can open in browser, but it doesn’t need internet and doesn’t need localhost.
What’s more impressive is that during the time when your videos are being downloaded, you can already open the gallery, and view the videos you have so far, meanwhile the videos keep flowing in, and you can see them appear by reloading the page. It’s a true engineering feat.
If you have thousands of videos to download, another part that’s engineered very well is you can pause and resume if you need to, you can also pause, close the site, reopen it later, and resume. If you finished downloading all your Liked videos, but later added more Likes, you can re-run the downloader to pickup your new additions. In other words, whenever you run the downloader, it’ll skip the videos you already downloaded, and download the videos you haven’t downloaded.
The developer also said on reddit that he is working on adding support for downloading all videos from your followed accounts. I’m really looking forward to it.
This new feature requires an additional extension myfaveTT supplement to be installed, but it works out very well too. You’ll see instructions about it in the main extension - the supplement is only 1kb, apparently it’s for working around some permission restrictions.