YouTube hack lets you store data in videos for unlimited cloud storage

It probably violates the YouTube TOS agreement, but storing data in video files is possible and you can keep them all on YouTube for easy access.

YouTube hack lets you store data in videos for unlimited cloud storage
1 minute & 27 seconds read time

We're now well and truly in the age of cloud storage for backing up files and having readily available access to things like photos and important documents. With that, several gigabytes of cloud data are becoming the norm for most PC users. Microsoft's OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive are big players in this space, though access to cloud storage comes at a price.

Data stored in a YouTube video

But what if you could upload unlimited amounts of compressed and encrypted data and have it accessible on... YouTube? That's precisely what DvorakDwarf has managed to create as part of a "party trick" project called 'Infinite Storage Glitch' (via GitHub) which stores data in video files that can be uploaded to YouTube. An example can be seen above.

Naturally, it's a lot more complicated than that, as the current tool features code written in Rust, which converts data into pixels which are then represented as video. Originally it was going to use the full RGB spectrum, but due to YouTube compression, a binary mode (chunky black and white pixels representing ones and zeroes) was added for more reliable results. Plus, it's limited to Linux.

The video files end up being larger than the original files. Still, as YouTube channels are these unlimited repositories for all users, it is a form of unlimited cloud storage. Especially when you can download uploaded videos to extract the data, this raises the question of whether or not this violates YouTube's TOS. The answer is probably yes, which is why this project is described as more of a party trick than a viable cloud storage solution. "Treat this less like the next Dropbox and more like a party trick," writes DvorakDwarf.

The videos are a mess of pixels, so it wouldn't be hard for YouTube to flag and remove them without warning. As far as hacks go, this one is very cool. It combines the concept of storing data in video files with YouTube.

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Kosta might be a relatively new member of TweakTown, but he’s a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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