Watch YouTube Without Using YouTube

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Stop gifting your personal data to Google without needing to!

@yogthos
99M

Highly recommend https://invidio.us/

@onlooker
79M

I’ve been watching youtube this way for about 18 months now and it’s really nice. No ads, invidious seems to load faster for me than youtube and you can download the video or just the audio without having to use a plugin for your web browser. And as far as I can tell, age restricted videos are not blocked!

There is a catch, however. Every so often, invidious WILL break. This is no fault of the project itself, but whenever Youtube changes something in their API, Invidious has to play catch-up. The devs are usually very quick to remedy this, though. Another thing to note is that some videos will just outright not play, at least for me, regardless of the invidious instance being used. An example would be any music video on a VEVO channel. youtube-dl, on the other hand, will still happily download them. No idea why this is.

That said, I’m still willing to put up with all of the above and keep using invidious, because it really is a wonderful service, rather than use youtube. Random breakages and unavailable videos notwithstanding, it’s still a far better experience than Youtube’s own.

Ephera
39M

Every so often, invidious WILL break. This is no fault of the project itself, but whenever Youtube changes something in their API, Invidious has to play catch-up.

Hmm, the explanation that I’ve heard for this, was that every so often, Google will block their IP address, because that much traffic from a single IP looks like a bot or crawler to them. And I have had luck in the past by temporarily using a different Invidious instance, but of course, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be both.

Another thing to note is that some videos will just outright not play, at least for me, regardless of the invidious instance being used.

I’ve had luck with changing resolution. The default setting for Invidious, 720p, seems to often be encoded in WebM (the others usually in MPEG-4), which might be the reason why it’s causing more problems. Similarly, I’ve heard others suggest setting the resolution to “dash” to fix these kinds of problems. You can also do this via a URL parameter, if you want to include that in your RSS reader.

Presumably, YouTube itself might be less troubled by certain resolutions not working, because its player will automatically switch to another resolution.

@onlooker
49M

I’ve had luck with changing resolution. The default setting for Invidious, 720p, seems to often be encoded in WebM (the others usually in MPEG-4), which might be the reason why it’s causing more problems. Similarly, I’ve heard others suggest setting the resolution to “dash” to fix these kinds of problems.

Ah, I did not try changing resolutions yet. Will keep this workaround in mind the next time I encounter an unplayable video. Thanks!

Future Me
19M

Youtube itself also has no ads if you use an adblocker.

sseneca
79M

nice. combining the RSS feeds with youtube-dl is my favourite way to watch YouTube right now. I’ll probably write a blog post about it (eventually)

@kujaw
29M

My way is RSS feeds + smplayer. However I tend to use yt less and less every year.

@Ofosho
19M

I’ve got a fish alias to pipe the clipboard contents into MPV. I keep a file around with unlisted playlist links, and only open YT to curate those lists. Much smoother without the browser overhead.

@Beholder
69M

On the linux version of VLC you can drag an drop youtube links right in. Works on windows too but you have to edit the youtube.lua in vlc settings.

@Kamui
29M

Thanks, did not know this!

@Alex1138
69M

Youtube drives me insane becaue they just do not listen to their users, it used to be sane with a good recommended system but in the last few years it’s like they had a contest of “How can we shove as much bullshit down people’s throats before everybody leaves? Bet you 5 bucks it’s this much”

@otso
39M

It’s google

Bet you 50000 bucks it’s this much

FTFY

Sam
49M

If you are technically knowledgeable and have some spare cash, THROW UP AN INVIDIOUS INSTANCE! It’s dead simple and we can use as many as possible.

@karl
creator
19M

I agree! I am planning to set one up soon myself alongside a SearX instance.

@ProtoDrew
39M

Great post! You finally convinced me to switch from YouTube to invidious. I used new pipe on my phone for a while but always used youtube.com for some reason

@karl
creator
19M

Thank you very much :)

@ajz
2
edit-2
9M

Some of the comments in this thread made me wonder today how come people think of YouTube as a cash cow platform for the video creators ? Probably millions of people have uploaded videos just for non-profit fun.

@Psychemar
-2
edit-2
9M

So people don’t want to give data to Google. They also want to watch YouTube videos without “paying” for them. I’m sorry but I can’t take this kind of activism seriously.

Either you use YouTube and accept their term of service and/or start using alternatives. Maybe even contribute to their development/growth (I’ve been “investing” some time into LBRY for example)

Using tools like Invidious is basically stealing. Including from the content producers we all love to watch.

@Kamui
39M

Huh… I never thought about it that way. Though, doesn’t Google (and other Internet giants for that matter) take your data even if you opt out of their services? I coulda sworn that many don’t even honor the “Do Not Track Me” option you pick on Firefox.

@Psychemar
19M

They probably do. But to me that is irrelevant on the point of stealing from the people who make the videos. A discussion could be had about if 2 bads make good. I don’t care about that debate that much in this context.

@Kamui
19M

I see. The real loser here is the creator… Thank you for pointing that out.

Sam
39M

Can’t say I’ll ever feel bad about the thought of stealing from google. Basically stealing =/= stealing, it’s not stealing.

Support content producers monetarily if you enjoy their content, I’m blocking ads anyway.

@ufrafecy
3
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4d

deleted by creator

Sam
2
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9M

emotional cost of recognising dishonest behaviour.

I have no moral issues with stealing from google. invidious is still not stealing.

@ufrafecy
2
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4d

deleted by creator

@ajz
1
edit-2
9M

Not wanting to see ads is stealing ? That means adbusting is also stealing ? :) https://www.adbusters.org/

@Psychemar
19M

Not wanting to see ads is not stealing. Removing ads from a platform that is paid with ads is stealing.

You didn’t explain what adbuster is but from what I understood its a collection of “magazines” that aren’t funded by advertisements. That is great and I would like the system to move in such direction. However I fail to see what that has to do with the YouTube case.

Whenever you watch a video on YouTube there is a contract that is implied: you can watch the video and we data mine you and show you the ads that make us the most money. If you don’t watch the ads, you just stole content.

This reminds me of the piracy debate. I still haven’t heard a convincing argument for how pirating media is not stealing. But boy do people try to argue (and very fiercely).

@ajz
19M

Instead of adbusting I should have written subvertising : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subvertising My opinion : Advertisement in general is one of the bad sides of capitalism. Forcing people advertisements into their senses, by billboards or by ads inside videos is just subtle psychology and distasteful. In a world with fair distribution of food and sources, and cooperation instead of competition, there would be no need for “aggressive” advertising.

@Kamui
29M

I agree, it’s almost like a type of… manipulation. Especially targeted ads.

@ajz
39M

Yes, indeed. Yesterday some time after writing my comment I thought about the term “brainwashing”. Sometimes when I visit people at home who are not using e.g. uBlock Origin I am shocked to see what people are facing and hearing. So much commercial manipulation is thrown at end users. And then there is the tracking and data brokers part. Highly unpleasant.

@Psychemar
19M

From time to time I do think about the advertising industry taking into account humanity’s interests. I’m not sure if it’s a net positive.

However, if you don’t agree with advertisement, the ethical decision to make is to not watch YouTube. Because you disagree with the “price” it doesn’t make it OK to access it for free.

I honestly think that the future of content funding will be a mix of ads, donations and subscriptions. LBRY is moving in that direction. With PeerTube it’s kind of a mess because an instance can have ads and even trackers so I’m a bit skeptical of that alternative. You will end up with many “YouTubes” if you don’t kill surveillance capitalism in its roots.

Ultimately I think alternatives to platforms like YT need to have good principles from the ground up if the internet is to improve.

@ufrafecy
14
edit-2
4d

deleted by creator

Ephera
79M

For finding content on PeerTube, I would recommend using https://peertube-index.net/.
It searches across all known instances, not just the current one and its federated instances.

It’s planned to have this kind of search built into PeerTube v3: https://joinpeertube.com/roadmap

@abbenm
59M

It’s planned to have this kind of search built into PeerTube v3: https://joinpeertube.com/roadmap

That url should be .org: https://joinpeertube.org/roadmap

Ephera
39M

Well, crap. And thanks.

I had to type it, because my all-experimental phone and/or browser makes my tabs unload at random, if I switch to another tab. And if it does that, I have to type the comment again.

@abbenm
59M

It’s a super helpful link that I hadn’t seen before. I am really excited that their roadmap has livestreaming as part of it! The peertube-index link was also an excellent tool I hadn’t seen before.

Right now, to navigate the fediverse, I think it’s good to have this collage of tools all bookmarked, that are kind of scattered all over the place. Here’s a list of all the different tools on the fediverse, there’s a good frontend that makes mastodon nicer, here’s a list of instances with good block lists, and there’s a place that rounds up android apps, etc. etc. And despite having bookmarked a lot of these I didn’t know about the global peertube search.

Ephera
49M

If you want some background info on their roadmap, you should also read this: https://framablog.org/2020/05/26/our-plans-for-peertube-v3-progressive-fundraising-live-streaming-coming-next-fall/

And yeah, I’ve been trying to just use the Fediverse without resorting to these tools too much, but without a global search for PeerTube, you almost can’t actually use it, especially on smaller instances. You’re just not going to find many videos to watch. And it really doesn’t matter too much to me on which instance I watch a video.

@ufrafecy
3
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4d

deleted by creator

@thegergo02
3
edit-2
3M

deleted by creator

@ufrafecy
3
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4d

deleted by creator

@Psychemar
39M

Peert

Can you explain what MX and NS means? Probably basic questions but I got to ask.

@ufrafecy
2
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4d

deleted by creator

@Psychemar
29M

OK that is completely out of my depth but as someone who follows the project they have been moving away from Google for a few months. Last week they even added their android app to F-Droid. No trackers, no bs.

@ufrafecy
1
edit-2
4d

deleted by creator

@EldritchBoat
1
edit-2
6M

deleted by creator

@xvf
19M

it just doesn’t work, anyone else?

This can mean so many things… Do they load, they get stuck? Its choppy? Errors?

@EldritchBoat
1
edit-2
6M

deleted by creator

A place to discuss privacy and freedom in the digital world.

Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.

In this community everyone is welcome to post links and discuss topics related to privacy.

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