As of late, invidious has become pretty much unusable for me. All the instances either don’t work or are very slow, and as nobody knows Crystal more and more bugs keep cropping up (e.g. right now search is broken on all instances).

Are there any alternatives? I know of FreeTube but its client is Electron which is a no-go for me. I also know of youtube-dl, but I’m more interested in a website I can use to watch YouTube while proxied.

Unfortunately I’ve gone back to watching YouTube itself on my desktop but I use NewPipe on android (I dislike nonfree webpages but a webpage is easier for me to deal with than a nonfree standalone app on my mobile device.)

However, another thing I’ve been doing, which is the long-term solution, is watching more PeerTube.

Ephera
92M

Yeah, reading through these comments, it really becomes apparent that the open-source community invests more time into fixing YouTube than into its own platforms.

I get that a lot of content is on YouTube, and even with the most amazing PeerTube code/instance/tool, you’d still want that content accessible, but it’s also clear that this is not sustainable.

Yes, exactly. PeerTube is the future. We must wean ourselves off of YouTube.

ufra
42M

I’m definitely rooting for peertube and use as much as possible, but I wouldn’t mind if invidious lived on as a small clunky niche project that flys somewhat undee the radar. Not sure the devs would agree…

@sseneca
creator
92M

However, another thing I’ve been doing, which is the long-term solution, is watching more PeerTube.

Yeah PeerTube is awesome. I really wish literally any of those I follow on YT moved there though. I was hoping the recent controversy over YT turning on ads on all videos would make some people switch, but nope…

@4g4th4
22M

deleted by creator

Dessalines
admin
52M

Same here, I love newpipe. It can even do background playing queues, making it great as a jukebox / music player. And it has good resume support, so if you can’t finish a video, it saves your progress.

But yeah I wish more channels would start using either peertube or torrents directly.

@bluerabbit
52M

PeerTube is great but it’s hard to wade through sometimes. A suggestion for anyone who has some spare time: set up a community or two here on Lemmy for posting interesting new videos, peertube links only.

Dessalines
admin
42M

Ya that’s a good idea. !videos@lemmy.ml or maybe !peertube@lemmy.ml would work. Or people could just create communities for their own channels.

@Kamui
32M

Yep, same here.

@Niquarl
21M

With all the talk of using RSS, I wish there was a simple webpage or app that would allow to subscribe to any channels you want and give it to you. I suppose it would look more like a Podcast app in a way. You could even have more than just YouTube but also follow channels from PeerTube etc. Would be a pretty cool way to recover more independence from a single source.

SnowCode
82M

I can actually use the instance https://invidious.snopyta.org including the search engine. I also would like to find an alternative.

The “freetube” software (kinda like NewPipe, but for computer) is maybe gonna turn interesting in the future (at the current moment it’s still based on invidious I think)

Also, what I would like to get is not only something to watch YouTube. I would like to get an aggregator, so I could watch several platforms at the same time (like Peertube, YouTube and SoundCloud). That would be just awesome.

@Aeronave
32M

FreeTube uses its own local API now, but it has Invidious as an option too, as well as using it as a fallback for when the local API fails.

SnowCode
12M

That’s awesome! I was waiting for this.

or yewtu.be. that’s the one i’ve found the most reliable.

SnowCode
22M

?

@sseneca
creator
22M

Also, what I would like to get is not only something to watch YouTube. I would like to get an aggregator, so I could watch several platforms at the same time (like Peertube, YouTube and SoundCloud). That would be just awesome.

If I understand you correctly, you can get this behaviour by using youtube-dl. I have youtube-dl run every couple hours or so, pointed at a batch file that contains a list of YouTube channels as well as podcasts (which are sourced from various different sites). It records the content it downloads to an archive file so it knows not to download it again. And that’s how I keep up to date with most of the content I consume. Doesn’t solve the issue of browsing like with invidious, though.

@Niquarl
11M

Would be great to get some sort of front-end GUI for that then if it works. Just a simple system where you have you subsriptions listed, the new videos from those subsriptions and maybe a system to automatically delete videos/podcast that you’ve watched/listened.

@je_vv
12M

Freetube is no longer based on invidio.us instances. It provides its own local API by default, with the ability to fall back to the invidio.us one if the local one fails, and the default instance for falling back to invidio.us is the snopyta one. I guess at some point falling back won’t even be an option (once the local API gets more mature).

ufra
12M

I can actually use the instance https://invidious.snopyta.org including the search engine. I also would like to find an alternative.

same. it was broken for a day and some new glitches with channels popped up, but still beats using yt, especially with proxy option. I was watching all night tonight.

one other thing that seems to work pretty well is going directly to the video which can be facilitated by following the rss feed for a channel you like, e.g. https://invidious.snopyta.org/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=<channel-id>

@abbenm
32M

Yeah I think snopyta.org is the best invidious instance now, but now that it’s not being maintained, I think it’s just a matter of time before the whole thing dies.

I think we should be reaching out to TY creators to mirror stuff on peertube.

@anbop
21M

deleted by creator

SnowCode
22M

Well it doesn’t work for YouTube but I keep it in mind for the others :) Thanks

Freetube for desktop. Newpipe on android…

@abbenm
12M

For whatever reason, Foxydroid (an F-droid alternative) is refusing to update Newpipe on my phone. So it’s just staying broken.

The cycle of breaking and unbreaking is frustrating at times, because Newpipe can go days if not weeks before being fixed, and I’m not sure I can trust it to keep being re-fixed forever.

Meanwhile, something like VLC, or, say, leafpad on linux - there are versions of those programs that I know will just work, more or less forever. But the whack-a-mole with google devs who seem to purposely keep breaking scrapers does not leave me optimistic.

Ephera
72M

NewPipe being broken is due to the fixed version not yet having been packaged for the official F-Droid repo.

You can add the repo from the NewPipe devs to get these updates quicker: https://newpipe.schabi.org/blog/announcement/f-droid/pinned/f-droid-repo/
You’ll have to export your current NewPipe data, uninstall NewPipe, then reinstall it (check that it’s a newer version) and then re-import data.

Having said that, this NewPipe problem was actually my breaking point. Fuck YouTube. I’m finding my entertainment elsewhere.

@abbenm
22M

Yeah, for whatever reason F-Droid is stuck on 0.20.1 so I had to manually download the newest version.

Thanks for the repo! That definitely helps because Newpipe is the one F-droid thing I want to update regularly.

@Kamui
22M

It’s the strangest thing, but Newpipe Legacy seems to have been updated (I think it was 0.20.2 last time I checked?) while the regular version has not seen an update in months.

Basically youtube with ublock origins which seems to work on blocking all of the ads so far.

@iszomer
22M

I go a little extra with Firefox Multi-Account Containers; keeps your online identities privately isolated in their own container.

There is also Minitube if you can get it to work. I’ve never had good luck with it.

@sseneca
creator
22M

afaict it’s not free software unfortunately

never mind :) source here: https://github.com/flaviotordini/minitube

I don’t use it much because it’s not all there yet but yotter looks pretty cool.

Heck
62M

I watch youtube begrudgingly.

Use the search engine of your choice to find the video you want to watch, then use mpv or vlc to watch it by running one of these players using the video link as an argument.

Try this: $ mpv https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1np4y1r73P

Arran
32M

I use this method too.

Fun fact: My old Laptop doesn’t sit at 100% CPU running mpv but does on Youtube.

@Tabzlock
32M

Yeah I found this when I was working on forking the project to have nicer ui and be easier to use. I just cant really see the project going to far into the future.

I’m currently planning on working something (only an idea no progress) made in rust that could just proxy the youtube video and it can be used for embedding or run it in a tab.

Eg(example domain). Rusttubeproxything.rs/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ Then it would open a simple player and run that in the tab and this could then be used in embedding youtube videos privately on your website or eventually used in a full platform like invidious.

@Aeronave
32M

One that works quite well is youtube-local, granted you don’t mind having rather limited quality options. However, you could also just use it to browse YouTube and open the links in SMPlayer if you want to watch in 1080p or higher.

@avalos
22M

How easy would it be to rewrite Invidious using Go or Rust?

I’d go for Go for such a project, it’s more stable and productive than Rust, and the performance improvements of Rust aren’t necessary.

Another solution would be to use NewPipe’s content extractor (in Java) and thus rewrite invidious in Java. That way the only thing necessary for maintenance would be to keep the content extractor up to date, which is a lot less work than having to keep invidious currently working.

@je_vv
12M

Well, freetube sounds like a good alternative to help, and if electron is really not an option, perhaps creating a toolkit based (like Qt) UI for it. AFAIK, its local API is looking to get closer to the newpipe one to what it was before…

I didn’t know freetube had its own content extractor.

if electron is really not an option, perhaps creating a toolkit based (like Qt) UI for it

I’m not sure if it would be any good since the extractor seems to be written in JS.

@avalos
12M

What about Deno + Proton Native?

Could be a better option than electron, but you still have to deal with JS/TS, which is crap.

@uuttff8
12M

deleted by creator

@nogerine
22M

Is it that bad, though? The search works just fine (tested on https://invidious.snopyta.org and a local instance). The slowness is a bummer when using the remote instance, but a local one is blazing fast.

A real problem may be that it connects your browser to googlevideo.com, from which it gets the video contents.

@sseneca
creator
12M

Ah yeah snopyta’s is working now, it was broken for a while though. And anyway, like you said, it’s so slow.

The connection to googlevideo.com is an issue, and that’s why I only really use invidious with the Proxy video option enabled. That’s why I don’t run a local instance.

SeerLite
02M

How do y’all interact with youtube using any of these methods though? How do you comment, like, subscribe, or anything that helps support the creators you’re watching?

I know it’s not much, and that there’s other better ways to support channels (e.g. patreon or whatever). But these small things add up for them, and get them more popular. Sometimes I watch pretty new youtubers with few subscribers that don’t get much more than 20 likes. Giving my like feels like a contribution that will encourage them and help them slowly grow their channel.

This is the main thing keeping me on the website and app (vanced helps on mobile though).

@Matheo_bis
82M

We don’t

Ephera
12M

I mean, the goal of these alternatives is to give Google as little of your data as possible, so interacting with YouTube as little as possible is a step you’ll really have to take before that already.

Also, maybe a bit blunt, but I don’t necessarily want to encourage people who are using YouTube.

@anbop
51M

deleted by creator

@sseneca
creator
12M

I’m going to try this out – thanks :)

@developred
41d

deleted by creator

Discussion about digital privacy
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