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Watching a youtube video in low res (3gp) using VLC

Added by ariel enter 9 months ago

Firstly I want to say that I don't support youtube. I really like the mediagoblin project, but I must admit that some times I just want to watch a video from youtube :\

Thankfully VLC has a function for that, and it seems to be the only working/recommended way to watch a video on replicant. It probably drains the battery faster though, but I was really surprise by the performance without encoding acceleration.

Any way, to open a youtube video you'll need its youtube's website url, what I do is I go to m.youtube.com using the browser and then when I found the video I want to see I make a long click on its preview and select "copy link URL".

Now go to VLC, open its menu, click on Stream and paste the copied URL. Before you click on go though, it may be important for you to select its quality. Apparently, VLC choses the best quality, which is fine if you are using the WIFI, but if you are using data, well, that might be a problem, specially if you have a reduce amount of MB on your cellphone plan like I do. So in order to choose the video quality you'll need to add the following to the URL: &fmt=17

You can figure out what number correspond to what quality and format in the following link: http://www.genyoutube.net/formats-resolution-youtube-videos.html

This numbers are call itags. For instance, 18 is a mp4 medium quality file and 17 is a low quality 3gp.

It seems to be possible to change VLC's youtube.lua script that allows this functionality so that the default quality is set and you don't have to add the &fmt every time, but the only file I found on my GNU/Linux installation was a binary called youtube.luac at /usr/lib/vlc/lua/playlist/ which is a binary and not a plane text file. If some body know a little more please share.

Any way this is not such a big deal for me.

Also I have to mention that only URL like the following will work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tfh0ytz8S0k&fmt=17

Others, like the following which are found when using the share feature in youtube won't work:

https://youtu.be/Tfh0ytz8S0k&fmt=17

I imagine it could be easily possible to make an app that will browse youtube but play videos on VLC, but as mention on F-Droid when looking for an app to use youtube: "This app promotes non-free network services".

Please support the mediaglobin project. I donated my self some times ago. I've been a little disconnected from their development progress news, but I really hope the project success and more and more people use it instead.

Happy hacking every one.