Alternative YouTube clients having issues loading videos

submitted by T (they/she) edited

It seems YT started another attempt at blocking alternative clients. They changed something in their API and both SmartTube and Tubular (NewPipe fork) are completely broken. Apparently it started happening this past week, but we personally just felt it today.

Edit: SmartTube already has an update but still not working for 4K videos it seems. Tubular still not working but it might be due to the upstream (NewPipe) is still working on a fix.

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jet , edited

New pipe has issues too

Freetube still working

The arms race is on!

Ace! _SL/S

I don't think google can win this without serverely limiting access to Youtube

jet , edited

Agreed, but they can cause lots of friction to encourage people to use the official apps.

For now mull plus ublock origin are working on my phone.


That's exactly their goal.

🐝bownage [they/he]

What's mull?


Hardened Firefox project for android.


YouTube dlp also broken.

Melody Fwygon , edited

YT-DLP fixed already; I use it locally in conjunction with MPC-HC.

yt-dlp -U or yt-dlp -U nightly

Or download latest nightly.

yt-dlp version nightly@2024.07.09.232843 from yt-dlp/yt-dlp-nightly-builds [d2189d3d3]


Freetube still working

Freetube is broken. It only works if you use the Invidious API, but the FreeTube API is broken at the moment. They created a fix, but it did not reach me yet on the Flatpak / Flathub version.

Melody Fwygon , edited

Freetube *does work*; it simply requires you switch to the Invidious API or have "Fallback to non-preferred API on Failure" enabled. (which honestly you always should have this setting ON).

Personally; I refuse to change my preferred API; so the "Fallback to non-preferred API on Failure" just works.

also yt-dlp *does work* but you need to upgrade to latest nightly/build.

yt-dlp version nightly@2024.07.09.232843 from yt-dlp/yt-dlp-nightly-builds [d2189d3d3]


We as a collective should be figuring out how to remunerate content creators on alternative platforms in non-shady ways (aka no crypto). I think it's part of the reason content creators don't put their stuff on platforms like peertube, dtube, or whatever else exists. With no monetary incentive, it'll stay niche and we'll be reliant on youtube until that's resolved.

Anti Commercial-AI license


Peer to peer money for fans to support creators is good.

All of the non-crypto versions of this introduce an opinionated third party. Pateron etc


What would be an unopinionated party? 🤔 And at some point a bank does come into play. Even if peertube had the possibility to transfer funds directly between banks, that would still be a third party. Or would you consider that an unopinionated third party?

Maybe I'm getting hung up on "opinionated third party". Don't quite understand that point.

Anti Commercial-AI license


If you pass the street musician, and you throw quarter into their hat. There's no third party. Nobody is validating the customer, nobody is validating the performer. The transaction is not inspectable. It is a pure transfer supporting the artist

That's the purest form of money we have as humans

A lot of these online systems, want to make things convenient, but still inject third party opinions into the transactions. Oh this person is sanctioned, this money is for something we don't approve of, this person's been canceled, we can't validate who the performer is. This performer is from Gaza, can't give them money. That's a lot of interference between the performer and the audience.

For all of the faults that digital cash have, and there are many, being the most democratic means for an audience to support our performer is one of its amazing highlights.

Dogmatic rejection of any technology, should always be followed with a thorough introspection of the trade-offs. If people want to say direct money is bad, they need to be thoughtful about it.


Don't understand why crypto is regarded as "shady". It works great for exactly this purpose. The solution is literally staring you in the face lol


The biggest problem with crypto is converting it to a fiat currency, because otherwise it's useless to the average person since they cannot pay for goods and the value fluctuates too much. Or are there easy and secure ways to convert to fiat currency?

Anti Commercial-AI license


If your a individual you can use a CEX for one offs, if your a recurring revenue business you can use one of the payment -> fiat gateway services for ongoing conversion.

obviously there is a ton of flexibility here, but these are just the common paths.


And therein lies the problem: you need an additional service, that also takes its cut, to convert from crypto to fiat. That is the exact extra step the majority will not take. It's not transparent, it's not easy, and has no immediate gain.

Due to regulations, a CEX requires you to identify yourself and provide multiple pieces of identification. Then once you have crypto in a wallet on peertube, it has to be deposited into the CEX - that is if the CEX has that particular cryptocurrency. Should it not, then a DEX is required, which means more steps. Finally, on the CEX it has to be converted into fiat, which is most likely a market order, not a limit order - also terrible.

Crypto as a tech is amazing, as a user experience it's terrible and that's why it's not used much besides for investments.

If you believe I'm mistaken, can you describe an easier path than what I wrote?

Anti Commercial-AI license


Like Nebula? I really enjoy it!


I do wish there were more services like nebula one yearly fee no baked in ads or ads at all and more creators are willing to join them.

The thing that sucks with youtube premium is you still have creators dumping 1 min long sponsors ruining the experience. Additionally often only way these creators allow you to go add free is via patreon, floatplane, etc which can get quite expensive if you follow 30-50 channels. The only other viable route is sponsorblock which works great but requires modified youtube clients/browser extensions and with youtubes new video adinjection could potentially be broken.

The only part I do wonder with nebula is how well it works for larger creators.

Linus Media group revenue break down


I wish we wouldn't love under capitalism and creative people could just be creative for the greater good...


Same, and so many others I know share this sentiment. We're working on it by advocating for a just, equitable, and overall better world. Keep spreading this message!

Melody Fwygon

I should point out that this isn't always "Google is trying to block adblockers" again!

Google can, will, and does simply change how the YouTube watch pages look, feel and operate behind the scenes quite regularly.

Thankfully we have people like those at the FreeTube, NewPipe and yt-dlp projects to sift through those changes and update the code to cope with the new output.


Yeah! Freetube already has a patch committed, which is impressively fast.

Melody Fwygon , edited

Looks like there's several causes.

I don't know how soon Tubular or NewPipe can fix their app; but it seems like a few simple changes will do.


It is an issue caused by a change that YouTube made. Grayjay and Clipious were the only ones apps that kept working.


SmartTube is back up and working. Just update it.




I dunno, I watch YouTube on desktop with a premium account.

Since they began experimenting with ad injection directly into videos a month or so ago, I no longer use YouTube really. Videos rarely load proper the first time. Often takes 7 or 8 reloads of the page to get a video to start, sometimes stopping mid video.

Clearly since I can get it to play, it feels like a Google problem. Could be because I'm on Firefox, or Linux though (maybe even an update to something else, but all other video streaming services work just fine). Turning off uBlock Origin and uMatrix do not help at all.

Even if it isn't Google's fault, it's still causing me to not use their service anymore. Feels like they are just trying to drive away users in general.


Invidious still seems to work for VODs provided the instance doesn’t get restricted. Livestreams have been broken for ages though.

retrieval4558 , edited

Smarttube next has a fix for now


Newpipe isn't working at all for me, libretube is slow but works.


Apparently it started happening this past week, but we personally just felt it today.

Since yesterday for me on Tubular. No video seems to load but live streams still work fine.


SmartTube was working before I went to work and now it isn't. I'm not too worried or upset. Yet.


And so the war continues.

For now firefox+uBlockorigin+noscript seem to work for the mobile youtube page but it's not ideal