The Tube is the name of an application which is a client for browsing Youtube’s videos outside of the browser, no more, no less. Why on Earth would you want to do that? Well, it actually makes sense since viewing videos on Youtube in the browser can be pretty slow on Pandora, so many people were actually expecting something like that sooner or later. Well, it’s available now. And it rocks.
First, The Tube rocks because the interface is dead simple. Just insert the name of the video/topic you’d like to watch, and it will search and display thumbnails of everything it found for you, in full screen. Double-click on one of them and the video will start, full screen as well. It does not use flash to do that, actually the underlying mechanism is to use the famous Python script youtube-dl to download a part of the video and buffer it as you play it with Mplayer. Mplayer’s playback is flawless and it’s a real pleasure to watch Youtube videos in this way, and you get all the Mplayer goodness that goes with it (keyboard shortcuts).
Second, it’s pretty fast. Even with the Pandora’s wifi chip, buffering only takes a few seconds before the video actually starts. Thumbnails are also fetched very quickly so you can really spend most of your time viewing videos instead of waiting. Does this beat my Smartphone ? Maybe.
Third, the developer, Sepulep, listened to my feedback and implemented some stuff I recommended, and that’s worth extra points. Well done, Sir.
In the latest 0.1.0.2 version, Sepulep has added the possibility to download the video you select, so now you can almost get rid of my previous YTDownloader tool. Almost, but not completely, since my application YTDownloader also supports Vimeo and playlists downloads, and a few other things. But honestly this could EASILY be added. So, does this mean I need to drop my work on YTDownloader updates? Probably 🙂
And let me introduce you my setup for watching Youtube videos while doing something else.
Are you wondering how my Pandora can stand in this position ? Well, I’ll let you know my secret then…
This is just another application that deserves its place in the “Selected Software” Hall of Fame on Pandoralive. Done. It’s there now. If you ever watch Youtube videos, you just need this. It will make your life better, you’ll be a happier man/woman and you’ll give money around you to total strangers. Thank you Sepulep.