YouTube solution for very low end Macs?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by B-G, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. B-G macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #1
    I tried this on my eMac running Leopard, and on a 1.33 GHz iBook running Tiger. I have no idea if it'll be any good on older computers, but maybe it is worth a shot, since it seems to work for most videos even if quality will be very limited (3gp only, 176x144 for normal and 320x180 for HQ).
    Install Omniweb. Last update was back in 2012, but it should be secure enough for what we are going to do. Go on youtube.com and press command+option+,
    Omniweb has a very cool feature, you can define site specific preferences, and this pane will allow you to use a particular user agent for youtube only. Access the rightmost tab ("Other") then choose "Custom..." in "Identify to web servers and scripts as". Insert the user agent for the Nokia N90 phone:

    NokiaN90-1/3.0545.5.1 Series60/2.8 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1

    By the way, this is the same trick used by Classilla to access mobile websites, I got the idea from there. If you reload youtube, you should be able to see a very lightweight version of it. Search for a video. If you select "Watch video" QuickTime should be launched automatically. If you have CorePlayer you can use the small application you'll find at the end of this post. Place it in the dock, copy the link to the clipboard than select YTCorePlayer to start playback (NB: if it doesn't work try enabling access for assistive devices in the Universal Access pane of system preferenes). This is the applescript code in it:

    tell application "CorePlayer" to activate
    tell application "System Events"
    keystroke "u" using command down
    keystroke "v" using command down
    keystroke return
    end tell

    You can save this as a script if you prefer to use Spark or something like that to launch it using a keyboard shortcut.

    So, why not using TFF or even better TenFourFoxBox? TenFourFoxBox at the moment doesn't allow to choose a custom user agent. Firefox/TFF has several extensions that would allow that (and one of them, UAControl, works on a per site basis, similarly to what Omniweb does), but the problem is mobile youtube just doesn't play well with TFF. You can only access the lower resolution files, and you won't get any audio from them in CorePlayer (strangely this doesn't happen when you get the links from Omniweb or Safari).

    Let me know if this works for you, especially if you have really old machines.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #2
    Strange..I was doing this last summer, then Youtube changed something so it wouldn't work. Just tried again with your script and again nothing works - Quicktime fails to load the clip as does Coreplayer.
    Can you cite an example that works for you so I can try it?
     
  3. B-G, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

    B-G thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #3
    Try this:
    m.youtube.com/watch?v=O5A0f5-wwRo&itct=CBYQpDAYACITCJuitozFidICFVKAVQodlC8FOFITbGl0dGVyIGdlbmllIGNhdG5pcA%3D%3D&hl=it&client=mv-google&gl=IT

    One thing I noticed is that the user agent string should not have spaces (or newlines) at the end, or you won't be able to load the mobile version of youtube.
    In general, with the exception of VEVO videos, things seem to work fine.
     
  4. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #4
    No I get exactly the same results, Quicktime tries for a few seconds then gives up and Coreplayer refuses.

    As I said, this method worked for me until summer last year, then no attempt to stream 3gp worked - until I married youtube-dl to mplayer.

    Picture 1.png Picture 2.png
     
  5. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

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    May 27, 2013
    #5
  6. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #6
    Are you sure about that? Youtube playback on a 300Mhz iBook, 720P Youtube on a G4...I think we've got it covered.
     
  7. B-G thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #7
    I wonder if the problem is with youtube or with the rtsp protocol. Have you got any problems with non youtube videos served through rtsp? This one for example:

    rtsp://wowzaec2demo.streamlock.net/vod/mp4:BigBuckBunny_115k.mov

    It plays well for me in CorePlayer and VLC, while it stops after a few seconds in QuickTime.
     
  8. Dronecatcher, Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017

    Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #8
  9. B-G, Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017

    B-G thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Yes, it's still working fine for all the videos available on the mobile platform. Very strange difference in behaviour. It's a wild guess, but maybe it's because of network configuration? Are you behind a proxy, or perhaps using some sort of adblocking?
    Another thing that comes to my mind is that, as I wrote in my first post, youtube seems to serve different files for the same video when you change your browser. TFF did not produce useful results, while everything was fine in Omniweb. Could you try with the latter, please?

    Edit: sorry, I hadn't noticed your thread, and only now I have realized you have gone through my exact steps before.

    Is anyone else having difficulties accessing youtube using this method?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 12, 2017 ---
    Dronecatcher, what happens if you disable javascript for youtube in Omniweb. Maybe that could prevent YT from detecting you are not really on a phone?
     
  10. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #10
    Turning off javascript simply makes the interface none functional.

    I used this method over 4 Macs, Tiger and Leopard - after a few days it stopped working on all of them - I simply concluded that Youtube had broke it.
    Do you have anything else installed that might be helping Quicktime resolve the URL?
     
  11. B-G thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #11
    No, nothing. Even the adblocking program I'm using (Privoxy) is installed on just one of the computers I tried this on, and if I disable it things keep working.
    As for javascript, if you use the Nokia user agent instead of the other one you mentioned in the thread you linked (the HTC_Dream one) you'll get the simpler user interface, and that will still work without javascript. That'll mean no VEVO videos though.
     
  12. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #12
    Not on my machine, without javascript, clicking on a video results in a blank page.
     
  13. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

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    Dec 18, 2010
    #13
    Could this whole not working thing be a region specific thing, ie, that you are in the UK? I noticed B-G used the British "colour" spelling but he doesn't state his location and that spelling could be Canada or Australia. It's just weird that its working for him and not you. Same version of Omni Web?
     
  14. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #14
    I'd considered the region thing too. Regarding software versions, that can cause changes but going back to last year, the method was working on four machines and a few days later it stopped, so there was no changes to the software versions then.
    It's a bit of a mystery until someone else gives it a go.
     
  15. B-G thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #15
    I'm in Italy.
    At this point the only thing I can think of is differences in network configuration. Maybe some router settings are preventing access to rtsp streams? This Stackoverflow user was having problems with rtsp on youtube:
    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/15587008/can-not-play-rtsp-stream-from-youtube
    Notice his last message: "Seems now, problem is solved. it wasnt my code - it's my network router: rtsp was'nt opened for UDP :) –".
     
  16. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #16
    I don't think that's the issue as if I copy and paste the long rtsp URL from the Quicktime Inspector window into Coreplayer it plays it fine.
     
  17. B-G, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017

    B-G thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Maybe the problem is with corrupted quicktime preferences? In ~/Library/Preferences you should find a file named "QuickTime Preferences". What happens if you delete it? (remember to back it up first, just in case)

    EDIT: Just remembered you said this stopped working for you on 4 different computers. Very improbable it's because of corrupted preferences, but maybe it's still worth a try.
     
  18. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #18
    Plus I was actually using Realplayer as it was more efficient...so double double improbable ;)

    I give up now, I'll have to put it down as yet another PowerPC funnyism!

    If someone else could try it out though, that might shed some light on the issue.
     
  19. pochopsp macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #19
    I am italian too. I'll try and I'll let you know.
     
  20. pochopsp macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #20
    It works. Nice find :)
    However I find pointless to play videos in Coreplayer as they have a low quality and they play smoothly and almost instantly with QuickTime. If they were 360p videos or above, I would have tried with Coreplayer, but less than 360p is just fine on QuickTime on my MDD.

    Not all videos work: all VEVO videos and maybe others won't work, this is a problem I met in the past when we had phones and not smartphones. By accessing the mobile version of Youtube you will be only able to watch videos from general users, and the ones from "official" channels like VEVO not.
     

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  21. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #21
    Maybe it is a regional issue then?

    The methods that do work for me (different mobile user agent and/or mplayer) have no problem with VEVO videos.
     
  22. B-G thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #22
    pochopsp, thank you for your help.

    I can confirm that the HTC_Dream user agent Dronecatcher recommended in the other thread works fine with VEVO video.

    HTC_Dream Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 1.5; en-ca; Build/CUPCAKE) AppleWebKit/528.5 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.2 Mobile Safari/525.20.1

    Quicktime will open automatically and play 320x180 3gp.
     

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