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The first post of this thread is a WikiPost and can be edited by anyone with the appropiate permissions. Your edits will be public.

B S Magnet

macrumors 601
Original poster
YT on PPC: keeping YouTube running and accessible on PowerPC Macs
First posted: 24 March 2023
Last updated: 1 April 2023



OVERVIEW

It’s simple, even if the fixes have to be updated regularly by the vintage Macs and retro-computing community: a place to file together all the ways of accessing, viewing, streaming, or archiving clips from YouTube.

For this first rough draft, each section is set up to address different types of solutions. But it’s up to all of you, this community, to post updates and amendments to this WikiPost as we come across new, better ways at a workaround whenever YT tinker with their back-end.



USER AGENT STRINGS (FOR BROWSER PLAYBACK)

Below is a list of user agent strings known to make YT playback, in browser, possible.


Opera/9.80 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/5.1.21214/28.2725; U; ru) Presto/2.8.119 Version/11.10 [February 2023]

Until recently (March 2023), this user agent directed YT to serve a mobile interface for the browser window. As of around 22 March 2023, this began to error out inside the playback window, indicating YT dropping support for legacy mobile devices. (Other folks ought to test this to verify: a video I watched as recently as Sunday morning no longer plays as of Wednesday night.)


Mozilla/5.0 (Mobile; rv:48.0) Gecko/48.0 Firefox/48.0 KAIOS/2.0 [March 2023]

This is still working for me (@Dronecatcher ) across various browsers and presents the mobile version of Youtube.

Also confirmed to work (@B S Magnet) with Interweb (YT kvetches about updating browser, which is probably a warning that deprecated support for this user agent string might be unsupported soon.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64; rv:48.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/48.0 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.20110512 GoogleToolbarFF 7.1.2 [April 2023]

I (BSM) have absolutely no idea why this useragent string is recursive like that. From Interweb (on 10.6.8), this one, like the KaiOS string above it, sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t (sometimes getting a message from YT saying the video is corrupt/video could not be played, only to return on a subsequent day and the videos pulling up just fine — suggesting a different Google/YT server farm might be handling streaming, with one not supporting older useragent requests as well as others). Unlike the KaiOS string, the way it displays on screen (and its controls) looks it would on a modern desktop OS paired with a modern browser. This front-end UI will probably bog things down on slower processors — even 1.67 GHz G4s, but it should still work.



USING YT-DLP FOR STREAMING FROM COMMAND LINE OR SCRIPTING

The yt-dlp project page is maintained and updated frequently.




USING PPCMC

Thanks for significant and tremendous generous work by @alex_free , PPC Media Center (PPCMC), has served as a robust GUI utility for PowerPC Macs to be able to access, stream/view, and archive YT clips (and even clips from other video services) on their faster PowerPC Macs (late G3s, G4s, and G5s).

The latest version, 7.2.6, was released December 2021, in variants optimized to run from 10.3.9 to (Intel) 10.6.8.

Since PPCMC’s last update, a more recent fix has come about involving Python3.11. Within PPCMC, there is also a prompt for updating youtube-dl.




OTHER METHODS/FIXES/WORKAROUNDS

This section, as with every other section, should have a date appended to it. That way, we can know whether a method to work on that date may need updating after system changes to YT’s back end.




CONCLUSION

As with all WikiPosts, this will need the community to step in and aggregate everything we know in one place. I just wanted to get things moving in this direction. :)
 
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mectojic

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Dec 27, 2020
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Since PPCMC stopped working consistently for me in recent months, I've now resorted to two different options: on powerful enough G4s/G5s I use InterTube, and on lower-end G3/G4s, I download videos from Iteroni.com - probably the best solution, and also works on early iOS devices.
 

B S Magnet

macrumors 601
Original poster
Since PPCMC stopped working consistently for me in recent months, I've now resorted to two different options: on powerful enough G4s/G5s I use InterTube, and on lower-end G3/G4s, I download videos from Iteroni.com - probably the best solution, and also works on early iOS devices.

I can add those to the wikipost, unless you’d like to do it. :)

I was managing to use PPCMC successfully until these last few weeks. I think the last video I downloaded successfully was at the very end of January/very early February. Separately from PPCMC functionality, something changed this on YT’s back-end week to prevent older user agent strings from accessing videos (which is moderately annoying).
 

mectojic

macrumors 65816
Dec 27, 2020
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Sydney, Australia
I can add those to the wikipost, unless you’d like to do it. :)

I was managing to use PPCMC successfully until these last few weeks. I think the last video I downloaded successfully was at the very end of January/very early February. Separately from PPCMC functionality, something changed this on YT’s back-end week to prevent older user agent strings from accessing videos (which is moderately annoying).
I heard on the grapevine that @alex_free may return to the PPCMC project at some stage... perhaps?

Feel free to add to the wiki :)
 
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Dronecatcher

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Jun 17, 2014
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I was managing to use PPCMC successfully until these last few weeks.
Still working for me with the Python update - in the past Youtube problems (in the UK) have been associated with ISPs - barred access was fixed when using someone else's wifi or a mobile data connection - that was a few years ago though.
 

B S Magnet

macrumors 601
Original poster
Still working for me with the Python update - in the past Youtube problems (in the UK) have been associated with ISPs - barred access was fixed when using someone else's wifi or a mobile data connection - that was a few years ago though.

On one machine, I did try to move in the Python/openssl updated stuff from the TFF developer kit, per steps you listed over on the garden. I ended up running into a different class of error entirely.

When I have a little more time, I’ll look at everything once more.

As for the other matter — the user agent string — this is happening across all my Macs which had been using it to pull up and view YT clips in the browser window. This was definitely a recent change on their end.
 
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Dronecatcher

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Jun 17, 2014
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On one machine, I did try to move in the Python/openssl updated stuff from the TFF developer kit, per steps you listed over on the garden.
That must've been someone else - I've not used the TFF developer package - I updated Python and MPlayer from the package manager made by @cellularmitosis

In the past 'mixing Pythons' has lead to many headaches ;)
 
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B S Magnet

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Original poster

wicknix

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Jun 4, 2017
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TenFiveTube still works fine for viewing (and downloading videos (v5 only) with viewtube/savetube script). (Leopard)
InterTube can handle live streams and works best on faster G4/G5 machines. (Tiger/Leopard)
InterWebPPC with greasemonkey and viewtube or savetube works great for downloading videos. (Tiger/Leopard)
Streamlink (installed via macports) pipes various video streams to mpv/mplayer/vlc. (Tiger/Leopard)
uTube redirects video and playlist pages on YouTube to their embedded versions. This lets videos load faster, hides comments, and often skips ads. (needs modification of the xpi's install.rdf to work with TFF/IWPPC)
 

alex_free

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Feb 24, 2020
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I heard on the grapevine that @alex_free may return to the PPCMC project at some stage... perhaps?

Feel free to add to the wiki :)
I really want to do the community well and release an update. It’s just been so long and so much has changed.

My idea now is to go back to the original YouTube-dl software which works on python 2.7+. It actually fixes most of the issues we encountered last year.

I have been very distracted and unable to focus on this for a long time. I do hope one day it all comes together and anew update can be released. The community deserves it.

I did get bit by the Linux bug and honestly it’s everything I could have wanted. I do still love the old powerpc community and I want to continue to make a stance on how useful this hardware can be.
 

TheShortTimer

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Mar 27, 2017
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I really want to do the community well and release an update. It’s just been so long and so much has changed.

Welcome back Alex! :)

My idea now is to go back to the original YouTube-dl software which works on python 2.7+. It actually fixes most of the issues we encountered last year.

I have been very distracted and unable to focus on this for a long time. I do hope one day it all comes together and anew update can be released. The community deserves it.

You do whatever you can, whenever you can. We all suffer from Real Life Syndrome™ and I'm sure that other members would agree that your efforts are greatly appreciated because we're all volunteers and do this for the passion of helping the community.

I did get bit by the Linux bug and honestly it’s everything I could have wanted. I do still love the old powerpc community and I want to continue to make a stance on how useful this hardware can be.

Which distro have you been using and is this on the Intel platform?
 

alex_free

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Feb 24, 2020
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Welcome back Alex! :)



You do whatever you can, whenever you can. We all suffer from Real Life Syndrome™ and I'm sure that other members would agree that your efforts are greatly appreciated because we're all volunteers and do this for the passion of helping the community.



Which distro have you been using and is this on the Intel platform?
Ok, so let me explain.

The first computer I’ve ever bought brand new is an IBM ThinkPad Gaming 3. That’s my main computer right now. It’s very powerful out of the box. I bought a 32GB RAM upgrade but haven’t even installed it due to the sheer power of this rig. It has a GTX 3050 TI GPU 4GB GPU and 5600 AMD Rynzen CPU. I can update the RAM myself. And the battery is very close to user replaceable, no soldered bits…

I run fedora Linux and windows 11 on it, which both run fantastically. I only use windows for gaming… everything else is through Fedora Linux. I bought this computer explicitly because of the great support it has for Linux. But honestly it runs both so well…

The year of the Linux desktop is here… IF YOU PICK YOUR HARDWARE CORRECTLY…Do your research, and you can have the best of the best…


And yea, I really need to focus back on PPC I know. It’s a lot tbh, and honestly I’m very surprised someone else didn’t come in and fix PPCMC7. But I will be trying to do so soon since no one else has tried…

Something else about this rig is I have a 2TB HDD in it, essentially Infinite storage.
 

B S Magnet

macrumors 601
Original poster
Ok, so let me explain.

The first computer I’ve ever bought brand new is an IBM ThinkPad Gaming 3. That’s my main computer right now. It’s very powerful out of the box. I bought a 32GB RAM upgrade but haven’t even installed it due to the sheer power of this rig. It has a GTX 3050 TI GPU 4GB GPU and 5600 AMD Rynzen CPU. I can update the RAM myself. And the battery is very close to user replaceable, no soldered bits…

I run fedora Linux and windows 11 on it, which both run fantastically. I only use windows for gaming… everything else is through Fedora Linux. I bought this computer explicitly because of the great support it has for Linux. But honestly it runs both so well…

The year of the Linux desktop is here… IF YOU PICK YOUR HARDWARE CORRECTLY…Do your research, and you can have the best of the best…


And yea, I really need to focus back on PPC I know. It’s a lot tbh, and honestly I’m very surprised someone else didn’t come in and fix PPCMC7. But I will be trying to do so soon since no one else has tried…

Something else about this rig is I have a 2TB HDD in it, essentially Infinite storage.

1681184434756.png


:)
 

ocmac

macrumors newbie
Feb 5, 2023
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video.2yxa.mobi, the ol Russian site that allows you to pick a .mp4 file size your mac can actually playback is still is working for me, despite Z war. On my 800mhz G3 ibook I can comfortably playback a 240p file. Even works with Links2!

That ol favorite https://www.iteroni.com is also still working, use that on my faster Powerbook G4. Wicknix already mentioned it, but tenfivetube on the Powerbook G4 is still a godsend.
 

alex_free

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Feb 24, 2020
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I’ll be honest, I was a total Linux hater for years… “It will never get good enough to be mainstream”. I had tried in 2013, 2015, 2017, etc…

It really is here now though.

Linux keeps accelerating while apple keeps regressing…

The old apple is wonderful however and I’ll still keep pushing the limit, stay tuned!
 
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Amethyst1

macrumors G3
Oct 28, 2015
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It really is here now though.
I was just, uh, kinda pulling your leg because that sentence has been thrown about for what seems like ages but my take on it is that it's "here" for me when it's "good" enough to consider as a serious alternative to Windows or macOS, not when I'm ready to fully switch (which I still ain't). I reached that point in 1999, thanks to KDE 1.x and StarOffice 5.x. Good times.
 
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swamprock

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Aug 2, 2015
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video.2yxa.mobi, the ol Russian site that allows you to pick a .mp4 file size your mac can actually playback is still is working for me, despite Z war. On my 800mhz G3 ibook I can comfortably playback a 240p file. Even works with Links2!

That ol favorite https://www.iteroni.com is also still working, use that on my faster Powerbook G4. Wicknix already mentioned it, but tenfivetube on the Powerbook G4 is still a godsend.

The Russian site also works in OS 9 with Classilla. If you turn on Javascript and register an account, you can search for the video(s) that you want, and convert them using their interface. On my 250mhz Wallstreet I, I convert all videos to 640x480, with 480 kb/s bit rate, 30 fps, and 128 kb/s audio bit rate, and leave everything else. Once the video converts, I have a choice to download or view the video. Viewing actually works in Classilla, but you have to wait until the entire video loads to watch it. With the parameters that I use, I get smooth, viewable video playback on my Wallstreet.

With an account, you can convert them to the best possible viewing parameters on any OS.
 
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