Is Newpipe better than YouTube Premium?

I am thinking about going back to Newpipe, haven't tried it in a while but it can't be worse than the YouTube app nowadays, can it?

My journey towards a degoogled life is pretty much done for everything except YouTube. This topic was actually one of the first posts I ever wrote in this site. And here I am once again.

Honestly, the title is made more to rhyme rather than actually compare the apps. I’ll just ramble about the state of YouTube nowadays and stuff like that so—here we go.

This was triggered by a post by @dm talking about swinging back to Newpipe over YouTube.

There are many reasons for it! Most of them I already mentioned in my older post, but one that is missing is of course is the addition of YouTube Shorts to the app, which happened a month or so after my original post got published.

For a while I didn’t care and I kept using Newpipe on my phone, while sticking to YouTube on the desktop. I even did some experiments over time like logging out of YouTube.

However, the little cracks of Newpipe started to show up and I have to admit I just got lazy. Sometimes videos did not load, sometimes rotating the device would crash the app, sometimes the comments wouldn’t appear, sometimes the Picture in Picture would behave incorrectly.

As a FOSS enthusiast, I am very much used to jank in software, but at the same time I wanted to just watch YouTube and not worry about anything else.

I tried many other clients, alternative frontends like LibreTube and similar things. Then YouTube Vanced died, and then ReVanced showed up later and now everything was a mess and confusing and a proper safe APK no longer actually existed unless you patched everything yourself. And I did patch my own APK and stuff for a while, but then an update broke things. Then you could disable updates for it, but then a server-side thing would breake it.

And the same thing happened to Newpipe, and everything was bad.

So I ended up getting a YouTube Premium subscription, thinking I would finally solve all of my problems, and to be honest, it is really good, no more ads in my YouTube app was simply incredible. And the extra addition of YouTube Music is really nice, I even managed to get a year at student price despite not being a student anymore, dont tell Google please.

Regardless, despite its good parts, the UI is just terrible now, with Shorts showing up, community posts I don’t care about, livestreams taking over the top of my Subscriptions page, and more Shorts cramped wherever they fit.

I just want videos, videos and nothing else. Please.

I will try to use Newpipe again, I don’t know if I’ll stick to it, but we will see.

This is day 51 of #100DaysToOffload, and post 19 for #WeblogPoMo2024.


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