Listen to Youtube while mobile without streaming video
March 12, 2017 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Sorry to be so technology challenged here, probably a super simple question. I want to listen to youtube music on my android phone but I have data caps and I do NOT want to stream the data dense video. Just audio. Does turning off the video mean you do not stream the video? What is the best way to do this without killing my data plan. Is there an app that does this currently? kind regards jcw
posted by jcworth to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This only exists as a $10 a month service called YouTube red. You can't do audio only via normal YouTube.
posted by Karaage at 4:16 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I have YouTube red, and I think that even with video playing in the background, or with my screen off, it's still streaming the whole thing. Occasionally I accidentally have wifi off when I'm listening to white noise videos to fall asleep and it can hit me with a couple of GB of data, so I'm pretty sure that's still video and audio data even though the screen is off.
posted by lollusc at 4:38 PM on March 12


I have an iphone and a possible workaround?

If I open Youtube in a Safari Browser window and then hit the top button on my phone to put the phone to sleep and make the screen go dark, anything I am watching on Youtube stops playing, obviously. If I then hit the top button on my phone, the title of whatever I was watching appears with a "play" arrow underneath. If I hit the play button, the audio from the program starts streaming - boom - no Youtube Red necessary. I don't know if your android web browser will do this, but worth a try! I don't know how much data it uses. I assume less, but YMMV.

I had an app that did this briefly, but then it quit working. I think youtube is on top of their content. Sorry.
posted by jbenben at 5:18 PM on March 12


Google frequently goes after third-party apps that offer functions they're not supposed to. I think there was one (of many) called uListen that allowed to do that, but it was removed from the store and the agent blocked.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:41 PM on March 12


If you know when advance which videos you'd like to watch, then you can get the audio ahead of time with keepvid.com

Have your ad blocker ready, because the site serves up a lot of ads, but it gets the job done. If you enter a YouTube link, it will give you options to either download the video directly or download the audio only.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 5:51 PM on March 12


Oh, and I see you have an android phone. They apparently have an android app, but I have no direct knowledge about it or how it works.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 5:53 PM on March 12


There's a YouTube Music app. I use it sometimes, it works ok. It presents playlists, search results, recommendations a bit differently than the normal YouTube app. (And it won't play in the background unless you subscribe to some premium level).

I don't know what kind of bandwidth it would use but it does play the videos. You can tell it to not play them in HD except over wifi but I haven't yet found a way to disable the video.
posted by thefool at 8:21 AM on March 13


With YouTube Red you can download videos/music to play later as well.

You can absolutely disable the video playing in the YT Music app --- just click the little Headphone / Play button looking button/slider thing in the top right of the video area. If you click it to "headphone" (by pressing on it when it looks like the play icon) it will turn off the video and just play audio.

This only works with YouTube Red, however.
posted by thefoxgod at 2:05 PM on March 13


This should do it.

1. Make an account on Huffduffer. Add their bookmarklet to your browser; click it on any webpage where audio is embedded and a link to that audio will add to an RSS feed on your Huffduffer home page. You then subscribe to that page as a podcast.

2. Huffduff-video connects to your Huffduffer account with its own bookmarklet. Go to the page of a YouTube video you want to listen to. Click the huffduff-video bookmarklet and it will extract the audio, send it to an online cloudy place, and it will add that link to the podcast feed on your Huffduffer page. I use it all the time.
posted by conscious matter at 4:55 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


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