Opportunities that arise...trying new apps

Switching to Linux often means finding new apps to replace the old proprietary ones we had become accustomed to. Hoping distros can create similar opportunities to explore for alternatives that might be missing from the default repositories of our new distribution or try new ones that might be included by default.

When I switched to Pop-OS I tried lots of privacy focused YouTube apps and landed on Freetube. Now that I have hopped on to Debian I noticed it was missing from the default Debian repositories. Before I go find a way to add it (which I will probably do after I post this), I thought I would ask what others are using to privately view YouTube content in case this is a golden opportunity to switch to something better.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations you might have to offer.

Youtube-dl or forks, then mpv, then I delete the video, because I’m space restrained. Long ago used to use kodi with the youtube addon, but I think it asked for a custom api key, which I didn’t know how to do, so I just moved to normal youtube. Lately I haven’t even used youtube-dl, I just watched normally in incognito, to prevent the algorithm from developing too deeply.

You can download and install the .deb package from their site directly. Or, if you prefer to stick to official sources you can also install from Flathub.

flatpak install freetube

I tried Freetube a while a go but it had trouble loading a lot of videos even without copyright, so I now use Invidious on the browser. It works fine, most of the time, with the occasional hiccup here and there when YouTube messes something on their end.

I really like that you can just load the audio rather than the entire video, for things like podcasts and such. Has YouTube finally caught on to this? I guess it’s not in their best interest to provide such a feature as it not as engaging as video filled with ads.

I doubt this will have any effect. Google and friends have developed quite advanced mechanisms to gather people’s data that don’t rely on cookies, even if you never use their platforms directly.

Gathering data and feeding the algorithm isn’t the point, but not messing up my recommendation feed.