N900 Youtube app

At the end of last week, I put packages for flv and ffmpeg gstreamer plugins into maemo extras-devel for fremantle (the version of Maemo that ships in the N900). With those packages, the N900 can play flv files from youtube and elsewhere but there was no app making use of it except the built in media player which one would have to write a mafw plugin for the different sites. So on Sunday afternoon, after a good round of golf (albeit some really crappy short putts missed) I decided to try and write a youtube browser and player. After 20 minutes (and code to parse youtube stuff borrowed from Canola2), I had a start. It would get the top rated videos list from you tube and display them in a pannable area as a list of buttons. Tapping a button would play the clip with GStreamer’s playbin2.

Then I thought maybe the app could be more useful to others with a little work, I gave the app a name: zoutube. I gave the app a crappy icon (icon designers feel free to contribute a nicer icon) and added debian packaging stuff. I made the app show a list of YouTube’s categories as well as Recently Features, Most Viewed, Top Rated, Most Recent as the front screen before it showed the videos. The next features I plan are:

  • search
  • show full description
  • seek bar when playing
  • download
  • thumbnail of video

Please try it out, it is in extras-devel if you have it enabled, it will appear as zoutube in the App Manager on your N900 under Internet and Networking. Also feedback welcome and appreciated. Screenshots here (video not in player screenshot because screenshotting on N900 does not show accelerated video overlay):

Front Screen
Video List

75 Responses to “N900 Youtube app”

  1. TheBootroo Says:

    hey good stuff man !!!
    look like a great app in future !
    good luck !

  2. Tomasz Says:

    I’m testing this app, really nice work.

    There is a bug, where if a video title is too long it just goes off screen and you can’t scroll to the right to see the rest of it. And because of the length of the title, all the buttons are cut off on the right side.

    Here’s a screenshot: http://imgur.com/ryxdd.png

    I have a few UI suggestions (tl;dr – make it look like the default media player):

    - use the main menu :)
    - full screen playback by default and only that mode, centered throbber to indicate buffering (the five flashing dots animation)
    - on-screen Play/Pause button, similar to the one in the default N900 media player
    - treat a category a user chooses (e.g. Top Rated) like a media playlist and offer on-screen previous/next buttons, like in the default media player.
    - i18n support via Transifex.net

  3. thp Says:

    neat! have you tried the youtube support in gPodder? you can probably take some code (especially the download-related stuff – there are more formats than just FLV and fmt_id 18 works great with the default installation on the N900 – no additional plugins needed) from


    The interesting function is get_real_download_url().



    BTW: It would be nice if you could show the option to subscribe to a user’s channel with gPodder from within your UI. Get in touch if you’re interested, and we can work something out.

  4. Philip Withnall Says:

    You should be using libgdata for parsing YouTube stuff!

  5. admin Says:

    @Tomasz thx for feedback, hope you got my mail.

    @thp great! will ping you on irc.

    @Philip Withnall I know, I know – this started as a 20 min hack involving copy/paste!

  6. XiSKiLLo Says:

    Please, Please… portrait mode with smooth transition allowing acelerometer,try it plz…

  7. christexaport Says:

    can you add more video services like the the Open Video Hub application for S60?

    Great work. Looking forward to watching its development.

  8. Gino Badouri Says:

    Thanks alot for this wonderful app!
    Could it be possible to add support for the HQ videos in the next update?

  9. Kybo Says:

    zoutube does not download video on my n900, I don’t have le download window, but it working on the n900 of my friend

    what’s the problem ?

  10. Tico Says:

    I wasn’t able to get the gstreamer plugin to play a .flv video. I tried the following command:

    # gst-launch playbin2 uri=file:///home/user/MyDocs/video.flv
    Setting pipeline to PAUSED …
    Pipeline is PREROLLING …
    ERROR: from element /GstPlayBin2:playbin20/GstURIDecodeBin:uridecodebin0/GstDecodeBin2:decodebin20/ffdec_vp6a:ffdec_vp6a0: Internal GStreamer error: negotiation problem. Please file a bug at http://bugzilla.gnome.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=GStreamer.
    Additional debug info:
    gstffmpegdec.c(1236): gst_ffmpegdec_negotiate (): /GstPlayBin2:playbin20/GstURIDecodeBin:uridecodebin0/GstDecodeBin2:decodebin20/ffdec_vp6a:ffdec_vp6a0:
    could not find caps for codec (vp6a), unknown type
    ERROR: pipeline doesn’t want to preroll.
    Setting pipeline to NULL …
    Freeing pipeline …

    Can you give us an example of how to create a functional gstreamer pipeline using your plugin.

  11. 0noob0 Says:

    I have installed zoutube today and was fine. I proceeded to install tune wiki. Later, when I tried to run zoutube and clicked on play on the selected video, it goes to the media center and thereafter prompted me no connection to server.

  12. snhhaz Says:

    Zaheer Abbas Merali sahab Assalam Alaikum, Zoutube is really good, but since a week if I want to download any video clip for example “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” many clips will be displayed on screen but when I select any one to download or play just it takes a lot of time eventhough no result. Previously when I click any video clip to watch or to down load immediately after 4, 5 seconds if not opening, a message was coming that “COULD NOT DETERMINE TYPE OF STREAM, TRY LOWER QUALITY FORMAT” then I was clicking on top arrow sign which enables me to select the download option, in this way I was downloading but now a days I could not see that message as I wrote above “could not determine……..format” & even I can not see any video clip on Zoutube. I think I have taken a lot of time from you, kindly don’t mind & advise me how to download specially video clips related to urdu & hindi language such as Umer Sharif programmes, Johny Lever, Mizahiya Mushaera & The great Indian Laughter Challenge etc.,
    Thanks & sorry for the disturbance.

  13. C00L Says:

    Great app for the N900 I love it and appreciate it alot. Updated today but when I search and click on the video I want to watch after I press play nothing happens.? Can you help? Thanks in advance. Could u please reply by tweet or email. Thankyou. @C00L

  14. tavolone Says:

    Quote COOL!!!
    Great app, but now do not work!!! After the last update, show the trumbnail of video but do not show and do not download it, never farl all videos!!!!! Please resolve this problem, zoutube is important for me….when work!!!

    Thanks Very Much :)

  15. b thomas Says:

    Zoutube stopped working after PR 1.2 update for n900. searches still work but video streamin (playing) does not.

  16. swapnil s bagul Says:

    Hi, Interesting, i have downloaded the app as a first thing. Now i can browse the youtube videos, when i click it shows the summary, play and download button, but when i click either these it does not do anything. i cannot play neither download.
    Also, does it allow me to browse the videos from facebook directly on the browser.
    I felt a lot disappointment on N900 front when such issues crop but people like you are there to help the community grow.

  17. Imre Keresztes Says:

    It’s one of my favorite app. for N900, but unfortunately DOESN’T WORK AFTER PR 1.2 UPDATE!
    The search engine is working, but I can’t download or play any video.
    This application is very important for me and – as I know – many N900 users, so please update it!
    Thanks in advance!



  18. eoterm Says:

    doesnt work at all for me… but looks like a good app once it does work :)

  19. saleem khan Says:

    i saw review, but it never work for, so i had to play YouTube from my browser, in which the quality suck.

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