NewPipe is a free and open-source Android application for browsing & watching YouTube. In my opinion, NewPipe is a perfect case-study in why free & open source software is great and how our values differ from proprietary software in important ways. There’s one simple reason: it’s better than the proprietary YouTube app, in every conceivable way, for free.
NewPipe is better because it’s user-centric software. It exists to make its users lives better, not to enrich its overseers. Because of this, NewPipe has many features which are deliberately omitted from the proprietary app, such as:
- No advertisements1
- Playing any video in the background
- Downloading videos (or their audio tracks alone) to play offline
- Playing videos in a pop-up player
- Subscribing to channels without a YouTube account
- Importing and exporting subscriptions
- Showing subscriptions in chronological order
- It supports streaming services other than YouTube!2
YouTube supports some of these… for $12/month. Isn’t that a bit excessive? Other features it doesn’t support at all. On top of that, YouTube is constantly gathering data about you and making decisions which put their interests ahead of yours, whereas NewPipe never phones home and consistently adds new features that put users first. The proprietary app is exploitative of users, and NewPipe is empowering users.
There are a lot of political and philosophical reasons to use & support free and open source software. Sometimes it’s hard to get people on board with FOSS by pitching them these first. NewPipe is a great model because it’s straight up better, and better for reasons that make these philosophical points obvious and poignant. The NewPipe project was started by Christian Schabesberger, is co-maintained by a team of 6, and has been contributed to by over 300 people. You can donate here. NewPipe represents the best of our community. Thanks!
Articles from blogs I follow around the net
This month is a little special: it’s been one whole year I’ve started writing status updates! My list of projects has been growing, little by little, and I now spend a pretty big slice of my “open-source contributions time” doing reviews. While this gives …via emersion June 4, 2019
This post gives an overview of the recent updates to the Writing an OS in Rust blog and to the used tools. I was quite busy with my master thesis this month, so I didn't have the time to create new content or major new features. However, there were qu…via Writing an OS in Rust June 3, 2019
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