Tube on the Tube

Puny Weakling Laptop

I’ve wanted to be able to display YouTube stuff on my TV for a long time.  If somebody mentions a link on IRC, it would be nice to display that on the big screen instead of my minuscule sofa laptop.  (Which isn’t powerful enough to show most YouTube videos, anyway. Poor Sony Vaio P.)

I’d hate to have to run a web browser on the TV machine, though, so I didn’t think this would be practical. 

I wanted a standalone Flash player of some kind that would work under Linux, and that I could control without having to click around on the screen.  Like an animal!

But then, after an exhaustive Google search, I found youtube-dl.  It’s a great Python script that ferrets out the Flash file from a YouTube (and similar) page, and then saves the video file to disk.

So I scripted up something for my movie viewer, and added some keystrokes to the Emacs irc client, and now I can just click on a link on the sofa laptop to tell the TV to play the video.

It starts downloading the file, and then starts mplayer on the file as soon as the file is a few KiB long, so I can start watching pretty much immediately.

It’s a quantum leap. I mean, the smallest leap possible.

3 thoughts on “Tube on the Tube”

  1. Didn't know about Minitube, and jwz's script also looks useful if the other one starts failing for some reason or other. I'm mostly wondering why these things didn't appear in my searches over the… years. I think the only possible explanation is that Google is censoring the results! It's the only explanation!

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