Monday, March 30, 2009

Watch YouTube on the go without connecting to the internet possible? Yes!

Previously, the only way to watch YouTube videos on the HTC Diamond (and the later siblings) is via the YouTube application that came bundled. It is a small application with a nice user interface. However, it does not have an offline mode hence requires an internet connection at all times. This pose a problem when you want to watch the clips on the go and don't want to incur hugely expensive data charges.

Then came freeware alternatives like youtubeplay; It's user interface won't win any awards but the good thing is that it allows you to save the clips and watch them offline. However, it doesn't have a "push" mode meaning that you have to spend time working through (i.e. choosing and saving) the clips you want to watch later which can get rather tedious.

Then I noticed that the YouTube site has rss feeds and figured I can perhaps use the bundled RSS Hub application to download them as podcasts and watch them on the go later. But alas, the native podcasts from the YouTube site are actually embedded flash players hence RSS Hub falls flat on its face here.

Then I found RSSHandler; a website that parse the YouTube feeds and convert the attachments to either FLV, MP4 or PSP formats! This turns out to be the perfect solution as there is nothing to install, its free and its dead easy to setup.

So to recap... to watch YouTube channels on the go with the clips automatically pre-downloaded on your Windows Mobile so that you don't waste time downloading them in real time and more importantly, you save on expensive data connection charges:

  1. Go to RSSHandler website.
  2. Generate the URL for the YouTube Channel you wish to watch by following the simple instructions on the website.
  3. Fire up RSS Hub.
  4. Add the URL in as a new rss channel.
  5. [IMPT] Go into the channel properties, tap on the Podcast tab and change the setting for "Automatically download podcasts" to "If Connected to PC Only" and "Keep this many podcasts:" to "All". (Otherwise, your clips won't be downloaded!)
  6. Hit refresh and wait patiently for your clips to get downloaded. (It can take awhile)
  7. And now enjoy your subscribed YouTube channels on the go... for FREE!

Oh, in case anyone is interested in what I'm subscribed to:

  1. TED Talks (technology) (RSS Hub link)
  2. New Scientist (science) (RSS Hub link)
  3. ThinkGeek (geek stuff) (RSS Hub link)
  4. Apple Movie Trailers (entertainment) (RSS Hub link)
  5. Fail Blog (entertainment) (RSS Hub link)


Anonymous said...

Hi , May I know why I can't download the video? There is a message "there is no application associated with this type of file" when I try to download...Thanks

Sidney said...

Apparently YouTube changed something which broke RSSHandler. I've raised this issue in RSSHandler (via a comment on his blog) but so far there hasn't been any action. Perhaps you may want to go over to RSSHandler and drop him a note on this as well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I have drop them a comment on their webpage. Hope to hear positive news from them soon. Cheers!