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Linux tips and tweaks

Find and view YouTube videos on the desktop with Minitube

If you are a fan of YouTube and love watching online videos then there is an interesting alternative to the web browser. Instead of loading a browser like Firefox or Chrome, navigating to the website, searching for the videos you are interested in and then clicking them to play them, you could use Minitube instead. This is an application that runs on the desktop and it enables you to watch YouTube videos. It aims to make the process simpler, more friendly and faster. It doesn't do anything the YouTube website doesn't do, but it is certainly easier and more convenient.

You may find it in the package manager for your Linux distro and it's listed in Ubuntu's Synaptic Package Manager for example. However, it's an outdated version that no longer works. You need the latest version of the software. If you are a Linux expert, go to flavio.tordini.org/minitube and click the Linux download link. Everyone else should click the setup instructions link just below the Linux download. Half way down the page is a link to Christian Mangold's PPA. Christian Mangold has created Ubuntu versions of the latest Minitube application and you can add them to Synaptic Package Manager.

Run Synaptic Package Manager, click Settings, Repositories and select the Other software tab. Click the Add button and copy and paste this in ppa:neversfelde/minitube. Close the window and click the Reload button in Synatic Package Manager. Now you can search for Minitube and click it to install it in the usual way. If Minitube is ever updated you'll see updates for it automatically.

Minitube YouTube player

Run Minitube and there is a search box on the home screen that enables you to find videos. As you use the program you'll see a list of your previous searches, so it's easy to repeat one. The results are shown on the left and this is actually a playlist and Minitube starts playing the first video. There are controls at the top of the window to pause, stop, skip to the next item and play. The only that doesn't work properly is the time slider. If I tried to jump ahead by dragging the time slider then it just jumped to the end. It's a bug presumably and hopefully an update will cure this.

Minitube is a useful app that avoids web browsers and websites. You just search for videos that interest you in a desktop app and they automatically start playing. What could be simpler?

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