Best YouTube Alternative - Speculation

So we all know that YouTube is pretty bad for a few reasons, the first and foremost reason definitely being that it’s owned by Google, and I think many of us know that there are some alternatives. There are 3 that come to mind:

  1. LBRY.io
  2. Peertube
  3. d.tube

Unfortunately, all of these have some barrier to entry:

  1. LBRY.io requires an external player (that does not have an RPM package for Fedora, OpenSuse, etc)
  2. Peertube is federated and, like Mastodon, the user has to know what instance they want to make their account with which can lead to confusion
  3. Peertube is also Peer-to-Peer which can cause some slowdown or longer buffering if there aren’t enough peers
  4. d.tube is owned by steem.it which currently has a wait time for registering
  5. If you do have a steem.it account, registering the d.tube account is a little tricky for an end user
  6. None of these platforms have nearly the amount or level of content that YouTube has.

Of these three, I think d.tube has the best chance of succeeding for consumers, but only because it has an easy-to-remember url and you’re able to watch the videos in your browser; however, I think Peertube could pull ahead if someone made an instance with a catchy, easy to remember URL, such as “new.tube”.

Does anyone else have thoughts on this?

edit: Apologies, I meant Peertube, not Freetube.

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JoshWHoTV is coming along strong. They started live streaming recently, and it’s good quality.

BitChute is okay, but the site seems to be regressing.

When I tried FreeTube I just copied and pasted from youtube subscription list.my list that is,and it worked fine.never had to remember the URL’s.

I guess it comes down to discoverability for me. Yes, YouTube is not ideal and being owned by Google is a big negative for lots of people, particularly Linux and open source people. Beyond the technical issues you bring up (well summarized BTW) I see the larger problem as being one of people finding the content. Most people use Google for search and, of course, they are going to promote YouTube results. Even alternative search engines are going to promote the most popular and relevant content which is, of course, YouTube.

I have tried several of these options just to watch things and it is pretty frustrating in many cases. Peer to peer seems like a good idea but there are usually so few peers that I can’t watch most things. Good idea that without peers doesn’t work. Federated services are challenging to use, particularly finding things in other instances. I like Mastodon but some of the drama it brings with disallowing associations with other instances is pretty frustrating. Not to mention that there’s no guarantee that something you’ve spent time participating in and building relationships could just go away.

The only way I see one of these alternatives growing is if a major content creator from YouTube or a broadcast network and so on were to bring a large audience with them. Growing an audience on one of these alternatives is pretty much impossible at this point sadly.

2 Likes

So I recently had the chance to upload a video. I tried to upload it to d.tube first, because of the reasons listed above, but it doesn’t seem to have uploaded it correctly… either that, or I need to pay to get the video to load. I say this because even if I go directly to my channel, the video just plain doesn’t show up, it just has an endless loading circle.

After about 15 minutes I decided to jump over to Peertube, which was much easier to create an account and upload the video to. So in the future, I think I’ll keep using Peertube due to it “just working.”

Even with DuckDuckGo, when you search videos, it is showing ONLY YouTube Video.

I find Invidious not bad. It uses Youtube but is lighter. It is a great option on the phone where the Youtube app is sucking on battery and full of ads.

https://invidio.us/

This answer will probably not be well-liked, but it’s deceptively simple. If your video is in .mp4 format, then upload it into Nextcloud (in a folder), then share a link out (in a Dropbox-like way).

When people visit that Nextcloud folder (having followed the link), they can either download the video file, or view it directly, in a streaming-like way, right in the browser (if they click the play-button-like icon to the left of the filename). Some, but not all of the controls you commonly use in Youtube will be there, in that browser-streamed video viewer.

I do this myself for the occasional screencast I record using OBS. Nobody I share the video files with complain that it’s not a feature-rich enough experience, like Youtube. That’s my point here.

Sometimes, but not always, a really simple solution such as this is good enough.

Youtube is more than just watching videos; it’s about discovering new creators and learning new things that you may never have discovered before. How would I discover people like Tom Scott, CGP Grey, or even Destination Linux if they simply uploaded their videos to Nextcloud and sent those links to a select few people? It would be impossible.

So sure, your workaround works for sharing to a couple of close friends and family, but it lacks the very important aspect of discoverability.

1 Like

I found out this group through BitChute. I don’t do CensorshipTube anymore.