Introducing YouTuPi, a YouTube (mobile) web frontend for your Raspberry Pi

February 16, 2013

I’ve been the proud owner of a Raspberry Pi for several months now. Since I bought it, I’ve looking for ways of replacing all the functionalities my old TV-attached laptop had, which basically were: torrent downloader, DLNA server and YouTube player. This device has a very low power consumption so this would be great news.

My first approach was to install Raspbmc which is an XBMC optimized for this hardware. In spite of XBMC is a great piece of software, in my case it was quite unresponsive, and made my Raspberry Pi hang several times.

This made me try Raspbian which is a very lightweight distribution. As it’s based on Debian, I installed Transmission and MiniDLNA with no much trouble using apt-get since they are in the repositories. At this point I was quite happy with the result: I had a torrent daemon I was able to control through its web-interface or even with an android application, and the downloaded media was played in my DLNA-capable TV.

The hard part: playing YouTube videos on the TV

Old TV with youtube

Since flash has so little performance in linux playing YouTube videos from an internet browser was out of the question. Searching the web I found YT: a command-line application written in python for searching YouTube videos and play them without flash thanks to youtube-dl. This was pretty cool, but I was looking for a more user-friendly solution. Inspired by YT’s approach I wrote YouTuPi which has a web interface that can be used in any modern tablet/phone and allow us to search and create a playlist of YouTube videos.

Youtupi Screenshot

You can find the installation instructions (and the code itself) in YouTuPi’s GitHub repository.

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