RSS killed my YouTube App

I noticed a disturbing trend while watching YouTube: random YouTube rabbit holes. The algorithm knows me too well.

After listening to Cortex, I decided to follow Gray’s lead and move YT subs to my RSS client (Reeder) and I couldn’t be happier with the move.

When I want to watch videos, I can go to pre-selected channels and see if they’ve posted anything knew without feeling the pull of the algorithms.

Has anyone else tried this? It’s very new, but I like it!

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I try and use the subscriptions tab and keep auto play on next off for just this reason…. i prob should put some of the ones I don’t want to miss in Reeder. Does it play right in window or open in app?

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It plays in window using the Safari player, so it’s easy to scrub, speed up, PiP, etc.

I’ve used the Play app to save videos in special
playlists I want to get back to. That’s also been helpful. Done that for a while now but I’m thinking the combo is going to prove super helpful. I’m sure I’ll still go to the YouTube app some, but I’m liking the more focused system for now.

Thanks going to give a go tomorrow! I have really ramped up my Reeder use as I use social media apps less to get my news (even forgetting the twitter stuff) so seems like good use.

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Cool! Let me know how you get on with it. Cheers!

I just started watching YouTubes this way this week. I did it for the same reason, to avoid get sucked into things and wasting tons of time. It’s fantastic! I have gotten to see all the channels o want and have zero distractions.

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I subscribe to channels with RSS as well. Rabbit-trailing on YouTube.com isn’t a problem for me, but it definitely feels nicer to get updates through a reader and either see them chronologically or by channel. I also filter some feeds by keyword, which is way easier to do in RSS than on YT with custom styles/scripts.

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The recommendation engine is a feature for me. When I watch YouTube, I most often want to go down a rabbit hole. I’ve found most of the channels I subscribe to by doing that.

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I feel similarly about the recommendations, although with young children I’m getting more kids content popping up. :joy:

I can see how the algorithm become a detriment too, and I hadn’t thought of using RSS to watch YouTube until I heard that Cortex episode. I may still try it!

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I’ll put in a plug here for Downie, that lets you download videos. Great for watching ad free, if you need to be offline (e.g. airplane), etc.
it can alert be used to save live streams, e.g. Medici.tv , Iceland Airwaves, etc.

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I’ve been using RSS for YouTube channels for quite awhile now and have to say it is really the best thing for using YouTube. I still use the play app from there sometimes but I don’t get sucked down rabbit holes now.

Using Reeder it makes it super simple to put the feed in a folder that I’ve simply named YouTube. I start playing the video and click the YouTube icon and it starts playing in the YouTube app.

It was cool to hear CPG Grey mention this trick too!

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I used to do the same, several years ago. Now I struggle with watching videos, I’m too aware of the time commitment.

There’s a third-party YouTube client called FreeTube that can import your subs from a Google Takeout CSV, but it’s slow. Still, something to look into if you want stop visiting the YouTube site completely.

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I think the problem is I have too many hobbies. I’m up to well over 80 subs. It isn’t YouTube’s fault; I don’t want to fall into the trap of people who get frustrated at task management apps because they put too many tasks in them.

So it’s a problem if my own making. I’m hoping this solution of my making can fix me :grimacing:

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Ah, good to know. I’ve always used youtube-dl. I’ll keep this in my back pocket!

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That’s awesome! Love your content, btw, Brian!

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YouTube’s recommendation engine doesn’t bother me at all. I just don’t use the site that way. All my channel discoveries come from other media or from personal recommendations and I can’t keep up with them. RSS filtering and client keyboard shortcuts are such a fast way to triage that I haven’t seriously evaluated YouTube’s own subscription management tools.

That said, for those who struggle with YouTube addiction I’m glad for alternate ways to hear about new videos.

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I also do this for Twitter so I can follow the people I’m interested in without all the noise.

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I’m just going to put this here because I made almost exactly the same comment that @JohnAtl made, in response to someone in another community who was going on a plane. That person wondered about a YouTube Premium (or whatever it’s called) subscription and I chimed in with the Downie answer… which was not popular with a person in the community who creates YouTube content.

I am no saint… far from it… but it did hit me hard that a person whose content I loved was really put out by my unthinking comment. Now… I did (and do) actually always watch their content (and honestly most) online, in full, with ads, but it did get me to thinking. If I value the videos I watch, then the very least I can do is watch the ads because they directly support the content. And honestly, YouTube ads are way less obtrusive than much of what passes for advertising on the internet these days.

For the most part, you’re not depriving big studios of their advertising dollars, but regular folk like you and me. As I said above… I have been (am) no saint… I was certainly part of the Napster generation… and I didn’t think I’d ever be the one making this kind of post, but here I am.

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YouTube ads are not great. Surely there’s a way to directly support a valued creator these days instead of watching ads. They get much more than your views would’ve paid them, and you save time and have a better experience with their videos.

I did also learn a lesson about talking about YouTube with creators. I asked a friend with a channel what he thought about downvote counts being hidden. He was hurt that I had any doubt it was good for YouTube because it was good for creators. He felt personally attacked by downvotes. Since then, I’ve thought more about how my questions might be received before asking them. I still downvote bad videos, though (not his; his are really good.)

Despite my enthusiastic comment above, it’s not something I do as a matter of course. I believe the last time was when I embedded a video in a presentation for a class.

I do support creators using Patreon, GitHub, super comments, tips, (many of whom have parallel channels on Odysee), etc. always buy software I use, music, etc. don’t use Plex or those other means of pirating content.

I also provide valuable data to Apple, even when I have share Device Analytics turned off.

Having said that, I do use tracking and ad blockers on websites. I also only allow essential cookies. I skip ads when given the option. I also quit apps on my phone that are likely to track me when I’m not using them (e.g. Messenger). I suppose these actions deprive someone of a small amount of revenue.

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