Thursday, May 7, 2015

The End of the Road for MacTubes Enabler, et al?

As Dan DeVoto reports, Google in its never-ending arms race to prevent people watching YouTube clips in convenient and less annoying ways has caused them to shut down the YouTube v2 API in favour of the v3 API, which is more complex, requires an API key, disallows downloads, and demands you to send your nubile young daughters to Eric Schmidt is the typical unnecessary API churn that occurs whenever people try to rely on a Google-based service like, you know, Google Code. (What's that, Google? My blog violates terms of service? Oh yeah? Well, I've got your terms of service RIGHT HERE.) The upshot is, virtually none of the YouTube clients for Power Macs, including MacTubes which was my personal favourite, will work anymore.

Fixing MacTubes will not be trivial. Although I have the source code for it, which the author graciously provides, it relies on the older GData framework. Unfortunately, the API is so different that it will need to be completely rewritten and some features will probably not translate. If/until that happens, the MacTubes Enabler (MTE) will no longer be supported, though the QuickTime Enabler (QTE) will still work for those YouTube videos it generally supports (it relies on a different method which Google will probably break again next week), and of course WebM still functions on YouTube if your Power Mac is fast enough and the video is available in that format.

I suppose this is a good time to mention that I've been working on a sandbox solution for "things like this" as a secret project for some time on the side. I will only say that it exists as an internal proof of concept and actually works, but I'm not offering more information until I have something releaseworthy and that's not going to happen until 38 comes out. For the time being, we appreciated all the work that went into MacTubes and its related applications, and we will be overjoyed if they are fixed, but I'd rather just find a way around Google instead of playing their stupid little games with their moving-target APIs. That is where our effort will be focused post-38.

31.7.0 is scheduled for testing availability this weekend, just in time to upgrade your mother's computer, because she loves you and misses you and wants to know why you never call.


  1. I thought the phrase "will need to be completely rewritten" would link to a Jony Ive video. hehehe

    Always thanking you for the time and efforts you put into 10.4Fx.

  2. Thank you for all the hard work you are doing. All this stuff with API's is beyond me but I and many others appreciate your efforts to keep all of our ppc's going into 2016 and beyond.

  3. Trying to make sure to get notified about your progress ;-) Good luck with your efforts!

  4. This script (combined with greasemonkey) still works fine (as of 25 may 2015):

    It allows you to choose what format to play or download the video in. Obviously only webm plays on 104fox, but MP4s can be downloaded and played offline.

    As far as I can see, the biggest step forward for web video, would be the ability to use quicktime's MP4 support so it works in a similar way to webm. (The script rewrites various sites so that they don't need flash to play, but the rest don't have webm support at all)

  5. Don't forget - as a last resort? - you can always use a video screen grab app such as SnapzPro X (Ambrosia).


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