Oct 19, 2018
Change text for max comments

@PrestonN PrestonN released this Oct 20, 2018 · 15 commits to master since this release

Assets 14

Hey everyone! I'm back with a new release for FreeTube along with some other news. There's a lot to cover so I'll get right to it!

Goodbye YouTube API!

Yep, that's right. From this point on, FreeTube does not use the official YouTube API for any reason. I have fully migrated to the Invidious API which scrapes the website. You guys have done a fantastic job at consistantly maxing out my API keys so I'm sure that this is a welcome change.

Changing to the Invidious API have also made the following changes:

  • Post dates are now approximate instead of exact (1 day ago vs October 19th, 2018)
  • The "Most Popular" section will now match what is on the Invidious home page.

This is a huge benefit for FreeTube and I really want to thank @omarroth for all of the hard work that he's done. Please consider supporting him as it is very much deserved.

Playlist Support

I know that this has been highly requested and I'm glad to finally be able to get playlist support in FreeTube. I've kinda been dreading on starting this but I pulled through and I'm pretty happy with the results.

Playlists will now show up in search results. You can view a playlist and videos will automatically go to the next video when they end. You can also shuffle a playlist or tell it to loop back to the beginning of the playlist.

Tons of Default Settings

The settings page has been updated to include some extra toggles for everyone. You can now disable history, autoplay, and checking for updates. You can also toggle if subtitles turn on automatically. Lastly, you can set the default video quality and video speed of videos.

New Keyboard Shortcuts

This release sees a few more keyboard shortcuts, which include:

  • o - Descrease video speed
  • p - Increase video speed
  • Alt + D Focus on the search bar

Other Changes

There are a lot of smaller changes as well, which include:

  • You can now use a right click to copy and paste text
  • YouTube links in the description can now be opened up in FreeTube (If a binary is installed). Right click to open in your browser.
  • Shortened links in the description now properly link to the external website.
  • A "Trending" section is now available. This will match the "Trending" section in YouTube.
  • You can now stream audio only for videos. Find the option in the quality dropdown.
  • You can now loop videos.
  • Any changes to the volume will now persist to other videos for the current session.
  • Videos will now have a "Watched" indicator if you do not have history disabled.
  • Unavailable quality types will now not show up in the quality dropdown
  • FreeTube will more consistantly switch quality automatically if one type isn't available.

FreeTube Blog

The last thing I'd like to announce is a new FreeTube blog! I'd like to make posts / announcements related to FreeTube more often than during a release so I believe that this will be a good way to that. Because of this, future release posts will be posted over there instead. I have more information about the blog in it's first post which is here. I'd love to know what you think about it!

Check out the blog here.

500 Stars

This happened earlier this week, but FreeTube has hit 500 stars on GitHub! That's huge to me, especially considering that FreeTube feels young and there's still a lot to do. I really appreciate everyone's support with this and I'll continue to keep working on it.


Wow that's a lot. I didn't realize how much was here until I wrote this. As always, I will have a discussion board on GitHub at #177. I appreciate any and all feedback that you'd like to give. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

See you next release!

NOTE: Packages are not signed and your virus protection may take notice. Please check out the F.A.Q. for more info.


@PrestonN PrestonN released this Aug 6, 2018 · 66 commits to master since this release

Assets 15

I didn't have plans on doing another release this early, but it looks like Reddit / recent events has forced my hand. You guys sure know how to keep me busy. :)

Anyways, here is release 0.3.2 beta.


HookTube -> Invidious

One of the biggest events that happened since the last release is that HookTube is essentially no more. For those that are unaware, HookTube was given a Cease and Desist by YouTube over their use of YouTube's API. This has forced the creator to use YouTube's official player in order to keep the site up and running. Because of this change, HookTube is no longer a viable alternative to YouTube when it comes to privacy. For those that are concerned with FreeTube having the same fate, I will be making a post over at #100 about the future plans of FreeTube and I shall address this. The post should be there in the next day or so.

Interestingly enough, at around the same time as the C&D for HookTube, a new competitor has entered the scene, Invidious. Invidious is similar to what HookTube used to be, but doesn't use the YouTube API similar to NewPipe. It's also Open Source which is pretty great. The developer is pretty awesome and is very active in our Matrix server. Feel free to stop by and say hi to him if you'd like.

Because of these changes, all links to HookTube now direct to Invidious.


As my career as a developer advances, I tend to learn some new things. One of the recent things that I've been working on is learning Vue.js. Vue is a small but powerful front end that really helps with organization. It was intended to be included in 0.4.0 but some base stuff has been finished so there's no real reason to wait before releasing it.

So what did it do?

With this release, this implementation actually did a couple of things. Each "view" in FreeTube is now saved in memory and rendered when it is called on. That means that your subscription list is saved locally and can be viewed immediately without having to wait for your subscriptions to reload. This change is implementing to every "view" in the app and navigation should feel much smoother because of it.

One of the issues that users have had is that the loading icon sometimes lock out the interface and never goes away. I did this to prevent abuse from users spamming the subscription button and destroying my API keys. With Vue, I have been able to get rid of this lock and any problem with the loading icon should go away. Because of the subscription list being stored locally, subscriptions will only refresh after a minute wait. You will get a notification on when the subscription list is refreshing.

Having this implementation also opens up more opportunities for future features. I hope you look forward to them. :)

Patch Notes

  • I have added several more API keys to this build to help with the load. This should prevent some of the recent issues with the keys lately.
  • You should once again be able to use your own API key in the settings menu.
  • Pasting a channel link into the search bar should take you directly to that channel profile.
  • You can now copy the YouTube URL using the dot menu in the video list.
  • You can once again open a new instance of FreeTube by clicking on File -> Open New Window. The New Window option in the dot menu has been removed because of this.
  • "Saved" videos have been reworded to "Favorites".
  • Extremely long vertical videos shouldn't take up the entire screen now.
  • I accidentally deactivated my GitHub API key for showing a new release within the app. A new one has been added and I will try to be more careful with it now.

Known Issues

If you have multiple instances of FreeTube running and then close all of them, the application may not run again until you restart your computer. I will be trying to fix this as fast as I can.


As always your feedback is appreciated. Please let me know how I'm doing at #100 or over at our Matrix server. I will be making a post over at #100 about some future plans which should be exciting.

Enjoy! :)

NOTE: Packages are not signed and your virus protection may take notice. Please check out the F.A.Q. for more info.


@PrestonN PrestonN released this Jun 17, 2018 · 82 commits to master since this release

Assets 15

They always say that X.0 releases never stay that way for long and FreeTube isn't any different. I have a patch release for everyone alongside a new way for us to communicate. :)


  • Some 720p videos shouldn't refuse to play anymore.
  • Channels with blank banners shouldn't have the default banner stretch far down on the page.
  • Exporting subscriptions now gives a default name to the exported file.
  • The dark theme has had the scroll bar tweaked to be more visible.
  • Tor is now spelled correctly.
  • The Help button on the sidebar has been moved to the About page.
  • HookTube and YouTube should now open properly when opening them at a video list.
  • The AppImage and portable Windows versions should now work again.

New Matrix Server

It has been requested by a few people that I open up some sort of chat room for us to communicate. I'm happy to announce that the Official FreeTube Matrix server is now live! You will need a client such as Riot (or you can use your browser) in order to participate. Please check out the server rules before joining.

You can go straight to the Matrix server here or you can find us at #freetube:matrix.org

I don't know what traffic is going to look like so things may change rapidly depending on what happens. I'm looking forward to getting to talk to everyone over there. :)


As always feedback is appreciated. You can join the discussion at #100 or join us at the Matrix server.

NOTE: Packages are not signed and your virus protection may take notice. Please read here for more information.


@PrestonN PrestonN released this Jun 2, 2018 · 102 commits to master since this release

Assets 15

When I mentioned trying to slow down on releases, I didn't expect it to slow down this much! A lot has happened over the past couple of months but I'm here with a new release for everyone. This is a pretty big release with some highly requested features so I hope that you enjoy! :)

New Logo

To start off (and a lot of you have probably seen it already), FreeTube now has a new logo! The design was created by jbeguna04 so be sure to tell them thanks. :)

New Features

Basic Tor Support

FreeTube now allows you to use the Tor network for making API calls. As of right now, this is for API CALLS ONLY. Streaming videos and grabbing images DO NOT work under Tor. Enable this in the settings page and check out the instructions if you need help.

Browser Extension

FreeTube now has a browser extension for Chrome / Firefox! FreeTube-Redirect allows you to click on YouTube links in your browser and have them open up in FreeTube. The download links for these will hopefully be available soon. I needed to release 0.3.0 before I could submit the extension to the app stores in case they needed to be tested. I will update this post when the extension is available.

Local youtube-dl

Up until this point, I have been running a server on Heroku that took care of the youtube-dl calls. The reason is because I couldn't get it to run locally on Windows at the time. This changes with v0.3.0 as now FreeTube will not use my Heroku server and all youtube-dl calls will be ran locally.

This also means that video restrictions will now be based on your IP Address instead of the IP of the Heroku server. A solid VPN is recommended for bypassing geo-restrictions. USING TOR DOES NOT BYPASS THIS.

Because of this feature, there won't be a need for the Heroku server to keep running. I haven't decided exactly when, but the plan is to shut down the Heroku server. This will cause all releases of FreeTube before v0.3.0 to be deprecated. It is highly recommended that you update to the latest version.

New Player Window

With the new extension, I had to make it harder to load multiple instances of FreeTube. To counter this, I have added a player window feature. When you click on the 3 dots next to a video, you have the option to open up a video in an external window. This external window is different from the mini player as you can still subscribe, play recommended videos, and do video searches. This should allow you to watch videos without losing your place in your subscriptions or search results as well.

Update Notifications

Upon starting up FreeTube, you should get a notification when the next release is out. This will direct you to this release page so that you can download the latest version.

AppImage Support

There is now one more option for Linux users. An AppImage of FreeTube is now available and included with this release!

Other Changes

  • Copy and Paste should now work across the entire application
  • The YouTube embeded player now uses the no-cookie version which should prevent cookies from being saved to your machine.
  • Cache is now cleared when exiting FreeTube
  • Some error messages now include more details


One thing planned in the future is support for multiple languages. That means that I am currently accepting translations for FreeTube. If you are able to help with translating FreeTube to your language, please read the instructions and I would love to have your help!

Feedback / Contact

So what do you think? I liked the idea of having a discussion here on Github and I'd like to do that again with this release. I will setup a feedback issue here in the repository shortly and feel free to come over to that and chat. I'd love to here your feedback and suggestions. There are several questions that I have for the community that I will put over there so I hope to hear from you!

EDIT: Come join the discussion over at #100 :)

For those of you not on Github, feel free to send me an email. I've done a poor job up to this point at making everyone aware of an email so I'd like to mention it here. Feel free to send whatever is on your mind to me here.

Email: FreeTubeApp@protonmail.com

NOTE: Packages are not signed and your virus protection may take notice. Please read here for more information.


@PrestonN PrestonN released this Apr 9, 2018 · 133 commits to master since this release

Assets 11

Hey everyone. This update is going to be a small one. I wouldn't consider it urgent to update so update if you feel the need to.

Here is the release of 0.2.1 which contains the following:


  • You can now double click to exit a full screen video
  • You can now open up YouTube/HookTube links while viewing a video
  • FreeTube should now grab subtitles from other languages if they are available
  • Subscriptions should now load properly when you have a low amount of subscriptions.

Project Board

You may or may not have noticed, but there is now a project board up and running. If you are curious as to what will be included in the next update as well as progress on current tasks, feel free to take a look. I will be keeping this updated as I move forward in the project. Check it out here.

NOTE: Packages are not yet signed. Your OS may warn you about installing FreeTube stating that it is unsafe. Please know that FreeTube is safe and no viruses or malware are included in the packages. Those concerned with this are welcome to compile the application themselves until I can get the packages properly signed.


@PrestonN PrestonN released this Mar 20, 2018 · 137 commits to master since this release

Assets 11

It definitely feels like it's been a while since the last release hasn't it? I hope to slow down on the frequency of the releases that way each release it a little bit more meaningful with features or bug fixes.

This is the release of Version 0.2.0 Beta, which includes the following:


  • Keyboard shortcuts! This includes the majority of shortcuts found on YouTube. Examples like spacebar to pause and arrow keys for volume/navigation. Please let me know if you think I forgot any
  • Videos should now show subtitles if they support them. Videos with subtitles made using Google Translate are not supported
  • All videos now display their duration
  • There is a new menu in the video list which allows you to save the video without opening it, as well as opening the video into YouTube/HookTube
  • You can now double click on a video to full screen it


  • During testing, showing the video duration caused the subscription load times to double. That made me sad so now subcriptions load much faster
  • The proprietary JavaScript from the YouTube API has been removed. API calls now use the HTTP API
  • Going to the next page in a search should work properly again
  • Importing OPML files should now work regardless of language
  • You can delete saved videos again from the saved videos menu
  • Fixed some wording for changing the dark theme.

The last thing that I'd like to mention is about youtube-dl. During testing, I was able to get youtube-dl to run locally, however I was unable to get it to work on Windows. This release will still use a youtube-dl-api-server in order to make the calls. I am still working on getting this to work and I hope to have this working soon.

How am I doing?

There are quite a few people that follow this project now. I am very grateful for the support and I'd like to make sure that I'm doing the right thing. I plan on opening up a discussion here shortly and I'd like to get some general feedback on what the public thinks on the progress of FreeTube. I welcome your feedback and hope to use it moving forward. Thanks again for everyone's support.

EDIT: Come join me at #61 and let's get a discussion going. :)

NOTE: Packages are not yet signed. Your OS may warn you about installing FreeTube stating that it is unsafe. Please know that FreeTube is safe and no viruses or malware are included in the packages. Those concerned with this are welcome to compile the application themselves until I can get the packages properly signed.


@PrestonN PrestonN released this Mar 8, 2018 · 177 commits to master since this release

Assets 11

I really didn't want to do another release until the weekend, but today turned into hazard control as I'm moving around fixing things. It is required that you update to this release in order to continue using FreeTube as there is no way to fix the current issues with older versions without updating.

This sees the release of Version 0.1.3 Beta, which includes the following:


  • Feature: You can now edit playback speed while watching a video.
  • Fix: The top menu is hidden by default to prevent it from showing up when full screening a video for Windows users. Use your 'Alt' key to toggle the menu.
  • Fix: You should be able to specify your own API key again.

Feature: youtube-dl API

The number one change with this update is the switch from the HookTube API, to youtube-dl. This switch allows me to have more control over the API, without having to put load on HookTube's website. This changes a number of things.

  • Videos will take slightly longer to load.
  • Switching between video qualities is much faster.
  • Possibly fixes the memory leak mentioned in #4

This also opens up the possibility of supporting WebM and 1080p videos much quicker than before. Stay tuned for these soon :)

API Keys

If you have been using my API keys up to this point, please go to your settings and clear out the key and click 'save'.

For some reason, all of my API keys had maxed out today, which seems almost impossible looking at past usage. I don't believe that this is because of an influx of users looking at the metrics. Please do not be malicious with the API keys. This is what keeps FreeTube usable and available to everyone. If you are ever concerned with the API keys being overused, please consider using your own API key to avoid this problem.

NOTE: Packages are not yet signed. Your OS may warn you about installing FreeTube stating that it is unsafe. Please know that FreeTube is safe and no viruses or malware are included in the packages. Those concerned with this are welcome to compile the application themselves until I can get the packages properly signed.


@PrestonN PrestonN released this Mar 6, 2018 · 187 commits to master since this release

Assets 11

I originally didn't have plans to do another release until the end of the week, but you guys were dangerously close to maxing out my API key this weekend. Some of you may have even received errors that the quota was reached. I'd say that this is a good issue for me to have.

While this is a very small update, it would help out a lot if everyone could update FreeTube as soon as possible so that it can continue running smoothly for everyone. Thank you in advance :)

This marks the release of Version 0.1.2 Beta, which includes the following:


App now shuffles between several API keys to prevent hitting the quota.

NOTE: Packages are not yet signed. Your OS may warn you about installing FreeTube stating that it is unsafe. Please know that FreeTube is safe and no viruses or malware are included in the packages. Those concerned with this are welcome to compile the application themselves until I can get the packages properly signed.