The Best YouTube Experience on Windows Phone 8?

Not long after the Launch of Windows Phone 8 I heard a slightly worrying report that the bigwigs at Google had sent instructions to the folk at YouTube (whom Google own) telling them not to let the Windows Phone platform have access to a decent YouTube experience (DigitalTrends article here).

Whether or not this is true, there are definitely some good YouTube apps on the platform, my favourite is MetroTube, which allows you to view and save videos in HD. There are lots of other YouTube apps in the Windows Phone store, but the nearest thing to an Official app is from MicroSoft themselves, but is is basically just a link to the mobile YouTube (from here on will be refered to as YT!) website.

So, what is the problem then? Well, for me nothing much, while the developers at LazyWorm have access to YT’s API’s and can keep indulging me in my favourite Channels videos in magnificent HD I am happy. But there are issues with these third party apps. Firstly, they are vunerable to temporarily losing access to video streams. In fact, when I first returned to Windows Phone in December, I could not find MetroTube in the store, apparently they had taken it off sale due to something crippling it. Another problem is that they don’t have access to things like your In Box, or allow you to make changes to your own uploads title or description, at least not in my experience.

So, what is the best option for WP users wanting a full YouTube experience on their mobile. Well, I believe there is a solution for us. And it is all ready available without installing anything from the store. I am of course talking about the desktop website, or Classic mode. It works perfectly on Internet Explorer. You can access your own channel and In Box, make changes to your uploads title and description. And, best of all, stream the content using the HTML5 player. The only drawback is that unlike MetroTube and various other third party clients, the streams are not available in HD, and seem to be 360p maybe 480p at best.


 Just a word of warning, when you first load up a video, you will likely get a message appear at the top of the video box saying “You need Adobe Flash Player to play this video”. Well sit tight, and once the page finishes loading it will display a play button, as demonstrated in the two pictures below.

Don't let the "Flash Player" warning put you off.

Don’t let the “Flash Player” warning put you off.

Once the page finishes loading you can click the video to play it.

Once the page finishes loading you can click the video to play it.

There will likely be some videos which will need need Adobe Flash Player in order to play such as premium content supplied to UK viewers by Channel 4 and the BBC. These, unfortunately will not play back on your Windows Phone. Also, as you may be aware, YT streams some Live broadcasts, and while these pages seem to load, I have not been able to stream any of them myself, will have to try again when I’m on the WIFI and revise this.

 I have only tried this using the Nokia Lumia 920, so would be interested to know how it works on other phones. Please let me know your experiences. I don’t imagine IE10 on Windows Phone 8 is the only mobile browser which can access the desk top YouTube site, but the experience is very smooth and fast, and a lot more enjoyable to use than the mobile site.  After all, the modern  Mobile App was largely developed to make up for the inability of mobile browsers, and by and large the best experience available is the desk top web site.

I hope you have found this post interesting, you can follow me on WordPress by pressing the + button at the top of the screen. I am also on Twitter and am always really pleased to add new followers on there, click here to go to my Twitter profile. Also please comment on the bottom if you have anything to add. Take care for now, will be back soon.



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