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The only REAL guide to playing back Mobile YouTube videos

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#1
Menneisyys

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As has also been announced in my (latest) guide to playing back (non-Mobile) YouTube videos published some weeks ago, the YouTube folks have been working on a really mobile, non-flash-based version of their services and, as promised, have indeed come up with it some days ago. Even when it only contains very few clips (in general, only the most popular ones – for example, none of the not-that-popular but old clips I’ve searched for existed in there as of today), it’s been continuously expanded, which means it might become a real repository of all “real”, Flash-based videos.

As there is a lot of plain wrong or contradicting information and a LOT of hacks out there, all just confusing Windows Mobile users, I’ve decided to publish the one and only REAL guide to this question.

The new Mobile YouTube homepage is accessible at http://m.youtube.com/ from any Web browser, desktop or mobile alike. However, in order for the playback to work, you must use a browser accessible of passing control to external applications (in this case, the HTC Streaming Media player) because, when a Watch Video link is clicked (like the one in THIS screenshot), an external application, “Streaming Media”, will be invoked. This means you won’t be able to use, for example, the otherwise excellent and highly recommended Opera Mini. (Unfortunately, this also applies to the latest version, 4.0 beta.) This restriction, on the other hand, does NOT apply to the best Windows Mobile browser on both (Pocket PC and Smartphone) platforms, Opera Mobile. That is, you aren’t forced to use the built-in, in most respects inferior Internet Explorer Mobile.

First, some bad news (in addition to the fact that, currently, the mobile version of YouTube only has few converted videos).
  • You’ll need the HTC Streaming Media player, which only comes with WM6 Pocket PC Professional) devices, but NOT Smartphones – that is, WM Standard devices. On the latter phones, clicking Mobile YouTube links result in Windows Media Player’s being invoked – but in vain, because, after trying to connect, it displays an error (screenshot HERE and HERE).

    Fortunately, this problem can be VERY easily fixed on both WM5 Pocket PC’s and Smartphones and WM6 Smartphones.

    Streaming Media is a full application, which also means it has its own icon and is directly runnable. However, you will want to prefer starting it from your Windows Mobile Web browsers by simply clicking streaming links like those of Mobile YouTube.

  • You will need DIRECT Internet connection, as was the case with the well-known RealOne Player for Pocket PC. If you’ve ever tried to make the latter to play back streams (or, you’ve read my related article “How Can I Listen to/Watch RealOne Streamed Content (RealAudio/RealVideo) on my Pocket PC?”), you know well enough you can only do this if you have a direct connection to the Internet: that is, in most cases, over mobile phone-based (GPRS / EDGE / UMTS / HSDPA etc.) connections. Should you have a non-direct connection, you will see the “Failed to find network.” error message upon trying to play back streams (screenshot HERE). Unfortunately, most Wi-Fi connections (unless they put you in a DMZ (demilitarized zone), which is pretty rare) are unlikely to work and ActiveSync connections will NEVER work.

    A quick note: I’ve thoroughly tested the latter by configuring Windows XP’s Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) to forward UDP ports 1024...1044 as can be seen in HERE (20 ports were the smallest amount the client allows for as can also be seen in HERE; note that, when tested, I’ve ticked in all these checkboxes) and HERE. In vain: it just didn’t work.
If you DO have direct internet connections or would still want to give the client a try, do the following.

If you don’t have Streaming Media on your Windows Mobile handheld (because it’s WM5 only or a WM6 Smartphone and not a Pocket PC), get and install THIS file. Note that if it doesn’t exist, you can get it from HERE (make sure you unRAR the latter to get the CAB file). Also note that you can safely install the CAB file to a storage card.

Don’t listen to people that tell you to use other files – with them, you may end up having to, for example, import Registry scripts to create the necessary file / type associations so that Streaming Media can be invoked.

If you do have Streaming Media (or, have just installed it), just navigate to http://m.youtube.com/ and enjoy the videos.

Some example screenshots of showing all this in action (all taken by me on my QVGA and VGA WM5/ WM6 Pocket PC Phone Edition models and a WM5 176*220 HTC s310 (Oxygen) and a WM6 QVGA HTC s710 (Vox) Smartphones):

Posted Image
(WM6 VGA Pocket PC, officially shipped with Streaming Media, over GPRS – as can be seen, GPRS is just too slow to produce a decent image)

Now, three screenshots of models with the additionally installed Streaming Media:

Posted Image
(WM5 QVGA Pocket PC over EDGE – decent playback)

Posted Image
(WM5 176*220 Smartphone over EDGE – decent playback)

Posted Image
(WM6 QVGA Smartphone over EDGE – decent playback)

Cool, eh? Nice to know even low-end Smartphones are able to play back these kinds of stuff, isn’t it?

Note that, in order to install the player on application locked MS Smartphones, you will need to unlock them. See my other, related articles on doing this – for example, THIS.

What should you do if you get the "Failed to find network." error message?

Unfortunately, not much, but this also depends on your particular network settings.

If you're on a Wi-Fi network and you do have administrator rights to reconfigure the router(s), you can configure them to allow your mobile device to be in the DMZ - or, at least, configure UDP port forwarding (note that the latter didn't work in my tests as has also been mentioned above - this means DMZ may be the ONLY solution). Otherwise, if you use public Wi-Fi networks, you can't do anything.

If you're using a wireless (for example GSM) network, which doesn't support direct access, you can't do anything either. Your only choice is switching to another mobile phone network, which does. (About half of them do.)

Finally, don't forget that, even if you can't play Mobile YouTube videos, nothing is lost, except for the advantages of the 3GP streaming compared to the alternative methods:
  • Direct Flash video playback (with Opera Mobile) takes a LOT of CPU time and may have stuttering playback even on the fastest, 624 MHz Windows Mobile devices, let alone slower ones
  • Indirect video playback has an additional step requiring manual work including, at least, copying and pasting the URL of the given video clip. If they also employ transcoding (all solutions EXCEPT for the TCPMP-based playback, but the latter can't be used on MS Smartphones), the resulting video will be, in general, of lower quality and higher size than the original Flash video, which you don't necessarily want.
That is, you can still play regular YouTube videos. Either, as has just been explained, directly (with Opera Mobile 8.65- forget all the other browsers, particularly the latest, Flash-enabled, Technical Preview released in June of Netfront 3.4 - see my review of the browser for the why's), half-directly via (direct download, unfortunately, only works on PPC's and not Smartphones) or indirectly, using an online conversion service. I've elaborated on all these three alternatives in my past articles - make sure you check them out, should you need to rely on the "traditional" way of playback.

Additional info (you will NOT need to read them; the above tutorial should suffice. I only give you these URL’s so that you can see how much easier my tutorial is than trying to find out what to do when following community threads with millions of contradicting and/or misleading and/or outdated posts and hacks):

Probably the best, related XDA-Dev thread

youtube mobile problem

A PPCT thread on the problem

Edited by Menneisyys, 26 June 2007 - 07:46 PM.

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#2
GuyAdams

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[*]You’ll need the HTC Streaming Media player, which only comes with WM6 Pocket PC Professional) devices, but NOT Smartphones – that is, WM Standard devices.


Great guide Menneisyys.

One small pointer, my Vodafone v1415 (aka Vox / S710) 'smartphone' came with HTC streaming media and works out of box with You Tubes new site.

Thanks

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#3
Confucious

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My Ameo came with Streaming media but gets failed to find network over 3G/HSDPA :)

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#4
Menneisyys

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Great guide Menneisyys.

One small pointer, my Vodafone v1415 (aka Vox / S710) 'smartphone' came with HTC streaming media and works out of box with You Tubes new site.

Thanks


Thanks for pointing this out - funny it isn't pre-instaled on HTC's own (!), not-rebranded s710.

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#5
Menneisyys

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My Ameo came with Streaming media but gets failed to find network over 3G/HSDPA :)


Yup, your GSM network doesn't support direct IP's.

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#6
nuttyphilt

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OK, here's an interesting one for you. I'm on the 3 network in the UK. I can view Youtube videos with the crappy LG phone that was supplied with the contract, however when I put the SIM card into my M3100, I get the 'failed to find network' message. I have the HTC Streaming Media player and have checked and double-checked all my network settings.

Any ideas?

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#7
Confucious

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Yup, your GSM network doesn't support direct IP's.


Is this to do with their proxy? (ie if I used another proxy woulld it work) or is it a limitation of T-Mob UK?

How does that explain nuttyphilt's prob where the SIM works in one phone but not another - is theer some other problem?

Thanks

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#8
pd.ryder

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This works a treat on my T-Mobile 3G + Vario II.

:)

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HTC One (M8), big shiny sword...

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#9
t00l

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I've tried a few threads in various forums now, so I am wondering if anyone here can solve this problem.
"Its not working on my moto q. Tried both methods (the .cab method first). The streaming player shortcut yields an error that the file cannot be found and opening it through resco explorer just makes an error beep. What is the problem here?"
It seems that the installation just simply is incompatible with WM5 on the Q or something...

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#10
Confucious

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This works a treat on my T-Mobile 3G + Vario II.

:)

This does rather seem to sugest that my priovider does allow direct IPs then....

Are you using the standard T proxy pd? or the Modaco one?

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#11
romolos

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That CAB does not work on my imate kjam, I receive this message: "The file 'StreamingPlayer' cannot be opened. Either it is not signed with a trusted certificate, or one of its components cannot be found. You might need to reinstall or restore this file."

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#12
pd.ryder

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This does rather seem to sugest that my priovider does allow direct IPs then....

Are you using the standard T proxy pd? or the Modaco one?

It's the standard 'out-of-the-box' T-Mobile stuff.

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HTC One (M8), big shiny sword...

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#13
looeee

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That CAB does not work on my imate kjam, I receive this message: "The file 'StreamingPlayer' cannot be opened. Either it is not signed with a trusted certificate, or one of its components cannot be found. You might need to reinstall or restore this file."

I get the same message on my o2 Graphite
you must need an HTC device to use the HTC streaming app

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#14
Confucious

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It's the standard 'out-of-the-box' T-Mobile stuff.

So is mine ... Strange.

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#15
romolos

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I get the same message on my o2 Graphite
you must need an HTC device to use the HTC streaming app


What do you mean? Imate K-Jam is an HTC device (HTC Wizard).

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#16
Menneisyys

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UPDATE (06/29/2007):
  • on some Smartphone and Pocket PC models (the iMate K-Jam (see THIS) Samsung Blackjack, the Moto Q (see THIS, THIS and THIS), the PPC-6700 and the Cingular 8125 (HTC Wizard rebrand)), the player won’t start after then install. To fix this, you will need to follow the steps explained HERE (in THIS thread) (thanks to Malatesta for pointing it out!)
  • the WM5 ROM Upgrade (AKU3.3.1) for HTC P3600 (aka Trinity) also contains Streaming Media; so do the Vodafone v1415 (the rebranded Vox / S710 – HTC’s original version does NOT contain it) and the Ameo (see THIS). Finally, according to Ed Hardy, HTC includes a version of of its Streaming Media application with both its Pocket PC and Smartphone devices running Windows Mobile 5.
  • on some devices like the cingular 8525 (see THIS and THIS) (rebranded HTC TyTN / Hermes), the playback would start but stop at the end of buffering. Altering the buffering parameters doesn’t help. Fix unknown. Interestingly, other TyTN / Hermes (see the problems with the 8525) users have reported no problems (see THIS).

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#17
looeee

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Check out this entry on the Hubdog Developer Blog - “Mobile Youtube!”

Hubdog is my favourite podcast client on smartphone and the latest daily builds allow you to point it at a youtube rss feed and it pulls all the vids down as flv files for offline use (with the tcpmp plugin discussed earlier in this thread)

Edited by looeee, 29 June 2007 - 07:28 PM.

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#18
snowman5373

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Cannot get the stream cab to install on my T-Mobile USA Dash. Get a message saying; Installation of the .cab was unsuccessful.

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#19
madaboutmobile

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This thread may be totally dead, and if so I apologize.

I have been struggling with the HTC Streaming Media Player (HTCMP) on my HTC Touch (from Telus Mobility in Canada). I have followed all the instructions and successfully installed the application. It launches when I click on a YouTube video in IE then I see a "connecting..." notification in the top left corner. A few seconds later I get a “failed to find network” message displayed in the middle of the player and then it closes and I am returned to IE.

I am on an EVDO network so expect that it should work. I have seen some mention of direct connection vs. non-direct connection. Is this the problem I am experiencing? Is there any way to test whether or not I am on a direct connection from my mobile device?

Any assistance is appreciated. I have spent countless hours tackling this and don't want to give up yet.

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#20
Confucious

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hi
firtly the HTC Streaming media player isn't HTCMP - TCMP is The Core Media ayer which is something completely different. But that is irrelevent, no ome can get this working on the T-Mobile Ameo and some other phones and it is believed to be something to do with the provider - other phones on T Mob do work but they are ones that T support or, if you do a search on xda-developers, some people have hacked their Kaiser to work but the hack doesn't work on the Ameo. I've no idea if it does on the Touch.
To view YouTube on my Ameo I just use vTap - a much simpler solution which allows you to search Wikipedia as well!

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