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MetroTube to be discontinued after January 1st

Lazyworm

We can't believe we're writing this but after January 1st, 2012, Lazyworm, the devs behind the super popular MetroTube will cease to offer the application. Those of you who have it now are all set as the app will continue to operate, but after 1/1/12 you won't be able to re-download the application from the Marketplace. 

The reasoning is vague but it involves the notion that the YouTube service (owned by Google) has not been supportive of Windows Phone and does not have any documented APIs for high quality videos. Most Windows Phone YouTube apps have been using a workaround, but Lazyworm believes that this is not feasible in the long run. In a letter posted to their customers (PDF) they write:

"We are extremely saddened to announce that as of the 1st of January 2012, our applications ‘Metrotube’ and ‘YouTube’ will no longer be available for download from the Windows Phone Marketplace.

YouTube’s current API does not have any documented methods for obtaining high quality video content. We have been using a workaround to obtain this content and it has recently come to our attention that this may not be sustainable in the long term, hence our decision to stop distributing the apps.

The apps should remain functional for those who have already installed them however we will be unable to push out any further updates. Of course, you can also continue accessing YouTube videos directly through your web browser."

Truly this is a massive blow to the Windows Phone ecosystem as MetroTube quickly became the must-have YouTube app. No word if other developers will follow suit or what Microsoft may do to ameliorate the situation. Hopefully we'll hear more in the coming days. Lazyworm expects to still develop for Windows Phone as a platform, so hopefully we'll see some more of their great work but in other forms in the future.

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Reader comments

MetroTube to be discontinued after January 1st

86 Comments

To stop developing the app entirely seems like a pretty ridiculous move to me. But I guess they've gotta make a stand. It's also ridiculous how much Google doesn't want to cooperate with Windows Phone. That there's this, and that I have to hack Google calendar to make it work properly on my phone is unforgivable. Why can't they just play nice? You know if there was more press about this they'd have to yield.

Just give us the xap file for MetroTube, so we who have unlocked devices can re-install it! I have the paid version, don't i have the right to install it again? The right thing would be for the dev to email the xap, at least to those who paid.

Definitely a sad day for WP as this was by far the best youtube app out there. There's still 8 days left for them to reverse their decision, but I agree, if it remains the way that it is, please release the xap. Not quite right if I get a new phone and can't reinstall an app I already paid for.

This seems an odd move, but we've seen it a few times lately. Even if they've finished developing it, why remove it from the marketplace? That just seems to screw over the very people that paid for it by stopping them from reinstalling after a reset or a hardware upgrade. Perhaps the marketplace needs to deal with this scenario, to allow people to reinstall apps they've already bought, but to stop new purchases.
 

I use Supertube, and even if it's still a bit buggy, it's still much better than metrotube: it has better player, plays ANYTHING, including vevo videos and hd, and can download videos and sync them with your PC...  

MetroTube plays HD as well. And it's not buggy. I don't care about downloading YouTube videos as much as I just want a well programmed, bug free app.

Bull..... I love this app. Im truly pissed at google. This is why Microsoft is getting 10 bucks for every android phone sold so jokes on you google.

MS needs to buy this app up and make it the 'official' app, maybe even preinstall it. The lack of a youtube client has been a major sticking point with several friends on buying a wp7 - and metro tube is one of the best apps ive used full stop. losing this from the market would be a major lose for wp7.

I understand that a work around is hard work. Instead of not receiving an update, which is a go, not offering a youtube app for the wp7 platform is a bit drastic. The question does pop to mind what this means for youtube for the wp7 platform in general. WP7 will surely not be the promised OS with such amazing funtionality offered by the metrotube and other youtube apps. It would be a major blow, and microsoft should certainly take note of this.
I agree with  madninjaskillz that it would perhaps be good suggestion that microsoft would consider taking up this app as a general update for an integrated functionality of the wp7 platform. 
just lik fade2black1337 I also mostly use supertube. But who is to say that a smiliar fate will occur to this app? (I hope not!)

 
I think it is ridiculous that Google will not support windows phone at that the developers will no longer allow you to download the app after a certain date. I have paid for the app i deserve the right to be able to download it even if it is not going to be updated. 

What's strange to me is the Xbox 360 now has an official great looking youtube app. Why not windows phone? Obviously Google is the HD API's for the xbox. What gives, one produc get's it an others don't. It's always amazed me how MS can play nice, but google is starting to be up tight. What if MS would pull any and all their stuff from Google?

It is because there is no Google variant of the XBox.  I'm sure if there was, there would be no XBox app, either.  If you've noticed, MS is sort of pulling things from Google...or at least not adding to it.  All of those iPhone apps that we were complaining about are not on Android.  (Kinectimals, XBL, etc...)

Google are such a pathetic company who can't innovate or compete fairly. They are afraid to death that their crappy and fugly Android OS will get destroyed by the beautiful and elegant Windows Phone. That's why they are trying to block Windows Phone from accessing their services properly.
I remember Microsoft did complain about this to the EU or whoever. I hope the authorities take steps against Google's pathetic behaviour.

Does anybody know if Microsoft is taking legal action against Google for this? I mean giving acces to one competitor (Apple) but denying the same acces to another (Microsoft) surely has to break some law doesn't it? All these companies are suing each other over, well basically everything, so there has to be a case Micorosoft can make here, no?

This is bullshit. :(
I love this app and bought it as soon as it was released.
Screw you Google!
 

seems like a publicity stunt as the (short term) attention this will bring the developer and YouTube this is rather shortsighted long term.
 
Most notably is that HD video is not necessary on a 480x800 resolution 4" device, especially considering data caps on major carriers worldwide. Said another way limiting bandwidth is a more desirable feature than 1080p or 720p video for a 480p screen.
 
Second by removing apps you'll just send a message to google that there is no demand for such an app on a relatively new OS with small market share.
 
Finally m.youtube.com works well
 
Maybe the developer just doesn't want to support the app, in which everyone should certainly respect the decision if full disclosure is given.
 
 

So why doesn't he just make it free and stop releasing updates. Why is he pulling it off the Marketplace? I just paid for this and I'm not happy about it. I will NOT buy any future apps from this developer, Lazyworm, for fear of them pulling those off the Marketplace on a whim as well.

The developer never said "HD", he said "high quality". HQ on YouTube is 480p.
The other WP7 app, Supertube, will actually play YouTube at 720p, but it stutters a lot.

MetroTube has standard quality (360P), high quality (480p), and HD (720p), and all of them play smoothly.

+1!
I think that the developer perhaps doesn't feel like playing catch up. If Youtube tomorrow changes the APIs, then the App simply stops working.
Without an official path where to walk it from, at this point any path taken for LazyWorm can be broken down since they "undocumented" APIs I suppose.
But this sounds like a combination of both; And I have personally seen how huge the entitlement from certain people are. Even on the app reviews (Be it Free or Paid), the whining is inmensive and I am rather saddened to see that..

Hey its the whiners that get stuff done. In fact I whined on the review that I don't want them to stop developing and I'll send them an email as well, hopefully if enough of us whine they'll change their minds.

I have to agree with the majority of sentiment here.  Google is playing to hurt the WP7 ecosystem.  It sounds like LazyWorm is anticipating the loss of their workaround and getting out before customers get upset.   Sad news.  

If Google broke their workaround people would understand I think. What I don't understand is the developer pulling the app. Just make it free starting January 1st. Don't remove it! I would love to be screwed by Google, but it looks like the developer of this app is beating Google to the screwing punch by completely pulling the app from the Marketplace.

I don't understand the crying here.  Especially the comment "a massive blow to the Windows Phone ecosystem".  Did you people become so depended on apps that you forgot how to use the web? m.youtube.com works.  It works very well.  Hell, we can even go use the desktop website on our phone.  So what's the point of using an app again??

+1.  I thought it was funny  - " A massive blow to the Windows Phone ecosystem".  Puhlease!  It's just one app - a nice one - but still there are other alternatives.

I have grown to love the simplicity and speed of this app compared to m.youtube.com. Also, videos are MUCH higher quality than on m.youtube.com. 

This is why i try not to use YouTube much, only when there is no choice i use it. sites like Vimeo has better quality and all. of course they dont allow some uploads like gameplays so its hard to get some people to upload there. but there are other choices. i wish i could get some videos on other sites but YouTube because i dont like it at all.
 
about Metrotube well... its sad.
i wish people like lazyworm would make instead an App for  stupid YouTube, they could develop a video App supporting alot of services even stuff like Justin.tv/twitch.tv!, ustream, livestream. it could happen, specially since there is no way i see a twitch.tv App soon for WP7. which would be nice to have on my phone.
 
its time to wait and see what their next App will be.

I have never bothered to download an app for YT - just go to m.youtube.com and you can watch any video in full screen just fine.
Why bother with the app, just pin a shortcut to the site if you really use YT that often.

Yes...that works perfectly for me too with the default WP7 app/link...but, MetroTube adds more functionality for dedicated "tubers"....and it's a really beautiful and well made app. Personally I don't care so much, but, it's a big loss for WP7 and Microsoft who hasn't even address problems with some other popular features, like offline pdf , txt and doc support.

I tweeted people involved with WP7 to make them aware and hope something gets done about it. Everyone should do the same as we need to at least try and stop this from happening. Add the hashtag #SaveMetroTube and lets start a trend.

Also Interestingly enough. I went to the marketplace on my Titan and in the HTC apps section you tube is no longer listed. It's still working on my phone, but didn't see it to download there.

Google is continuing with these passive agressive attacks on Microsoft platforms. While Google and Apple are more direct competitors in the mobile space, the two companies still operate together in this oddly incestous relationship.
After a year of WP7, the only application that google has released for our phones is google search. No picasa, no youtube (the offical youtube app was written by MS), no google+, or a myriad of apps that google has developed over the last few years.
I really hope that WP7 rises in popularity. It deserves to, it is hands down the best UI out there, especially for the small handheld touchscreen device. And I couldn't be happier if android would collapse under it's own weight. Even with the improvements to experience and UI with the new update, android is still a hot mess of phones running every version of android from 1.whatever to 4, UIs of drastically varying quality, and a poorly written kernal that still requires telephones with specs of a mid-range laptop to run without hesitation, which in turn, makes WP7 look bad to consumers because our phones routinely lose if you compare them by specs alone.
Go to hell, google.

And I wouldn't even call the search an app. Google has done nothing. The only reason why they even did that is cause search is where they make their money. So basically we can't get official apps from them but we can get a so-called app that's nothing more than just link to the google search site and make them money

Why the hell does it need to get pulled from the marketplace? That's what I don't understand. If you don't want to develop or support it further, fine. There are lots of apps that will likely never see an update, are no longer supported or updated by the developer... they don't get pulled. Just put a note about that at the top of the description stating that.

If there comes a time when the workaround no longer functions rendering the app broken, pull it at that time as that would give clear justification for the move. This preemptive removal just seems illogical.

Anyhow, I'm not going to cry over a developer who decides to leave their fans/customers hanging like this. And I'll be wary about potentially using their products in the future. If you're willing to just outright kill a product once, it's reasonable to believe that you'd do it again. It certainly doesn't instil a lot of faith in them. But what do I know... I'm just the customer.

umm... just adjust MetroTube to access the low quality content?
This app is awesome. Make some adjustments and keep it in the marketplace. Even with this adjustment, it will still be the best YouTube App in the marketplace.

I hating Google so much. I have the app and paid for it but what will happen when I get a new phone? Will I just lose one of my favorite apps?

Stop being so anticompetitive Google, Jesus.

Xtube already exist and unless your in the market for some girl on girl action, I would stay away, lol.

And I love the WP platform as much as the next. But am I the only WP owner who can't bring himself to spew the kind of anger I see towards Google and Apple? Granted, I've never owned an Android phone. So alot of the criticism towards the OS may be warranted. But I just don't have that kind of loyalty to one device to hate on another.

And MS please fix this damn disappearing keyboard issue!!!!! Forget about YouTube. I want to be able to type a message and it not take hours

what fricken keyboard issues you talking about? I have no problems on my keyboard... upgrade your phone to mango

We really need an answer from MS on any progress made on this.  This is bullshit and Google knows it.

I agree with others: I don't understand why the developer can't just leave a note in the app description stating that it will not longer be supported. If I reformat my phone or move to a new one, I just wasted $1, which is a pretty big deal for those who only buy apps that they feel are worth paying any amount for.
If this developer removes this app from the marketplace, I will be avoiding their other apps and scrutinize apps even more before purchasing them.

GREAT.

That's JUST WHAT WE NEED NOW (now that 2012 is coming in and people are just beginning to be interested at Windows Phone.)

So we (still!) don't have support from the folks of Pandora themselves (and pretty much from everyone else, e.g. Instagram, Tumblr, Orkut, Plurk, hell, even Windows Live Messenger!),

Much of the public damned (and is still damning) the idea of a mobile OS with "Windows" to eternal hell,

The Other Fruit and The Little Green Robot is what many *only* know about and really care for when they think of "smartphones"

And then THIS.

The loss of what can be considered as THE BEST YOUTUBE APP OF ANY. MOBILE. PLATFORM. EVER.

It seems as if that we are almost automatically entitled to live a life of difficulty the moment we buy a Windows Phone and not something practically everyone uses. D:

Think that's a little dramatic, wouldn't you say? I mean we're missing a few apps but as the platform is gradually gaining momentum we're also starting to see more and more of the big players deliver, so the situation is getting better rather than worse. This is a fairly minor setback IMO. Other than regretting the loss of 99 cents for the app I feel pretty certain that some innovative individual will step in to fill this void sooner rather than later.
Oh, and Messenger is built into Windows Phone messaging, is it not? So how are we getting short shrift in that regard other than MS failure to really promote the fact?

MetroTube was an app that I would pull out to showcase the beauty of the Metro UI... I hope something changes and they reconsider their decision.

Well glad I didn't pay for the app after all. However,...
I'm a little confused. By "high quality" do they mean HD? If so, then I say pull the HD feature out of the app, re-release, and continue to keep it available. Our phones don't have enough pixels to display HD anyway, so I don't understand what their issue is.
Maybe I am missing something about HD on our phones beyond resolution. If so, I am all ears. Thanks.

Has anyone actually considered that by using a work around, google might have sent them a cease and desist letter? Makes perfect sense...
 

I'm really sad... This was the OFFICIAL youtube app for Windows Phone in my eyes. On the other hand I'm glad they are still going to develope for the Windows Phone platform.

Google just jealous because metrotube looks awesome on windows phone 7.5 also i hope Google phones keeps getting malware virus on there crappy laggy battery eatting phones. Glad i got the app already.

XAP: http://goo.gl/okX6h You're welcome :) 
For the record, I'm not associated with LazyWorm in any way.
Please don't use that link for piracy, only use it if you've paid for the app and need to reinstall it.

I'm unable to execute the XAP, and I have purchased Metrotube. Any specific deployer I need to use?

Changed the URL: http://goo.gl/LD8xZ
I tested it with the official deployer, my phone's officially dev unlocked, not sure if the other ones wouldn't work. When I tested it though, it seemed to work fine.

How do we know this will not happen with any of the other YouTube apps like supertube and what will happen with and what will happen with lazyworm other YouTube app?

Sad day, this app was my favorite YouTube portal. Why can't Microsoft and Google get along? The reason the iPhone is so popular is partly because of the deep Google integration.

microsoft should block all the "google.com" crrapp .... ALL..... in all the windows echosystem!
I don't even use google anymore, I use bing since long time! Go microsoft, show them you are not afraid and weak!

Maybe (I hope =) Microsoft "bought" them and they will make the next official youtube app (which isn't even made by Google, it's made by Microsoft)

Why did they do this?  That app was kick ass!!  One of the if not THE top app design and functionality wise on the whole platform.  WTF?!

I'm with ticomfreak.. Someone better have bought them.... Makes no sense that this app and that company just stopped making apps for WP?!
 

Unless you had pinned some subscriptions to your start screen, or have recently viewed videos, this app doesn't even work anymore.. Such a shame!! F Google!