metrotube

Metrotube is a popular third-party YouTube app for Windows Phone owners to access multimedia stored on Google's video sharing service. While the search engine giant continues to avoid releasing an official app on Microsoft's mobile platform, today the Metrotube developer has published version 4.1.3.0 to the store with some new functionality.

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Using YouTube in Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8 can be a bit of a pain. The mobile website is barebones and doesn’t work as well as it should. And as you know, YouTube has yet to release a competent native app for Windows Phone users. Their loss since we’re getting by fine with stellar apps like Metrotube and myTube.

However, every now and then you end up on YouTube in the browser. Maybe you clicked a link in a tweet or someone sent a link in an email. You’re now about to watch a YouTube video with poor playback controls and no option for 720p video. Or are you? Probably not if you’re a fan of Metrotube. You can now open YouTube links in Metrotube with minimal effort. Details on how below.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve written about MetroTube. It’s the YouTube application that has been wildly popular on both Windows Phone and Windows 8. The only problem with the Windows Phone app was that it hasn’t been updated since last July. It was a month ago that we reported an update was coming for MetroTube on Windows Phone. Today is that day that you’ll finally be able to get a new update for MetroTube.

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We still lack an official YouTube app on Windows Phone, but have some solid third party offerings. Metrotube and myTube are the two YouTube apps constantly vying for a spot on your Start screen. However, Metrotube hasn’t been updated since last July and some users are reporting that videos won’t play. Good news though, not only is a fix on the way for Metrotube users experiencing issues, but a beta for the next release is about to take place. Details after the break.

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The developer of Metrotube, Lazyworm has released an update for its popular Windows Phone YouTube app. So what's new in this latest release? Lazyworm has opened it up for other Windows Phone 8 developers to utilise URI app-to-app communication and automatically launch Metrotube's player from within their own apps. 

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Look down at your Windows Phone, odds are if you want to watch some YouTube videos you have crowd favorite Metrotube installed. It’s been by far one of the best YouTube experiences on any mobile platform even though it’s a third party app. Newcomer myTube looks to challenge them and seems well equipped. It’s just as beautiful and fluid, but has some killer features that I haven’t seen on any YouTube app on any platform. Let’s see if it can dethrone the king.

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Metrotube was recently pulled due to YouTube alterations that broke playback. The developer has got in touch with us to reveal that an update containing a fix has been submitted and should be live in the Store within the next 24 hours (it is currently live for those in the US). The app update has passed certification, meaning consumers will be seeing the release shortly.

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Here is a friendly public service announcement for all the Metrotube fans out there, the app has currently been hidden from the Store and will be back shortly.

LazyWorm Apps, the team behind Metrotube for Windows Phone and Tweetro for Windows 8 have always received high praise for their 3rd party YouTube app. They just never seem to catch a break from Google. The team has always had to use workarounds to get high quality streaming to work in the app. Well, Google recently made some back-end changes that broke all 3rd party YouTube apps, like Metrotube.

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The updates for Microsoft’s latest mobile OS keep on coming and this one is very welcome indeed. Lazyworm have just released an update to their very popular Metrotube app for watching YouTube videos, joining the other new or updated Windows Phone 8 Apps. The update brings the release to version 4.0.

A long-time favourite on Windows Phone, the app makes great use of the Metro UI, taking full advantage of the new large tiles and introduces the ability to preload videos for later viewing. Read on past the break to find out more.

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Sneak peek of MetroTube for Windows Phone 8

MetroTube for many Windows Phone users is the be-all, end-all for your mobile YouTube experience. With a slick design and excellent performance there’s little wonder.

Here at BUILD we were able to catch up with the developers behind MetroTube (and the new Windows 8 Twitter app Tweetro) for quick look at the upcoming update that will bring some new Windows Phone 8 features, including doublewide tiles and a new preloading feature (basically downloading for offline viewing).

In addition, we got a preliminary look at MetroTube for Windows 8 RT, which we can confirm is now officially in the works for your Surface.

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Metrotube updated to v3.4, HD streaming bug fixed

The popular Windows Phone YouTube client Metrotube has been updated. Version 3.4 appears to be primarily a maintenance update covering fixes for HD streaming bug that we mentioned a few weeks ago as well as other performance tweaks.

You also now have the ability to disable the main tile from flipping. The update has passed certification and you should be seeing it live shortly.

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HD and HQ streaming down but now out

If you’re a user of any 3rd party YouTube apps that also sport high-definition (HD) or high-quality (HQ) streaming, you may have noticed that function has stopped working recently.

Long story short is YouTube changed their access method for those streams and basically borked those apps. The changed occurred on September 14th and since Supertube and MetroTube use unorthodox methods for access (read: not officially sanctioned by YouTube), it broke on the apps’ end too, resulting in only LQ playback abilities. Interestingly, this isn't the first (nor the last) time that this has happened, as nearly a year ago, the same situation occured.

We’ve heard from the Supertube developers that a fix has already been submitted to the Windows Phone Store, meaning service will be restored when the update goes live. Although we haven’t heard from the MetroTube team, we’re just going to assume the same for them as well. That means this isn’t a permanent change but rather just a temporary glitch, so dear YouTube streamers, standby for a few days and all will return when those apps update.

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The Lazyworm team has released an update to the highly rated YouTube Windows Phone app, MetroTube. Featuring a heavily Metro-influenced design and feel, the app really is the unofficial home of YouTube on the mobile platform. It disappeared for a number of months at the beginning of the year due to API issues with Google, which couldn't be resolved even after consulting with Microsoft.

Luckily the third-party YouTube app is back in action, and returned to the Marketplace earlier this month. Today version 3.3 of MetroTube passed certification so it should be with us shortly. So, what's new in this release? 

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The return of MetroTube!

We told you a few days ago that YouTube app MetroTube was due to return to the Marketplace for Windows Phone after a six month hiatus and sure enough, version 3.1 just went live.

The app itself is as smooth and buttery as you may have remembered. If you don't remember you’ll really enjoy the superb, fluid UI design which is obviously heavily inspired by Metro design language. Features include streaming of video content, pinning videos to your Start screen, like/dislike, comments, favorites and playlist support and sharing.

You may not get the ability to rip videos for downloading or play in true HD but the app itself is a joy to use and now that it’s free, it’s hard to not give it serious consideration.

Pick up MetroTube here in the Windows Phone Marketplace for free. Let us know in comments your thoughts. Thanks, Rahat M., for the tip

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Happy news for those of you who are fans of LazyWorm's Metrotube app. After announcing that it would no longer be available after the first of the year, the developer has decided to bring it back to the Marketplace, this time, as a free app. In a letter to users,  the company explained that they faced a challenge with YouTube's API when trying to obtain high-quality videos from the Google-owned site. They were forced to use a workaround, but found it to be unsustainable in the long term. LazyWorm tried to get support in an official capacity from both Microsoft and Google, but just couldn't work it out, so they originally decided to pull what was widely considered to be the best YouTube app out there.

Since an officially-supported solution could not be found, LazyWorm decided to re-offer Metrotube for free using the workaround.  LazyWorm's announcement was short and to the point.

Our goal from the very beginning was to deliver a rich YouTube experience that could be officially promoted by Microsoft (or Google). It was for this reason that we never supported features such as video download or the playback of non-mobile content and why we have spent the past 7 months investigating alternative avenues of delivering the same rich experience via official means.

We were truly hopeful that we could resolve these issues however it has gotten to the stage where we've exhausted all of our options. Essentially, we have done everything in our power to go through official channels without any luck. We don't want to see the project that has consumed a year and half of our lives go to waste like this and so we've decided to re-launch Metrotube for free.

We hope the app receives a big enough response from the Windows Phone community justifying the need for Google or Microsoft to show us a little more support.

While it's not quite the storybook ending they had hoped for, we here at Windows Phone Central are psyched for Metrotube to return. Perhaps Google will realize that it runs circles around their official app and will decide to support it in some fashion.  Metrotube has passed Marketplace certification and should be available within 24-48 hours.  We'll update things with a link once it becomes available.

Source: LazyWorm Apps

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If you caught our hands-on with YouTube Pro, the new HD/HQ video app for watching YouTube on-the-go, you'll be as excited as we are to see it is now on the Marketplace. Fetching for free (with ads) or $0.99 (no ads), the app looks to rock those who want a solid MetroTube replacement.

YouTube Pro is made by the same company who released SuperTube. The latter should be getting an update within the next few weeks and it won't be a directly updatable to YouTube Pro. However, we're told that YouTube Pro will remain at $0.99 till March 31, 2012 at which point it will bounce to the higher $1.29, so you'll want to lock in that price now if you like the app.

Feature-wise, YouTube Pro is similar to SuperTube but it has a much nicer, more Metro-influenced UI. You can play videos in HQ and HD resolutions, download (and save) videos, access your account, like/dislike videos, upload new videos to your account, push notifications with Live Tiles and more. Really, it's the full package and when we tried it a few weeks ago, we were impressed with it. But now it's your turn to have at a go and see if this fits the bill for the "ultimate YouTube app."  (Although we do worry about the name as YouTube proper could force them to rename the app).

Pick up YouTube Pro (paid with trial) here for $0.99 or opt for the free, ad-supported version right here. Let us know your thoughts in comments. Watch our video walk-through and get the QR codes after the break...

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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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