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Kodi Youtube addon stopped working (RPI4 and LibreELEC distro) and a DDG search advises me to create a personal API key.

Youtube acess not configured, youtube data api has not been...

For privacy reasons I don't have a Google account.

Is there a workaround to get Youtube videos without Google account into Kodi?

For example on Android, brilliant NewPipe client still working without the need for an account and without ads.

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  • Hmm, but Android does require you to have a Google account to access the playstore -- although there are ways around that and technically you don't have to use it, 99+% of users will have one.
    – goldilocks
    Feb 24, 2020 at 12:50
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    @goldilocks "NewPipe does not use any Google framework libraries, or the YouTube API. It only parses the website in order to gain the information it needs. Therefore this app can be used on devices without Google Services installed. Also, you don't need a YouTube account to use NewPipe, and it's FLOSS." Source Aug 17, 2020 at 8:03
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    For reference purposes, here is the official Kodi YouTube forum thread. The situation looks dire. One can only hope that some NewPipe code gets adopted. However, this may require too much maintenance work of a single developer… Aug 17, 2020 at 8:17
  • Here is how to setup personal API key for your YouTube add-on on Kodi: Creating personal API key I did the entire process from the tutorial and my YouTube add-on has been working since.
    – Dan Davis
    Mar 14, 2021 at 6:51

2 Answers 2

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+100

I don't know anything about Kodi, but you can get YouTube videos without allowing Google to sniff your privates:

sudo apt-get install youtube-dl 

I've found youtube-dl to work well for my purposes, and it's actively maintained. Also on GitHub

UPDATE Nov 12,2020:

@Hagbard informed me that youtube-dl has been "taken down" through the DMCA. The good news is that while it's no longer available from GitHub, it's still available through the usual source. According to this article at Hackaday, the community has rallied which may lead to wider distribution of youtube-dl.

UPDATE Nov 17,2020:

The GitHub ytdl repository is available again per LWN. Here's the change, and some comments...

In retrospect, the entire takedown affair now seems bizarre... do the RIAA lawyers know how GitHub works? Do they understand the change can simply be reverted?

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    I had the same hunch, however the problem seems to be that as long as the developer does not get his plugin approved by Google, the listing of videos remains broken. Pure playback remains unaffected, however many other plugins seem to depend on this listing function. Aug 17, 2020 at 7:49
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    That's not surprising... Google is a plague - not a corporation.
    – Seamus
    Aug 17, 2020 at 16:09
  • @SergeStroobandt: But more to the point - are you saying that youtube-dl is "approved" by Google? That's a big surprise to me if true.
    – Seamus
    Aug 17, 2020 at 16:11
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    No, youtube-dl is not approved by Google, but it always works for downloads. However, the Kodi plugin developer told me that playing nor downloading is the problem, but rather listing videos is. NewPipe solved this issue by scraping YouTube. Scraping is subject to many page changes. The Kodi plugin developer shies away from this daunting maintenance task. Yes, Google is a plague! Aug 20, 2020 at 12:59
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For privacy reasons I don't have a Google account.

Having an account only becomes a privacy issue if you fill it with sensitive information. Nothing prevents you from registering an account you will be using only with Kodi and nothing else. You don't have to use your real name when registering it.

You'll have to make sure it is not possible to associate the anonymous account with you personally by analyzing that account's activity, however, that's very unlikely to happen if you don't have a personal Google account to begin with. Were that not the case, it would be possible to associate the anonymous account with your personal account if the data on the two accounts (search requests, watch history, subscriptions, etc.) correlates closely.

Just avoid putting personal information in search requests and comments you leave with the anonymous account and you'll be fine.

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  • If you could tell us how to register an anonymous Google account then, please go ahead. Last I checked it requires you to give them your phone number. Apr 6, 2021 at 19:10
  • @bugmenot123 I've registered an account recently using an Android phone with no SIM card in it. I'm sure I didn't supply any personal information because the account was meant for someone else. Apr 14, 2021 at 7:18
  • And how did you provide verification during the process? Apr 14, 2021 at 15:33
  • @bugmenot123 What verification? You pick a username, a password and that's it. There might have been a captcha to solve but I don't recall exactly. Apr 14, 2021 at 15:39
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    You are lucky if you manage to do that, Google decides if they require verification or not based on unknown factors. Temporary phone number services cost money and|or are banned by Google. Apr 14, 2021 at 17:44

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