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I am using an old Raspberry Pi 1 (Model B, 256MB Ram) with Raspbian 2012-8-16 version. I bought it in August 2012 and leave it unused for some time. Recently, I set it up again and try to view YouTube videos using the web browser (Midori 0.4.3). However, I find that the browser seems having a problem in streaming YouTube videos, I could only see a black box in the video area inside the browser.

From this link, it shows that a Raspberry Pi Model B (512mb) could view video smoothly.

It seems that the free memory left in my Pi is only 10K. The output from the free command is:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ free
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        188112     177128      10984          0       3668      29908
-/+ buffers/cache:     143552      44560
Swap:       102396         92     102304

Is lack of memory a key problem for my Raspberry Pi to view videos?

Does anyone have experience in using a Raspberry Pi Model B (256MB Ram) to view YouTube videos? Is this task possible? If yes, what OS (and version) and what application(s) should I use?

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I have a first generation model B (256MB ram) that I watch YouTube videos on all the time. From my experience there are a couple of things that will effect playback:

  1. Your network connection, if you have a slow or flaky connection you will encounter issues.
  2. choice of OS, I had issues trying to use various browsers on Raspbian.
  3. Power supply, I had issues with the system freezing after several hours; these were eventually tracked down to a weak power supply.

Assuming that number one is not an issue (I don't know a way around this other than downloading the videos first - a quick google search will turn up several ways to do this). besides replacing the power supply, I installed raspbmc (now super-seeded by OSMC), this is a dedicated media center distribution, and the YouTube plugin. This has the advantage that it is optimized for playing video. I have also added an IR remote control and the raspbmc app to my tablet to control the media center.

  • Thanks for your sharing. Sorry for a late lookup of your answer. – user1129812 Sep 11 '15 at 10:25
  • Could you provide a link for the YouTube plugin that you have described. Is it a plugin for a web browser or for the raspbmc OS. – user1129812 Sep 11 '15 at 10:34
  • I think my problem may be due to my midori web browser which may not have a flash plugin. Yesterday I have tried the "omxplayer" program in a most recent version of Raspbian. I find that a downloaded mp4 video could be viewed smoothly in my 256MB ram Raspberry Pi. That means that the 256MB ram Raspberry Pi has the capability of showing video smoothly. – user1129812 Sep 11 '15 at 10:45
  • Nevertheless, my internet connection may be not fast enough and/or the 256MB ram Raspberry Pi seems handle desktop windows not fast enough. – user1129812 Sep 11 '15 at 10:47
  • The youtube plugin is for raspbmc (osmc) – Steve Robillard Sep 11 '15 at 11:25

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