LibreTube (NewPipe Alternative)

I propose adding LibreTube to Privacy Guides.

Currently, Privacy Guides recommends a fairly similar app; NewPipe. While NewPipe is a great app, I think LibreTube has an edge in multiple areas, which is why I think it should be added to the list, if not outright replace NewPipe.

  1. NewPipe currently uses targetSdk 29. We’re currently at 33. For context, if NewPipe was publishing its app on the Play Store, it wouldn’t be able to push an update until it targeted at least 31. Keeping up with modern SDKs is important as new SDKs bring new security and privacy improvements which apps should be taking advantage of. That said, this will change soon, so it will not be an issue eventually. The fact that it fell behind that far though makes me think that this might be an issue in the future as well. LibreTube is on targetSdk 33 and seems to be keeping up well with new things as they come out. This is now done. NewPipe’s latest version targets SDK 33. Remains to be seen if they’ll keep that updated going forward.
  2. It currently doesn’t do PiP properly and instead uses SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW which is the "display over other apps permission, which is definitely not the proper way to do this, but rather the legacy way. There is an open issue to add proper PiP Support, but that’s not currently being worked on as far as I can tell. Libretube has proper PiP support without this legacy way of doing it by requesting a questionable permission being needed.
  3. LibreTube uses Piped which has some advantages over NewPipe. The main ones is that it enables watching age restricted videos whereas NewPipe cannot (might be mistaken here so feel free to correct me), and it also means that if YouTube changes something, the Piped instance can update itself without an app update being needed for things to work again.
  4. LibreTube comes with SponsorBlock support, which NewPipe refuses to add to their app. While I respect NewPipe’s decision, I still think people should have the option to use this feature. Privacy Guides used to recommend NewPipe X Sponsorblock but removed it, so LibreTube makes sense to provide an app option to offers this functionality, even though it’s not directly related to privacy or security.

Lots of good points, mainly the targetSDK being behind is alarming. We’re removed software for that before, don’t see why we should let this one slide.

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The main ones is that it enables watching age restricted videos whereas NewPipe cannot (might be mistaken here so feel free to correct me

It’s possible on newpipe too, I just tested it.

Set compileSdk and targetSdk to 33 (Android 13) by Stypox · Pull Request #9306 · TeamNewPipe/NewPipe (

It’s being corrected.
But it will have taken time, not impossible that it happens again later.

Good to see, I think for now we’ll look at adding libretube and maybe reexamine NewPipe later.

Also in favour of the addition. LibreTube got mature and I lately switched. The remote account feature still is not working well but local subs like in NewPipe work well and are also more private.

Valid enough points, I think we could add this.

I reverted back to NewPipe despite the added benefits of of LibreTube. I am having a lot of breakages and playback issues over on my device. In retrospect, I should have tested other settings so don’t exactly know if switching to the older video formats (such as DASH) would have helped. NewPipe used to have these issues as well especially if Google/YT breaks the app compatibility (maybe for their nefarious purpose of forcing you to watch to the site itself) but it seems these days, NewPipe seem to work well, at least right now, without issues.

There is also this arguement on the internet in that not watching YT ads is almost - almost like piracy in the sense that the youtube channel you are watching are losing out on ad revenue if you block them with Sponsorblock.

LibreTube uses Piped. I’m willing to bet that whatever issues you were facing were a result of the instance being used having issues. NewPipe connects to YouTube directly, so there won’t be issues like that. Piped Instances can be easily changed in LibreTube’s settings.

LibreTube using Piped means that in cases where YouTube breaks these frontends, all it takes is a fix on the Piped side, and no app update is needed, which means things can be fixed much faster.

LibreTube uses SponsorBlock to block sponsors, not ads. Neither LibreTube or NewPipe have ads in the first place, so by that reasoning, the same can be said about NewPipe. Libretube allows you to disable SponsorBlock if you want to watch sponsor segments in videos.

Edit: I forgot to mention this. Since recently, LibreTube allows you to selectively disable SponsorBlock on videos. So if you really want to see sponsors on a specific video, for example because they’re in the form of a skit that you enjoy, or you want to see a whole music video without any skips for the non-music stuff, you can do that without having to toggle the main settings for SponsorBlock.

Additionally, SponsorBlock doesn’t only skip sponsors. It features other neat categories such as skipping intros/outros and non-music segments (so in a music video, it would skip the parts that are not the actual song). You can opt in or out of all of these options separately.

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Thank you for these clarifications. I will try to keep these in mind next time I install LibreTube.

I remember another issue I had: somehow LibreTube could not import NewPipe’s settings, which not a big deal for me really, but it is part of the papercut issues.

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That makes sense to me. These are two fundamentally different apps with different settings. I’m not sure how they could share settings exports between them.

However, you can export your subscription list from NewPipe and import it into LibreTube and that works like a charm.

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Personally I was able to import the subscriptions to libretube, no problem.

But… I can’t import my playlists to libretube.
It’s too big (more than 600 videos) to do it manually.
I succeeded partially once, and it stopped at 130 videos. Since then I tried again, and it doesn’t work at all.
So it’s a bit difficult to go to libretube from newpipe for me.

And as mentioned above : Version 0.25 of newpipe has been deployed, and the application now reaches sdk33

I’ve been using Libretube for a while and works way better than Newpipe so far.

@jonah @dngray @Niek-de-Wilde @mfwmyfacewhen This is tagged “approved”. Should I make a PR or are there more things you’d like to look into regarding the project before that?

AFAIK we’re okay to add this.

edit: what’s “approved” is adding libretube not necessarily removing newpipe just for clarification.