Last night I thought I’d take a poke at trying to fix XBMC’s youtube plugin which has been broken for me since the summer. This was most annoying. I could still use youtube on it, but I’d have to search for videos I wanted rather than just pop into my favourites and play the damn thing. I’m quite sure I lost some hair fiddling with the script and trying various login techniques.
The root of the problem is, of course, Google. In their wisdom (read: folly), they decided to force users into G+ sideways which mucked up 3rd party attempts to use youtube in any useful way. Those who know me know I loathe social networking. I have zero desire to plaster my personal thoughts, feelings and actions across the internet especially in light of recent (though obvious) revelations that our information is not only posted, but permanently posted, used, abused, analyzed, and made to turn a profit while providing a handy information source for american spooks. Not my idea of a fun time. I will not digress into a lengthy political discussion, I refuse to waste my life.
Getting back to XBMC, one chappy posted near christmas on the open ticket I had on the YouTubeXBMC bug tracker. The entire thing can be found here. What came to light through the last post is the following:
- it is now impossible to separate G+ from YouTube, Google has forced it down our throats
- XBMC was logging in successfully, but it was looking for videos in the new channel created when G+ was created not the old channel as expected
The last part proved key. I was perplexed that it was logging in and finding nothing for favourites, subscriptions and history. It turns out I had two youtube channels now, one under my real name and the other being my old one. Though ostensibly connected to one another, they are separate and one could not point to, or exchange information with, the other. Annoying.
After fiddling for some time to get it to read from my old youtube account, I gave up (as probably Google intended) and just shifted everything over to the new account. Bang, it works. Finally.
The one catch here is as I mentioned above, two channels cannot exchange subscriptions and favourites. Bummer! Yes, I had to manually do it all over again. Some odd 100 faves and 30 subscriptions. Though modest by YouTube standards, it took some time and was tedious as hell. So now I’m my real name on youtube but that matters little since I only use it to save videos for playback on XBMC. I create none myself.
Really though, the kind of modifications Google is making lately are terrible. Apart from forcing us both to use our real names and G+ they have made the experience annoying. I’ve used handles to post comments since before the internet existed and I prefer it that way. I also have no use for the piece of garbage that G+ is. Hell, I have no interest in social networking at all. If I am forced to have a G+ account, I simply won’t use it and won’t give it any information. None of their business.
This is peanuts compared to what they’ve done to content creators, now they are having a hard time getting to their comments and analytics and it’s also messing with their monetization settings.Seriously – don’t stab yourself in the foot there. Remember these are the folks that make you money and make people want to use youtube. Don’t fuck with that.
In brief, Google you bungled this one, and I haven’t seen a single person out there who likes your “improvements”. Stop being evil and listen to your user base.