Aka how to view YouTube videos on your Raspberry Pi from Midori or Chromium!
We have pulled together some software magic and are proud to announce an easy installation procedure for PiVid, the YouTube / HTML5 Video / VeeHD Raspberry Pi video enabler:
Open a shell – for instance LXTerminal, if you are working on the Raspberry Pi desktop, it can be opened by double-clicking the LXTerminal icon – and enter the following commands:
Step I: Please add our Repository
sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/repository.pi3g.com.list http://repository.pi3g.com/sources.list sudo wget -O - http://repository.pi3g.com/pubkey | sudo apt-key add - sudo aptitude update
- set up our repository as an additional package source on your Raspberry Pi (your main sources.list will not be modified in any way)
- get our public key
- fetch the available packages from our repository server
Step II: Install PiVid
sudo aptitude install pivid
- install PiVid and dependencies (other packages which PiVid requires to work)
Please press “Enter” when asked whether you want to continue, and once again “Enter” during the installation process of the youtube-dl package, when asked to.
Step III: Activate PiVid
service pivid start
- start the pivid service (it talks to your browser and to omxplayer to play your video)
If you want to stop the pivid service, simply use “service pivid stop” – this will save a small amount of computing resources.
Step IV: Install PiVid in your browser
Install PiVid in Midori:
To use the userscript in Midori (Raspbians default browser), you have to activate the “User addons” extension. Start Midori. Open the preferences dialog (Menu>Preferences), select the Extensions tab and tick “User addons”. (“User addons” is the very last entry, use the scroll bar to find it). Click “Close”.
Then simply open the script (
file:///usr/share/pivid/replace.user.js ) in your browser (copy & paste the link into your URL bar, and press enter) and click “Install user script” when asked.
Install PiVid in Chromium:
To install pivid in Chromium, please open a shell in the X desktop environment (e.g. LXTerminal), and start Chromium like this:
# chromium --enable-easy-off-store-extension-install /usr/share/pivid/replace.user.js
Please click “Continue”, and then click “Add” on the “Confirm New Extension” dialogue:
Chrome will confirm, that the extension has been added.
Please note: after every reboot, you need to start the pivid service, as described above. Open LXTerminal, and (as user pi), enter:
service pivid start
You can close LXTerminal after starting the service, if you want. If the service pivid is already running, it will tell you so – you don’t need to worry about entering it twice by accident.
Starting PiVid will open a web server on your Raspberry Pi’s port 3000. This will be accessible on your local network – and can be used to control video playback (of external URLs) on the Raspberry. This is by design, and we plan to release more documentation about this soon.
Navigate to a YouTube video (for example: Xcylin, shooting with a frickin’ laser). First, the browsers will display “Flash Player missing”, but after some seconds, the web site should reload, and display the PiVid play button, as seen above for Chromium.
Simply click this button, and the video should launch in a short while. This will be indicated by a “pause” button:
If you want to see the video again, please reload the page – PiVid currently can’t identify when the video has stopped playing. The pause button currently has no function, but you can use omxplayer keyboard control (see below).
VeeHD is an alternative video hosting platform / community, sporting an interesting selection of movies, documentaries, etc.
PiVid supports playback on VeeHD. You may need to log in as a VeeHD user for some videos to work, and some videos are hosted on very slow servers – where streaming is impossible with PiVid. Please download the video and play it with omxplayer instead.
Usage: Search with the VeeHD search, and click on the video you would like to see. PiVid will show you the play button after a short while:
Omxplayer keyboard control
Space or p = Pause / Resume
– / + = Decrease / Increase Volume
q = Quit
YouTube play button not showing
If the PiVid play button does not show up on a YouTube video, instead of the warning about an incompatible browser, please try to simply reload the page – it should show up now.
Restarting the service
If you run into any unexpected problems using the software, try restarting the pivid service:
service pivid restart
If this does not help, try restarting your Raspberry, and starting the service after that. If still stuck, comment below. (Use “pivid” instead of “service pivid start” to see some advanced debugging output).
Please note, that update-rc.d can’t be used right now to install the service as autostart on boot – we are investigating the cause and will release an update soon. (pivid service will start, but without video playback.) Please use the manual starting method ( service pivid start ) in the meantime – thank you!
PiVid works as a server (written in the uber-cool Node.JS), which will display an IFRAME in your browser. Through a user script, the browser can submit the URL needed to retrieve and play the video. Once you click on the “play” button, PiVid will invoke some software incantations (sprinkle the equivalent of magic fairy dust – we’re building on the shoulders of giants – you guys know who you are – and voilà – the video location will be passed to omxplayer, the trusty workhorse of Raspberry Pi video playback!
You can, of course, fork us on GitHUB.
By the way – we have also packaged a newer version of Node.JS to go along with PiVid on our repository – package name is “nodejs”. Stay tuned for more about this.
The idea for PiVid was taken from a very similar client-server approach, which was coded in Python, but seems to be abandoned now. Thank you for the inspiration!