Having a desktop YouTube app might seem unnecessary, but numerous iOS apps made to play YouTube videos proved that you can get better functionality and more personalized experience in comparison to viewing YouTube’s website. In order for an application to succeed in this task, there are many obstacles to overcome. For example, it needs to offer clear and presentable interface, as well as some features which are missing or are inaccessible on the YouTube website.
We already reviewed some of those 3rd party YouTube players, both for OSX and iOS as well, and even though some of them seemed alright, most of them failed to impress us. Our search for the next best YouTube player continues, so today we are going to take a look at an OSX application named Minitube.
As you can see from its name, Minitube is designed to replace YouTube’s website by offering ability to search for videos and channels, to view subscriptions that you’ve flagged inside this app, and to watch videos as well. It could be purchased for $10 right from the OSX App Store.
Once I opened Minitube for the first time, I was greeted with a familiar interface which resembled an older iTunes version. On the top you’ll find the navigation bar containing play and volume controls, and there’s also the timeline and a search field. On the bottom there’s a small bar containing resolution icon, used to easily switch between video resolutions, while the rest of the screen is dedicated to your video watching experience. Even though the interface of Minitube provides you with all of the needed tools, it looks a bit outdated so what I would like to see is a gentle overhaul which can increase appeal of this application.
When it comes to its functionality, Minitube works pretty much the same way YouTube does. You can Search, Browse, or view Subscriptions – which are three main ways to dive into the rich content. I need to say that I was positively surprised by how well the search worked, which was usually a weak spot for some similar applications that I’ve reviewed in the past.
When it comes to Subscriptions, this is something that I need to explain a bit. These are not going to be your own YouTube.com subscriptions, since Minitube doesn’t really allow you to sign-in with your Google account, which seems odd. These subscriptions are made inside this application by flagging or starring channels and other content. Even though this seems like a good decision, since there are some people who don’t like signing-in to YouTube each time they visit the website, but there should be an option for those who like to sign-in so they can like and comment on videos.
Minitube is great for those who simply want to watch YouTube videos, without investing themselves by liking or commenting on videos. Since most YouTube users like these social features, this application won’t provide a solution. With this said, it seems that $10 is a bit high price for a YouTube player with limited functionality.