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The stock YouTube app (here on 2.1-eclair, but applies to all android versions) stops playing when I minimised, switched to another application or even when I lock the phone. And when I resume it restart downloading the clip from the beginning. Is there any way that I can play YouTube clips in the background? Note, I only the audio to continue playing.

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When you say "2.1" are you referring to the youtube app version or your Android version? I thought youtube was only at 2.0.26. – Matt Nov 23 '10 at 17:42
I mean the android version. sorry. how to check the youtube app version? – Louis Rhys Nov 23 '10 at 23:12
Settings > Application Manager > Applications > YouTube It will show you your current version. On the moto droid the most recent YouTube app allows playback with the screen off now but it still stops when you navigate to another app. – Matt Nov 23 '10 at 23:17
it says version 1520 – Louis Rhys Nov 24 '10 at 2:07
I don't think you can get the latest update without froyo. – Matt Nov 26 '10 at 9:38

9 Answers 9

This new app PVStar+ (Pro Version) is amazing. It allows you to play videos in the background (even if your device screen is off). Another feature which i love is video cache. Saves data when you have to play some clips again and again.

You can read more about it here:

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Just wanted to chime in: it seems Google killed the PVSTAR apps (something about ToS). – Rodrigo Hahn Apr 16 at 17:40

It's not currently possible but it should be soon. According to AndroidPolice background audio is coming in a future release of the YouTube app.

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  • Download MX Player
  • Play YouTube video using MX Player.
  • Press Menu button (or the 3 dot icon), and then select Play
  • Make sure "Background Play" is checked
  • Now, you can press Home Button and listen in lock screen. There is also a shortcut for enabling Background Play, which is tapping and holding the Play button, instead of just tapping it to play a video

Update : Now MX player is not allowing to play youtube videos directly as mentioned by narayanan.

Solution :

  • You need to download UC browser .
  • Now play the youtube video through UC browser

(The other browsers redirect to youtube app but it wont since it has its own built in player)

  • Now you have to select option called Play With in top of video player and select MX player. Thats it.
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Seems to be a very good idea and +1 from me to make me discover mx players okay from network stream feature. Unfortunately, when tried few video [URLs ]( all I get is an error can't play this link . Does it work for YouTube and if so I have a doubt that it will violate YouTube's terms and conditions. – Narayanan Sep 26 at 5:58
Thanks for bringing issue to attention..I have just updated answer now it shoud work.. – Ash-Ishh.. Sep 26 at 16:11

TubeMate YouTube Downloader is a great app that will let you download either the audio or the video from a YouTube file and save it to your device. When it is on your device, you are then able to use a media player (such as DoubleTwist) to play either in the background. But as for straight background music from YouTube, that's a no-go :/

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Instead of the YouTube app, open YouTube in your standard browser. Then, the video won't pause or stop when you turn your screen off.

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You can use firefox and request the desktop site. You can change tabs, open other apps, or turn off the screen. However the desktop site layout is not optimal for mobile firefox. This does not work in chrome or the default ("Standard") browser and it will not play videos that require flash (vevo).

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Here's a solution using entirely free and open source software. The basic idea is that although YouTube can't play clips in the background, VLC for Android can play clips in the background, so all we need to do is pipe the clip to VLC where we can listen to it minimised.

That sounds complicated, but luckily there is software that does it for us.

  1. Install NewPipe (either from APK or from the Fossdroid app).
  2. Install VLC Android.
  3. Open NewPipe, and in Settings, make sure that Use External Player has a checkmark.
  4. Open VLC, and in Preferences, make sure that Play videos in background has a checkmark.
  5. Now, when you play a video in NewPipe, on the dialog that appears select VLC player. It will play in VLC and you can do other things while it plays.
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+1 for the new pipe! It is a shame that Android version of vlc player does not open the media from the network stream like it's desktop counterpart does. – Narayanan Sep 26 at 5:48

You can do it in an easy way (without hack).

  1. Download a floating browser app like this one: Floating Browser, open the URL ( in the popup browser.

  2. Use large swipes movement to open the side panel and navigate to the parameters at the bottom. Go to "pair devices" option, keep the code that appear onscreen in the popup browser.

  3. Go to your YouTube app, and in the parameters, go to connected devices and enter your code.

  4. You will now have a popup browser in which a YouTube player reads the video opened from your YouTube app. You can now reduce the popup to the notification bar, and maybe even hide the notification (it may be hard to get the popup back if you do so. Go to floating browser app info setting page, then force quit and enable notification to revert it).

The video will keep playing if you switch app and even if your screen is off. You can even pair remote devices (a tablet, a computer, a laptop... All of them at the same time). This will allow you to remotely control your music from every YouTube-enabled device.

I'm here for troubleshooting!

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I had the same problem with Sony Ericsson Xperia neo v when I downloaded update for YT. Then I deleted the update (Google Play>installed apps>YouTube>uninstall) and previous version got back. Now I'm able to turn off screen while playing vids without annoying pausing as it was before. I think it's the easiest and fastest way to solve the problem.

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Yours was a different problem than his. – Richard Borcsik Jul 27 '12 at 11:42

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