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I have a stock Captivate on AT&T. I've tried to watch videos at least a dozen times, and maybe twice it's worked as I would like it to.

Problems include:

  • "This video cannot be played". I saw the question about "allow mobile playback" flag, but I get it on user-created stuff too (not just commercial stuff). Is there a way to check if the flag is set, say from the desktop web interface?
  • 20+ second load time before playback starts, even for short videos, if it works at all
  • Sometimes I wait over a minute and the "spinner" ("Loading video") never goes away
  • Once it starts playback, if the buffer runs out, I can't get it to start again. The buffer indicator might start growing again (pale red line appears again and gets bigger) but nothing I do can make it start actually playing. I hit play/pause, scan forward/backward, tap the time bar, etc; nothing happens.

Some notes:

  • I have tried HQ and not-HQ; both have issues though HQ is worse (not surprising)
  • I have tried it on WiFi and 3G; 3G actually seems a little better
  • I can watch YouTube just fine on my laptop, etc, over the same wifi connection
  • I have used the wifi analyzer app (forgot the name) to inspect spectrum; there are no conflicting / overlapping networks in my area
  • I can download podcasts on Listen at ~10+ MB/min (estimated by my watch) so it's not something wonky with my wifi connection
  • I've rooted the phone but only so I could fix a corrupt wifi settings file (known issue, but I'm having trouble finding a ref link right now). I'm pretty sure the issue is not related, and I'm not running any other superuser stuff.

I'm at a loss. I have no idea how to track this down -- there's no particular error to look up, just general crappiness. Is it just me? Does everybody have this terrible of an experience? Would the "lag fix" do anything for me? Is there a better 3rd-party player? (someone mentioned sideloading VLC)

I don't view a lot of YouTube videos generally, but when I do get a chance to look at them it'd be nice to be able to do so on my "super" phone...

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What version of the YouTube app are you running? Is your OS 2.1 or 2.2? And no, a lag fix should not affect this. I have most of these problems, though very infrequently, and it's been the same whether I've had various lagfixes or not. –  Matthew Read Jan 4 '11 at 5:52
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Could you rephrase "Why does my YouTube app suck" to me more like a question that would contain answers that could solve your problem? The body of the question has some good points. –  Michael Paulukonis Jan 6 '11 at 16:25
    
Voted to close, with no further info it sounds like a "why doesn't this work as well as i want it to". –  Matthew Read Feb 13 '11 at 18:30
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Maybe it's not the whole answer but two things seem to have made a big difference:

One, my Captivate was recently upgraded to Froyo officially. The new Youtube app seems to perform remarkably better.

Two, and this is the really interesting bit, I switched from WPA on 802.11g to WPA2 on 802.11n, and my wifi speeds went from ~200-300k to 4-5M. Not sure exactly why but it's definitely something to consider if you see performance problems in an app that relies on the network...

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Some videos just can't be played on your phone because the bitrate (or needed processing power) is too high for your device. This might even happen in the middle of a perfectly working video, because it's using a variable bitrate (which just rose above what's possible). That's why Youtube can get slow as well for a short time. It only gives up when the processor is at near 100% and it starts missing a lot of frames. That's actually good design. Apart from that, I think there might be some bugs in YouTube yet (but alas it is not an open sourced app).

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