A lot of us use YouTube religiously, seeing as it’s the biggest video service around. There is a ton of content uploaded to it every day, from your standard videos, to things like podcasts or songs. It’s kind of a multimedia central, and a lot of us just like to have it in the playing background somewhere while working. Unfortunately, for Android, Google really hasn’t allowed that option – you need to have YouTube opened and playing in order to hear the content, and the moment your exit the app or lock your phone, you can’t hear anything anymore. Well, today we’ll show you an app that allows you to get around that restriction and get YouTube playing in the background.
Another downside of not allowing audio to work in the background on YouTube is the need for the screen to be on, meaning extra unnecessary battery drain. Needing to have YouTube opened ends up being a pretty big restriction on the usefulness of the app, but it’s something that was done intentionally by Google, seeing as they are pushing for their own YouTube Music Key service. Music Key allows you to stream and listen to all of the music in YouTube without any ads in exchange for a small fee, and allowing people to just have music playing in the background without any issues on the regular app would sort of undermine that whole thing. However, a lot of us want this feature for things other than music – podcasts in particular – and there is no option for that.
Well, today we’ll show you a simple app that allows you to get around Google’s restrictions and get audio working in the background using the official YouTube app. The app we’ll be using to accomplish this is called “AudioPocket”, which you can download for free by using this link. After downloading the app, open it once. You will see that the interface is fairly basic:
The other tab shows you the History portion, which is where the videos you last played in the background will appear:
So, how the app works is actually fairly simple, and you can get a step by step by tapping the three-dotted button at the top and selecting “How to use”:
The steps are fairly simple, and the app integrates nicely with the official YouTube app, instead of being it’s own client:
So, basically, it works like this: fist, make sure you have AudioPocket open in the background beforehand. Then, open the YouTube app, and find a video you’d like to listen to in the background:
Or, once you’re already in a video, by tapping that little arrow icon at the top:
Once you do, you will see the usual share screen. The only thing you have to do now is select AudioPocket as the app to share to:
And it will keep playing even if you lock the phone or do something else on your phone. It works just like a standard music app. Unfortunately, there are no advanced controls like being able to skip forward, even though you can pause the audio. Still, the app is still in development, and the developer is looking to add new features and make the experience better. For me, it works fine and reliably already, but as always, it depends on the device. Another cool feature of the app is that you can send a whole playlist over, and it will start playing it automatically. Internally, it works with a queue system, so as long as you keep sending videos, it will queue them up for playing when the current one finishes.
In conclusion, this app serves as a decent workaround to a limitation that probably shouldn’t be there to begin with. It also saves battery, since you don’t need the screen to be on or the app to be opened anymore, and it also saves on your data plan, since it only needs to download the audio, and not the video. It would be nice to see this be a standard feature some day on the official YouTube app, and while that day doesn’t come, you can use AudioPocket instead as a nice workaround.