Lately we have been seeing more issues with the embedded YouTube Player. At times some of these errors seem to clear up automatically and other times the errors are constant when playing copyrighted music. While we sincerely desire that our community be able to have the freedom to entertain their viewers as they see fit, we also fully understand that copyright holders have the right to protect their creations. We also understand that YouTube has the right to protect their interests and ensure the protection of copyright holders. As such, it would prove difficult for us to send an inquiry to YouTube asking them why an embedded player for copyrighted material, being distributed via Twitch, is not playing their videos for some users.

With this in mind, we have been performing a lot of research around copyrighted music not playing correctly and folks in a position where the embedded player will not play items at all or receive errors from YouTube, such as this "video is unavailable." In performing research on these issues, we have discovered the following:

  • Certain hosting providers have been flagged by YouTube due to constant abuse.
  • There is more media attention on the DMCA issue than there has been previously.
  • YouTube potentially may experience issues due to third party programs and extensions.

Keep in mind that the embedded YouTube Player is not the same as the one presented on the YouTube website. This is an API presented by YouTube and has many more controls and prohibitions included within it.

If you do have issues playing copyrighted music there are only a few suggestions that we have at this time:

  1. Wipe the phantombot_ytcache table in the database. This can be done via a tool such as SQLiteBrowser or with a recent Nightly Build that includes a new command, !ytp clearcache now. There may be occassions where the cached data is incorrect.
  2. Switch over to using non-copyrighted material. Ensure that you are using Creative Commons licensed material and that the owner has indicated that the material is free for use. Keep in mind that YouTube may still deny the playing of some of these titles depending upon your network configuration. You may read more about switching over to Creative Commons material here.
  3. Consider using a service such as Pretzel Rocks. They provide DMCA free music which also means that you run much less risk of having your VODs muted and if they are muted, they provide information regarding how to have the VOD audio returned.

At this time, these are the options that we will provide in terms of support for copyrighted music in the YouTube Player. However, if a reliable and reproducable method can be provided and documented for the developers to research, we can do our best to look into this further.

Again, we understand that streamers wish to provide the best possible experience for their viewers. Understand that we wish to provide the best support and availability for PhantomBot as well and our limited resources are often diverted into researching issues that we are unable to reproduce from the networks that the development team uses. We look forward to continuing to work to provide streamers with the ability to entertain their viewers and in continuing to provide new features in PhantomBot.