YouTube is that one friend who stays by your side all the time. At work. And at home. When sad, you probably turn to YouTube for those sad songs, and you turn on the party videos when there is a time to celebrate. But using YouTube on a mobile phone is still an issue. Even as millions of people nowadays use YouTube for listening to music almost on daily basis, YouTube continues to force video on people and on mobile the YouTube works if only you are also watching the video.
If you just want to listen to music on YouTube using a phone, you can’t do that. YouTube in 2015 launched YouTube Red, now called YouTube Premium, a paid subscription by YouTube that allows you to play videos in the background. But then this is the paid version of YouTube and is yet to make it to India. Also, the app is paid which means even if it comes to India, you will have to pay for the access.
So what do you do if you do not live in the US, Mexico or in countries where YouTube Premium is available? Just follow this trick and you can play YouTube videos in the background:
— Download Mozilla Firefox app from the Play Store.
— Once the installation is complete, open YouTube on the Firefox browser, not the app.
— Select the YouTube video you wish to play.
— Once the video starts playing, press the back button on your phone or switch off your screen if you want. The video would continue playing uninterrupted in the background. Note that only Android users can try this trick as it is not compatible with iPhones.
Using Chrome or any other browser
— In India, where the YouTube Premium and YouTube Music are not yet available, download a free proxy app. Windscribe or TunnelBear are fine.
— Open the proxy app and connect to a server in the US.
— Now, open the browser
— Enter https://music.youtube.com/ in the address bar of your browser
— You will see a message saying it does not work in the mobile browser. Now click on the 3 dots on the top right corner of your browser and select Request desktop site.
— Now start playing music in YouTube.
Leave the app and music will stop playing. You will see a notification to play the song. Click on it and you can play YouTube music in the background also.
But you should not use these tricks
There is reason why YouTube doesn’t run in the background. There are several reasons actually. You can say by not allowing background streaming YouTube is looking out for its own interests. If you stream in background, you won’t see the ads. You also don’t use YouTube as a video service — something that it is — if you just stream songs.
But at the same, there is another big reason and that is related to the battery life of a phone. Unlike a laptop, which has a huge battery, or a desktop that is always plugged into the power socket, on mobile phone battery needs to be used judiciously. And playing videos, even in the background, one of the most battery-consuming tasks you can perform on a phone. This is particularly a problem, if you are streaming a video through a web browser. The specific apps, such as music streaming apps like Gaana and Saavn, are specifically tuned to use as less as possible battery charge. But web browsers are very powerful general purpose apps and if you run something in them, within an hour or two your phone will need to be charged.
So yes, you can stream songs on YouTube in background in your phone, but you should refrain from doing so if you want good battery life from your phone.