Get all your video subscriptions in one place with RSS

- Posted in Tutorial by

One feed to rule them all

As we all know, YouTube is becoming increasingly hostile to independent voices, in large part because of extreme political bias but also because they don't want to pay smaller channels who bring them less ad revenue. And if that's how they want to play it, then fine, the smaller channels and their audiences will just move to greener pastures and YouTube will remain the platform of choice for bottom-of-the-barrel normie garbage. Everybody wins! Except for one problem; while it's great that there are now multiple viable competitors to YouTube's dominance, it's also inconvenient having to check multiple different sites just to keep up with all your favorite channels.

Enter RSS, which I wrote about more in my last article but in summary is a simple way to get updates from practically anywhere on the web in a reader of your choosing. As I mentioned toward the end, finding a site's feed isn't always easy, but this article is here to help, at least with the more popular video sites. So let's get started!

YouTube is probably the hardest, but also the most popular so we'll deal with them first. The URL format is https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCzZpgppwC_XQMe8lFiI77-Q and usually the ID is at the end of the URL for the channel's page Sometimes this isn't the case though, so the easiest solution is to use a tool like the one at https://commentpicker.com/youtube-channel-id.php to get it for you. If you want to get technical, you can just search for "channel_id" in the page's source code, which you can see by pressing F12 and searching with Ctrl+F.

For Odysee/LBRY, official RSS support has recently been added! To subscribe, simply click the menu icon at the top right of the channel's banner, and click "Copy RSS URL". The URL format should be something like https://odysee.com/$/rss/@ComputingForever:9

With Gab TV it couldn't be easier, as there are feed buttons just below the normal "Subscribe" button on each channel's page. If you're curious, the URL is something like https://tv.gab.com/channel/thomasmoresoc/feed/rss with the channel ID being the same as in the URL of the channel's page.

It's much the same story for PeerTube instances, as you just click "Subscribe via RSS" at the bottom of the channel's "Subscribe" menu. Again, for those curious this uses a format like https://videos.lukesmith.xyz/feeds/videos.xml?videoChannelId=2 (note that the domain will vary depending on what instance you're using. Also, you'd need to know the channel ID, so this isn't very useful.)

On BitChute (which in lowercase without spacing is the worst domain name ever) the format is https://www.bitchute.com/feeds/rss/channel/corbettreport/ Note that you want the username of the channel's owner, not it's ID.

As for Rumble, well they don't have RSS so you're stuck using a feed generator, though given the absolute boomer-tier content on their homepage I doubt it would actually be of use to most of their users anyway. >_> Well, it looks like they have a decent API so if you wanted to you could scrape https://rumble.com/api/v0/Media.Channels.mrss?_p=APIKey&channel=DineshDsouza&criteria=sort=views and parse whatever is the output of that as needed to generate an RSS feed. Maybe I'll write a script for that; if I do I'll update this post and put it in the Goodies section of this site.

Well there you have it! With a good RSS reader, you're now ready to setup a one-stop spot for all your video needs. Next up, we'll be doing some more in-depth reviews of popular RSS readers and services. If you don't see instructions for your favorite platform, do let me know over on Gab or in the comments once I revamp this blog. Adios!

What are RSS feeds?

- Posted in Uncategorized by

tl;dr

  • RSS Feeds let you subscribe to your favorite sites
  • To use them you'll need an RSS reader
  • You can get a simple one here and add this link to subscribe to this blog

There's a lot that's wrong with the Internet today, not least black-box recommendation algorithms, egregious violations of privacy, blatant censorship, and domination by a corrupt media. Amidst all this chaos though, there is a technology that gives readers a simpler way to keep up with their favorite sites, and so much more. RSS feeds are simple files on the web that contain brief summaries and links to a site's most recent articles, for which you'll need an RSS reader, so let's go over a few.

One popular option is to use an online service rather than a traditional desktop program, since after all you'll be reading the articles in your browser anyway, and it can be cumbersome to switch back and forth between an external program. Of these, probably the most popular are Feedly, The Old Reader, and Inoreader, of which you can find more in-depth reviews here. If you're feeling ambitious, you can even host your own such service with Tiny Tiny RSS. These services often offer things like more advanced curation and recommendation, social features, and extensibility via API's and IFTTT integration. There are also browser extensions such as FeedBro if you just want a simple reader in your browser, and Thunderbird users already have an RSS reader built right in. Some other standalone desktop programs for Linux include LifeRea and Akregator, though there's not any I'd really recommend for Windows other than Thunderbird. And last but not least, for all you CLI lovers there's NewsBoat with a keyboard-driven text interface and all the extensibility you'd expect on the UNIX shell.

Now, it used to be that you could easily find a site's feed with a bright orange button like this rss logo but unfortunately nowadays you'll often have to dig a little deeper. Thankfully there are addons like Get RSS Feed URL for Chromium-based browsers and Awesome RSS for Firefox which will try to find the feed for you. Otherwise, a good starting point would be to try "example.com/feed", "example.com/index.xml", "example.com/rss.xml", or "example.com/atom.xml". If you really want to get your hands dirty, you could try searching through the website's RSS, but at that point you might just need to find an RSS feed generator, or write one yourself if you know how.

So you may be asking, if RSS is so great, how come it's so unheard of/unused? Well the simple answer would be that there's no money in it, and a lot of people are now accustomed to using social media for much the same thing, but RSS isn't entirely without blame. For one thing, the name is stupid, and can even stand for two different things: Really Simple Syndication, and Rich Site Summary. Its sister format, Atom, isn't any better, and the icon does absolutely nothing to convey what it means. Also, no one has an RSS reader by default, so all most users will ever see is meaningless garbled XML data. In fact, with no potential for monetization, and a tiny userbase, it's not surprising that some websites don't have feeds at all. Still, the technology itself is a very nice and simple way for keeping up with your favorite sites, and its usefulness as a sort of crude API for web developers will keep it alive even long after Facebook and Twitter are gone. Google Reader is dead, but long live RSS!

First video upload (finally) and 180 on site update

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Hello dear readers! So uh, looks like I'm hardly the only one interested in attending a based college this year, because St. Mary's got about 150% the normal amount of applications this year! Which means they had to be a lot more selective now, and I didn't make it in. :( Also I kind put all my eggs in one basket so now I don't really have much of a backup plan other than to work for the next year I guess and maybe take some classes at the community college. So that's the bad news, but the good news is I get to keep this site up at least a little longer.

In other news, I finally uploaded that video I mentioned last month! Real life got in the way between now and then, and I still don't have a 1337 intro, but it's past time, so sit back and enjoy!