Until about a month ago, I was using FireTube to play YouTube videos in the background while using other apps. But when YouTube discontinued version 2 of their API, this app stopped working. Presumably, the paid version did get updated to work with the latest version of YouTube, but I'd rather use a free product.

However, all the other apps I tried were either broken (many were still depending on the old API as well) or didn't truly play in the background; for example, some were displaying the video in an overlay over other open applications. This isn't acceptable for me because my phone doesn't have a large screen and I want to be able to use other applications without having to drag the overlay player around.

Unfortunately, it appears YouTube tries to get rid of this feature in apps; for example, on May 3 the Listen on Repeat did remove just the feature I am looking for because of pressure from YouTube.

I realize I can just download the MP3's using a service such as YouTube-MP3.org, but I've got little space on my SD card and downloading everything is quite inconvenient, so I'd rather use a streaming app.

TL;DR: I need an app that can stream music videos from YouTube unobtrusively in the background while I'm using other apps.

  • I used to use an app called PVstar+ but it was removed from the play store. May 24, 2015 at 2:41
  • 1
    I don't understand why you want to stream a (music)video if you're not even watching the video itself. Would using something like Spotify not be easier?
    – diedie2
    Jun 3, 2015 at 10:46
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    OGYouTube is okay, but the background playback stops working after an ad starts playing.
    – mic
    Sep 3, 2016 at 10:31
  • Apart from the obvious comment from @diedie2, YouTube Red was created for this exact reason, albeit a paid subscription model.
    – DankyNanky
    Dec 14, 2017 at 12:53

2 Answers 2


Firefox for Android can play YouTube videos in the background, even with the screen off. It even provides a notification with a play/pause button.

  • Even with Firefox for Android, playback stops for me when I turn the screen off or switch to another app. Jun 11, 2017 at 12:59
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    I have heard of this happening - I updated my firefox version and unfortunately it's now affecting me as well. Apparently this is Youtube blocking play when the browser isn't "visible". This addon may help: addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/…
    – KERR
    Jun 13, 2017 at 4:35

Since Firefox for Android is hit and miss with YouTube background play, I've been using:

NewPipe instead.

It's free and open source, can do background play (saves data by only downloading audio), popup player over other apps, downloads videos, no app ads or video ads and you can subscribe to channels without needing an account/having to login!

Use other apps with no hassle while NewPipe plays your favourite songs.

We have added a background player to NewPipe. You can do whatever you want — your music keeps playing.

And even better for you: we only download the audio, so you don't waste data volume.

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