Currently Feeling: groggy
Currently Listening: My washing machine
PeerTube is a decentralized alternative to Youtube that does not (currently) support monetization, and is not controlled by a single entity, and also happens to be my current obsession. Although the official website goes over the basics of how to use it, the official documentation assumes something of a technical background and a lot of people remain confused. I know I had a number of questions that weren't answered by the website.
So I'm not going to write up a complete, comprehensive introduction to how to use PeerTube, because it seems you can find those on every blog on the internet. If you're looking for that, there's a good one written up on Medium here:
But I am going to answer a few of the questions I had that I had to search around for, and hopefully this will help someone out there.
How do I search for videos in a certain category?
There's a small detail you should be aware of when you’re searching around for things. Each instance can configure their search settings independently, so sometimes when you search for videos, you may only be searching for videos on that instance, not the entire fediverse. If you want to look for videos everywhere, here are some instances that allow unrestricted searching, whether or not you have an account there:
In some of these, you'll need to type in your query, then wait until the popup shows up and click "in the fediverse" to find all results.
The PeerTube website also has a slightly different search here:
It works differently and I'm not super fond of it, so I don't use it much. But it's worth a try if you're having trouble finding content you like.
Can I search by category? Do I need to join an instance that is focused on my preferred topic?
No to both questions. PeerTube has only just added highlighting certain channels on homepages, so sorting by categories is not available. If you're looking for categories you'll need to perform searches, maybe more than one with different keywords.
Most of the instances I've seen aren't yet focused enough to be centered around specific topics. The closest I've seen are "tech centered topics," which is pretty broad. Instances may become more narrow as the fediverse grows, but I wouldn't worry about it for now.
Can I follow people on other instances than mine?
Yes, much like on Mastodon and similar, you just need to append the @server.name to the username in order to find and subscribe to them.
Is there a good mobile app for PeerTube?
Not yet. There are a few that add PeerTube functionality in as an additional feature, but none that have really dominated the market. This is because PeerTube is decentralized and no one company has any real incentive to put any time or money into it.
I use NewPipe, which lets me add specific instances to it. The drawback is that I can't do universal searches via the app; I have to do that through my mobile browser.
What instance should I join?
If you're just joining to watch videos, it doesn't matter. You can always switch if you don't like the one you join, and as noted above, they're all pretty general interest right now. I'd just focus on checking for sites that 1) accept registrations, and 2) have videos that you don't find objectionable. Those are the two main criteria you should filter by using the official instance picker here:
If you're wanting to upload and make videos, in addition to the criteria above, add an additional one: 3) how much space are you allowed for uploads? You can also check individual sites by clicking on the "About" section at the bottom of the left sidebar and reading through the questions on each site. Pick an instance that meets the first two criteria and allows for enough space to account for all your videos.
Really, a lot of folks stress about this question, and it's not worth sweating over.
What Should I Watch?
Ok, this is the main reason I made this post! Yay! If you're into things that aren't gaming, this probably won't be for you, but if you like watching game reviews, Let's Plays, matches, etc., then I have the playlist for you! I've been going around and building playlists that have good gaming videos that you can watch, and contain creators to follow. Currently I don't think there's any way to "subscribe" to playlists, but you can definitely bookmark either this post or the playlist page and check back periodically to find things that I add over time.
I have separated them into two lists: gaming with commentary and no-commentary playthroughs. I only add one or two per creator, and I leave it to you to check out the rest of their videos if you like them. This is to make room for others and because I'm mainly trying to spread them to others here. If you come across any new creators I should add, please let me know! I want these to grow over time.
I have screened these for pornography, hate speech, and slurs, but I do allow cursing and swear words.
Let's Plays, Reviews, and more
No commentary playthroughs:
Lastly, if you have interests or hobbies that aren't gaming related, I encourage you to make your own playlists and share them the way I've done here. I think the best way to get it out there is to tweet and/or note it on the fediverse, so I propose we use the hastag #peertubeplaylist, since it doesn't seem to be in use just yet.