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Unity YouTube Lens Updates with Browser Free Video Playback

Remember that rather handy YouTube Unity lens we covered a few days back? Well it’s just gotten better!

What is the YouTube Lens?

The Lens and Scope set lets you browse and search YouTube’s millions of videos without leaving the Ubuntu desktop or having to open a browser.

You can manually refine video results using the available filters. These include sorting by video relevance, viewcount or ratings.

Clicking on a video result opens up the video for immediate watching.

So what’s new?

In our earlier post on the Lens we, along with many you, wished that clicking on a video result would open the video in a local media player and not in the browser.

The latest update to the Lens adds just that; flash-free playback of videos in VLC (if it’s installed) when clicking on a video result.

Youtube video via VLC in Linux

The ‘Filter’ options have been rejigged slightly, ratings are now at the top of the folder pane, and an ‘Upload Date’ filter has been added.

How do I install it?

The Lens, which is only compatible with Ubuntu 11.10, requires the ‘Atareao Lenses’ PPA to be added to your Software Sources. 

This is done quickest by using the Terminal.

Open a new Terminal window and entering the following commands: -

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/lenses
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install lens-video scope-youtube

Once both parts have successfully been installed you will need to log out and back in before you can use them.

All that’s left then is to open the Dash and click on the ‘Video Lens’ icon (a right-pointing triangle/play button) positioned towards the bottom of the screen.