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A number of third-party YouTube apps and YouTube rippers are closing down

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If you use an app or website to convert and download YouTube videos for offline playback, then you may have to find an alternative, as a number of popular apps and websites that allow this seem to be shutting down.

As Betanews reports (opens in new tab), one of the most popular YouTube conversion websites, YouTube-mp3.org, is shutting down after receiving a number of legal threats from record labels. A deal has been struck with the RIAA (opens in new tab) (Recording Industry Association of America), which will see the owners of the website pay a fine, with the website closing and the domain handed over to the RIAA.

The number of legal actions faced by YouTube-mp3.org, and the severity of its punishment, means other YouTube ripping sites could also face closure.

Third-party apps in danger too

While YouTube-mp3.org was targeted by record companies, Google (which owns YouTube) has also been making moves to shut down third-party YouTube apps. The popular ProTube app was removed from the App Store by Apple after several takedown requests by Google, according to MacRumors (opens in new tab).

The app was popular due to the fact that it contained a number of features that Google’s official YouTube app lacks, such as background playback and an audio-only mode.

Jonas Gessner, the developer behind the app, said in a statement on his website (opens in new tab): “I am very sad to announce that ProTube was removed from the App Store by Apple on September 1, 2017. This comes after multiple requests and threats by YouTube which ultimately led Apple to suddenly pulling the app from the App Store.”

According to Gessner, YouTube asked him to remove any features that were not found in the official app. As Gessner alleges: “YouTube wants to sell its $10/month subscription service which offers many features that ProTube also offered for a lower one-time price, so they started hunting down third-party YouTube apps on the App Store”.

He also states that a number of third-party apps are being targeted by YouTube with takedown requests, so we may see more of our favorite YouTube apps disappear in the future.

Matt Hanson
Matt Hanson


Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Computing and Entertainment, looking after two of the best, and most exciting, channels on the site. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made. He's also a huge film and TV fan and Marvel geek, and his favorite recent film is Dune.