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Use this trick to play YouTube audio with your phone screen off

If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, audiobook, or playlist through YouTube on your phone, you’ll be familiar with the pain of accidentally turning your screen off and everything going silent. But there’s a handy trick to get around this… 

This tip is specifically for Android users, but it opens up a fairly simple path to playing the audio from YouTube videos without having to keep your phone’s screen on. Usually, YouTube videos pause as soon as you lock your screen, but this trick is a game-changer for anyone who’s ever wished that wasn’t the case.

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Reddit user Comboxer shared the handy tip on the r/Android subreddit, writing: “Android users, Listen to YouTube videos with the screen off by sharing the video from YT [YouTube] app to VLC and then selecting ‘Play as Audio’ from VLC’s options.

“If you … want to listen to YouTube with your phone’s screen off, just tap Share in the YouTube app, tap ‘Play in VLC’. Once in the media player click the three dots (options?) button in the bottom right and select ‘Play as Audio’.”

After taking these steps, you’ll be able to play a video on YouTube, lock your screen and enjoy the audio.

The r/Android subreddit is a 2-million-member page that members use to share tips, tricks and news with other Android enthusiasts. This particular trick seems to have struck a chord with users, receiving 5300 upvotes at the time of publication.

While primarily intended as a video platform, YouTube offers a huge library of music and audio content that users and publishers have posted. This trick will be useful for anyone who prefer using YouTube’s familiar interface to search for their favourite music and podcasts, or simply uses YouTube as an alternative to paid music-streaming services.

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If you’re looking to take advantage of the feature, make sure you choose a podcast that actually suits being audio-only.

Believe it or not, some YouTube podcasters incorporate video into their shows despite using the descriptor ‘podcast’, and there are few things more pointless than listening to visual comedy.

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