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PPC Media Center 7.x - YouTube Streamer, Downloader, & Convertor

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us (124.47 MB)
MD5: e6a524a4ac75f29464cdd28905ab065b
For Mac OS X
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
ppcmc_7.1.8_src.tgz (69.21 MB)
MD5: 8d74afcbf0790cc09e3216af65f3459f
For Mac OS X
Guides on emulating older applications

A fellow PPC user has created a video on the Web Interface .

Table Of Contents


Supports all PowerPC Macs (604, G3, G4, G5) running Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. Mac OS X 10.3.8 and lower will not work. PowerPC G4 and G5 computers will automatically take advantage of AltiVec optimizations in the included FFMPEG.

For Intel Macs, Rosetta is required. Mac OS X 10.4 on Intel has it included in the default OS installation. On Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 Rosetta is not included in the default and must be installed. Mac OS X 10.7 and above are not supported at this time.

Supported Media Players

The above Media Player programs are the lowest versions tested to be compatible with PPCMC.

QuickTime 7.3.1 supports Panther, Tiger, and Leopard. It is one of the first versions to not require going Pro for full screen functionality.

Mplayer 1.3 requires Tiger or Leopard. The Mplayer binary is expected at /opt/local/bin/mplayer, which is where the Mplayer package for SMTube installs Mplayer to.

The latest official VLC versions for Panther (0.8.6i) and Tiger (0.9.1) are very outdated compared to the last Leopard version (2.0.1). Twitch streaming may have incompatibility issues if using a VLC version older than 2.0.1.

The latest version of Core Player is required to play back downloaded H.264 MP4 files at a resolution higher than 480p on a fast G4.

Not all resolutions may be available on some videos, if you see an error in about the format not being available try a different one (360p is guaranteed to work).

Bundled Binaries

Unless otherwise noted, each program is the newest version and up to date as of this release on 7/15/2020.


YouTube and Twitch options use Youtube-dl, which may stop working if it becomes out of date. If you are getting errors when using these options, update YouTube-dl with the App or the Web Interface.

Installing The App

Copy '' into your /Applications folder. If you try to run anywhere but the /Applications folder and or rename you will be prompted to change it to /Applications/

Installing The Web Interface

Open and select the 'Web Interface' option. Then select either 'Install' or 'Uninstall'. After doing so, make sure Web Sharing is enabled in your Mac's System Preferences.

Using The App

URLs can be used in 3 ways. When is opened and an option that requires a URL is selected, will check if the clipboard contains a copied URL, and if Safari is open. If Safari is open the last active window's URL will be selected. If the clipboard contains a URL then it will be selected. If there is both a copied URL in the clipboard and Safari open, a prompt will display allowing you to select either URL for use. If Safari is not open and a URL is not in the clipboard a text input box appears for you to enter a URL in.

Streaming YouTube Videos

YouTube videos can be streamed by all 3 supported players at up to 360p. Unless the video was originally a live stream, only up to 360p can be streamed due to YouTube changes. See below on ended live stream differences to standard videos.

Streaming YouTube And Twitch Live Streams

VLC and Mplayer can stream and YouTube live streams. Some Twitch live streams can even play full speed in windowed VLC version 0.8.6i at 160p on a 300MHZ G3 with 544MB of RAM.

QuickTime is not supported for live stream features.

Ended YouTube live streams can be streamed at 720p as well as 360p.

Live YouTube live streams can be streamed in many more formats than standard videos or even past ended live streams. 144p, 240p, 360p, 480p, and 720p are all available. 480p performs very well on a fast G4.

Twitch live streams can be streamed at 160p, 240p, 360p, 480p, and 720p.

Downloading YouTube Videos In The App

If the current URL is a channel or playlist instead of a single video, any of the below options as well as the 'Download YouTube Video(s) as M4A' option will download every video on the channel not in a playlist or the entire playlist. If a video in a Playlist is deleted or removed it will simply be skipped and the specified option will continue.

The 'Download YouTube Video(s) as MP4 H.264' category provides options that directly download specific formats YouTube provides and combines them into one MP4 H.264 file. These files can later be played back by any media player up to the task. For resolutions higher than 480p Core Player should be used.

The 'Download YouTube Video(s) as MP4 H.264' category excludes some lower end PowerPC systems such as the iBook G3 Clamshell 300MHz, as it is just not up to the task. Also, QuickTime versions older than 7.3.1 may not support MP4 H.264. This is important since Mac OS 8.6-9.2.2 can run only up to QuickTime 6. QuickTime 6 does not support H.264 MP4 files, however it was the first version to support MP4 Part 2. MP4 Part 2 is the direct predecessor of H.264. These reasons are why the 'Download+Convert YouTube Video(s) for QuickTime 6' category exists. Along with providing MP4 Part 2 options, MP3 and even MP1 for a 300MHz G3 is provided in this category. All options that also convert the downloaded YouTube videos will take longer than the options in the 'Download YouTube Video(s) as MP4 H.264' and using the fastest PowerPC Mac available is recommended to speed up conversion time.

Converting Existing Files

The Convert Media File option supports the following output formats listed below.

The 240p and 360p options have a video bitrate limit of 500KB/s. The 480p options have a video bitrate limit of 1MB. The 720p options have a video bitrate limit of 3MB. These specifications were chosen for compatibility and performance reasons.

Misc Options

The PPCMC Shell option presents you a special window that adds the PPCMC subsystem to the $PATH. This allows you to use OpenSSL, Python, CURL, or any other program within PPCMC.

The About option displays the versions of PPCMC's dependency programs.

Other misc options are quite self explanatory.

Using The Web Interface

The web interface allows you to use select options remotely on your local network. Specifically written to be compatible with Internet Explorer 5, Classilla, Netscape Navigator 4, and TenFourFox. It is ran from one PPC Mac with PPCMC installed that is connected to a local network and the Internet. Other devices on the same local network can access the Web Interface.

Connecting Devices

Get the URL of your PPCMC Mac from the System Preferences Sharing section, it will be displayed after Web Sharing is turned on.

Then using any computer in the same local network, load the URL + ppcmcw/index.php in a Web browser. Example URL below (replace with your Web Sharing IP).

Do not hit the server with multiple requests, only one at a time is currently supported.

Downloading YouTube Videos With The Web Interface

Select any of the download options presented on the web interface homepage. The new page will contain a text box, paste any YouTube-dl link into it and click the Go button. This may take quite a few minutes, all depending on length of video, specified file type, and speed of the server running it. This is why you should run the web interface on the most powerful Mac OS X 10.3.9-10.6.8 Mac you have. After the process completes, the browser will stop loading and the output of all commands used to complete your request will be displayed. You can then click the Downloads link in the web interface to go to the dl directory. This directory contains any videos downloaded via the web interface, which can be downloaded directly to your Mac. This can be cleared by clicking the delete all button on the home page.

Streaming Web Interface Files On The DL Page

QuickTime 6 MP4's as well as MP3's can be streamed directly from the dl directory with a compatible web browser. Alternatively you can open the URL in QuickTime 6, which enables fullscreen playback and better performance.

Displaying URLs With TLS 1.3 Support

The Display URL option allows you to view websites within the web page using up to TLS 1.3. HTML, mostly text based pages work best. Viewing websites in this way is static. Websites that partially work include, (even downloads),, and (no streaming obviously). Keep in mind this results in something broken but most times readable and better than nothing.

News & History

Originally created by 'Hugh Downs' ('OpenSourceMac' of Macintosh Garden) with contributions from Dan at ppclundite, PowerPC Media Center was in development for 6 years until the last final update. All versions 7.0 and above have been worked on by Alex Free. 'Wicknix' of the MacRumors PPC forum is responsible for the live stream support. 'Wowfunhappy' of the same site suggested a solution to make one FFMPEG work on G3's wltb AltiVec disabled but also G4's and G5's with AltiVec enabled.

7.1.8 - 7/15/2020

360p YouTube livestream options fixed.

7.1.7 - 7/12/2020

YouTube live stream support at 144p, 240p, 360p, 480p, and 720p.

Mplayer support.

Updated FFMPEG to latest version, 4.3. Some AltiVec code is broken in version 4.3 so I have reverted 3 files to what they were in FFMPEG 4.2.3 to fix the issue. This is a workaround until the stable FFMPEG has correct AlTiVec code.

Added SoundCloud download option.

Added 720p streaming of ended YouTube live streams in VLC and Mplayer..

Support for Converting existing files to 96KB/s, 128KB/s, and 320KB/s MP3s. Mono options are also available for the above.

Updated and fixed the 720p YouTube format for downloading YouTube videos as 720p H.264 MP4 files, which work very well on a fast G4 with Core Player.

All VLC and Mplayer options now support full screen.

Updated CA Certificate PEM to the latest 6/24/2020 cURL Mozilla extraction.

Updated Curl to latest version 7.71.1.

Official PowerPC 604 support.

Architecture: PPC

604/G3/G4/G5 Mac OS X 10.3.9-10.6.x


Antonin29's picture
by Antonin29 - 2020, July 30 - 4:28pm

Hey! Silly idea: since Jaguar is the first OS X version to be really usable and the last to be out of the box snappy on a G3, I was wondering if we could see somekind of strip down version of the PPC Media Center for it or is it impossible considering the limitation of its library?

headpain's picture
by headpain - 2020, July 16 - 5:49pm

Thanks so much for reply

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, July 16 - 4:50pm

I don’t make that Mplayer, so I’ve done a bit of research. According to the Core Player page on the garden the Core Video framework (which is missing and preventing Mplayer from executing) is only available on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and later.

So the SMTube Mplayer requires 10.4.11 and later, I know you run 10.4.6.

headpain's picture
by headpain - 2020, July 16 - 4:24pm

When i try stream youtube video in MPlayer (bulid in previous link) terminal says error. Log here:

[MYCOMPUTER:~ johnjohn123$ export REQUESTS_CA_BUNDLE=/Applications/
MYCOMPUTER:~ johnjohn123$ /Applications/ /Applications/ --prefer-ffmpeg --ffmpeg-location=/Applications/ -f 18 -o - {link} | /opt/local/bin/mplayer -
dyld: Library not loaded: /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreVideo.framework/Versions/A/CoreVideo
Referenced from: /opt/local/bin/mplayer
Reason: image not found
[youtube] z0_kq42CT68: Downloading webpage
[download] Destination: -

ERROR: unable to write data: [Errno 32] Broken pipe
Trace/BPT trap]

headpain's picture
by headpain - 2020, July 16 - 4:04pm

Thanks so much for the answers. Regarding CorePlayer - I will try this)

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, July 16 - 3:59pm

Everything is working as designed. Answers:

1) VLC needs an initial amount of video to start streaming, your just seeing the initial chunk. This is still streaming as no file on the device is actually downloaded, the video is “downloaded” into VLC directly. QuickTime does not need to do this. Mplayer works the same way as above, it can take some time before the stream starts as it is essentially buffering.

2) Mplayer from SMTube is needed, download that here for Tiger/Leopard G4/G5. This is from the SMTube thread.

3) Stated on the User Guide in the Supported Media Players section, “Not all resolutions may be available on some videos, if you see an error in about the format not being available try a different one (360p is guaranteed to work).”. Ever seen a YouTube video with no 720p option in the browser? Same thing.

On a side note, downloaded 720p YouTube videos should play great on your Mac with CorePlayer, at least they do on my 1.42GHz G4.

Did this answer everything?

headpain's picture
by headpain - 2020, July 16 - 10:42am

I noticed several oddities after global testing of PPCMC.

1. When trying to stream Youtube video via VLC, the terminal starts downloading a video or other file of considerable size (ETA ~ 02: 14). In contrast, when playing through QuickTime, the download does not start, but the video is played “immidiately”.

2. When you try to play something through Mplayer, the application responds with "" This feature req. Mplayer (1.3 recommended) installed at / opt / local / bin / mplayer ". However, my attempts to find version 1.3. Or install the existing version in the required location were unsuccessful. How to do this?

3. When trying to play 720p (Youtube), the terminal said: "Requested format is not available". (I know that 720p will still not play on the system under test with a processor frequency of 1.33gz)

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, July 16 - 3:32am

Fixed in version 7.1.8 thanks for the bug report.

headpain's picture
by headpain - 2020, July 15 - 6:50pm

When streaming Youtube (Live) via VLC, Media Center crashes when you select 360p quality, and the letter "p" is missing in the menu after "360".
OS x 10.4.6 PPC.

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, July 14 - 8:22pm

Your welcome!

headpain's picture
by headpain - 2020, July 14 - 4:21pm

Thank you so much for the titanic work you have done!

Antonin29's picture
by Antonin29 - 2020, July 2 - 2:29pm

Truly one of the best thing that happened to PPC Macs since the original version of the PPC Media Center; each overhaul is better than the previous one. Thank you for your hard work.

headpain's picture
by headpain - 2020, June 27 - 7:38pm

The new version works fine on PPC G4 1.33Gz 10.4.6. Now you just need to add Youtube live streams support and it will be a perfect creation!

headpain's picture
by headpain - 2020, June 6 - 5:50pm

Comment for users. When you click "Stream" terminal may say:
"ERROR: Unable to download JSON metadata: HTTP Error 410: Gone (caused by HTTPError()); please report this issue on |htps//| . Make sure you are using the latest version; type youtube-dl -U to update. Be sure to call youtube-dl with the --verbose flag and include its complete output."
This is the youtube-dl problem. Be sure waiting to next dl version, and all be working. Sry fo my english.

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, May 8 - 11:43am

Great idea, if download fails then revert. I’ll add it in the next version. I’ll see if TenFourFox supports AppleScript and add it in if it does. I have a similar setup with one of my PPC Macs hooked up to my TV as well.

debian_i386's picture
by debian_i386 - 2020, May 8 - 4:12am

Hi Alexfree,

I use PPC Media Center pretty much on a daily basis since my PowerBook G4 is connected to my analog TV set. At the moment, it is what I use for watching TV, and I enjoy using PPC Media Center for streaming YouTube on my PowerBook G4.

One suggestion I have is that when updating youtube-dl through the GUI, ppc media center should make a back up of the original youtube-dl script. I say this because earlier today, github was having S3 authentication issues and it resulted in the youtube-dl update script downloading the S3 error page and overwriting youtube-dl script.

"Integrates with Safari to obtain URL's automatically."

Are there any plans on integrating this with TenFourFox?

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, April 24 - 12:04am

Thank you! That means a lot.

OpenSourceMac's picture
by OpenSourceMac - 2020, April 18 - 11:38pm

This is actually doing better than Youtube-DLG for Linux/Windows. Have run into a few cases where the audio is not getting downloaded properly on that one, but on yours (at least at 1080p), it's grabbing just great.

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, April 4 - 8:25am

Glad you find it cool, still haven’t heard from Dan, hope he is doing okay.

OpenSourceMac's picture
by OpenSourceMac - 2020, April 3 - 4:10pm

Web Interface is Pretty BadAss! I find OS9 nearly unusable on the web, but for Panther - this is a GREAT option.

Europa's picture
by Europa - 2020, April 3 - 1:23pm

It's awesome! I like the progress on the download page Laughing out loud

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, April 3 - 2:32am

What do you think about the web interface?

OpenSourceMac's picture
by OpenSourceMac - 2020, March 24 - 3:39am

I think I'm too old to learn that! ;0p

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, March 23 - 3:31pm

I've learned a lot of applescript by just seeing how you accomplished things in 6.0 lite! Thanks, I'll run anything by you if I have questions.

Yea Dan's blog has the only torrent client I could find for Tiger that still works, I've read most of his blogs.

I'm sure you've already went through the build script+patches in the source, pretty neat huh? Didn't even use MacPorts, just plain old Xcode 2.5.

OpenSourceMac's picture
by OpenSourceMac - 2020, March 23 - 3:58am

Dan ROCKS! BTW, if you have any questions on Applescript - feel free to send them over. I'm not nearly as good as you at compiling, but with Applescript, have not really run into any problem not solvable.

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, March 23 - 3:01am

I really do appreciate your blessing on this, I’m glad you find it useful. I set out to make the best possible tool, I’m really happy with the QuickTime 6 settings. I’ve converted 87 music videos taking up about 9GBs that playback in Mac OS 9 so far.

You have given me an amazing software to work with, I actually didn’t know any AppleScript until I started working on this really.

I sent Dan an email, I’d love to explain the black magic behind this program!

OpenSourceMac's picture
by OpenSourceMac - 2020, March 21 - 4:08am

P.S. It is amazing how much you have done to spice this up. Very good work.

OpenSourceMac's picture
by OpenSourceMac - 2020, March 21 - 4:06am

His email can be found in the site:

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, March 20 - 4:28pm

Awesome! I just updated it to work as you suggested btw. How can I get in contact with Dan?

Bolkonskij's picture
by Bolkonskij - 2020, March 13 - 4:41pm

So just gave it a try. It works perfectly on my Power Mac G4 (Dual 1.67 Ghz) and OSX 10.4.11. No issues, everything clearly laid out. Thanks for picking up the project and continuing the good work - another step to keep our PowerPC Macs useful & online! Smile

OpenSourceMac's picture
by OpenSourceMac - 2020, March 13 - 2:36am

No worries - just curious!! Very gratified to see this get passed-on to a new set of hands. I just don't have the time to work on it anymore, but the need is there. BTW - Dan over at PPCLuddite would love to host this for you too and do an article on it. I told him about it, but I think he'd really enjoy corresponding with you!!

alexfree's picture
by alexfree - 2020, March 12 - 9:25pm

I’m pulling the best audio and video separately. Your right, I can just download the m4a and transcode to MP3 I’ll have it do that in 7.0.7.

OpenSourceMac's picture
by OpenSourceMac - 2020, March 12 - 4:38pm

The only thing I would inquire about is why you are making MP3s from 480p? You get MUCH better audio quality from 720P. OR are you pulling the audio and video streams separately? Because if so, you could dispense with the video portion all-together and save a lot of bandwidth (someone could simply download the video separately if they wish).

Oldyoungmac's picture
by Oldyoungmac - 2020, March 12 - 3:14pm

Very good tool. How can i change the download location ?