I rely on one song to be my psych-up music before job interviews: the theme from the 2011 video game Skyrim. The only place I’ve found the right version of this song is on YouTube — the midi and orchestral arrangements just don’t cut it. But every time I’m in one of these high-stakes moments, I inevitably navigate away from YouTube, or just lock my phone and the stirring chants of Dovahkiin! abruptly cut out.
YouTube knows that we want to be able to listen to videos without necessarily having to watch them — whether we’re multitasking or the video is just a vehicle for a song — which is why background play in the YouTube is restricted to YouTube Red subscribers.
But an intrepid writer at The Verge, Vlad Savov, has figured out workarounds for Android and iOS.
In both cases, the trick is to use a browser rather than the YouTube app to play the video. On Android, this works in Chrome. Open youtube.com in the browser, then, in the three-dot menu in the top-right corner, check “Request desktop site”. Now, when you play a video, it will pause when you navigate away (or open another Chrome window), but you can resume playback via the notification menu.
For iOS, you’ll need to download another browser: Dolphin. But then the path is similar: go to youtube.com in Dolphin, and get your video playing. When you exit Dolphin, use the iOS Control Center to start the video playing again.
And then march confidently into your job interview, or dragon-slaying, or whatever.