YouTube tricks and features

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The ubiquity of YouTube is unquestionable. So much so, that watching videos online can safely be short phrased YouTubing. But while many enjoy tapping away keys and watching a video unfold, few are aware of the many powerful features that YouTube offers. Use a few of them and turn your computer into a customizable media station. Here are some of the many cool tricks and features that will make watching those colourful strips even more fun.

Lean-Back

Turn your laptop/pc into a media centre. Control Youtube from your phone

Edit videos directly on Youtube

Forget cumbersome interfaces and chunky help manuals. Simply upload your videos and edit them on the fly.

YouTube Editor allows you basic editing options on the uploaded videos. You can add music, text and transition effects to the videos. You can even append and join two or more videos into one.

Upload videos from your mobile

  1. Log in to your YouTube account and go to http://www.youtube.com/account_mobile_setup.
  2. The page provides an email address unique to your YouTube account. Send the video to be uploaded as an attachment to the address and it will be uploaded via your YouTube account.

Note, however that the video should be in AVI, MPG or MOV format and should neither be larger than 2GB nor longer than 10 minutes in length.

Watch videos in the sidebar

Sidebar is the portion of the browser that sits on the side of the window dividing the workspace into two parts. For eg the Bookmarks side-bar.
Using these add-ons you can watch your favourite videos in the sidebar while surfing the internet.

For Firefox: The YouPlayer  add-on for Firefox creates a Winamp-like video playlist right inside the browser.

Watch uncluttered YouTube videos

Quietube allows you to remove content like comments and video suggestions and lets you watch videos in an uncluttered environment. Here’s how:

  1. Surf to Quietube, and drag the button that says “quietube” to the bookmark toolbar.
  2. Open the video that you want to play and click on the bookmark you just created.

Flag a Video for Future Viewing

YouTube lets you save videos in a temporary QuickList, without having to open the video page and start playback. To Do this,

  1. Click the little “+” button at the lower-right corner of a video thumbnail.Select “Watch Later” from the drop-down box. Videos stay in your QuickList for just a single web browsing session; as soon as you close your browser window, the QuickList is flushed.
  2. Your playlist can now be viewed at the bottom of the page. View a single video by clicking the thumbnail, or you can play all the videos one after the other by clicking the Play All link. To clear your QuickList, click on “Options” and select “Clear All videos from this list”.

YouTube Disco

YouTube disco creates automated playlists based on an Artist or song. Once the playlist is created it plays all the songs continuously without any need for user intervention.

YouTube for slow Internet Connections

Officially known as Feather Beta, when turned on, it limits the features available on a YouTube page and thus attempts to provide a better YouTube experience.

  1. Go to http://www.youtube.com/feather_beta.
  2. Click on the link that says “Join the Feather Beta”.

YouTube Movies

YouTube movies allows you to watch full-length movies right on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/movies. You might not find a lot of your favorite movies here, but hey, at least it’s free.

Another feature worth mentioning here is Youtube Live. It hosts live events from around the world.

Watch YouTube TV style

If you connect your laptop/PC to your TV to watch videos, YouTube offers a TV-compatible view, more suitable to be watched on the big screen. http://www.youtube.com/xl .

Start Video from a specific time

Want to skip some of the beginning of a video and jump straight to the point? All you have to do is add “#t=03m22s” (#t=XXmYYs for XX mins and YY seconds) to the end of the URL of the video.

For embedded videos, append “&start=30” to skip first 30s of the video. In general you can modify the value after “start=” to the number of seconds you want to skip the video for.

Auto-play an embedded Video

Normally when you embed a Youtube video and load the page, the player is loaded and it sits there waiting for you to hit the play button. Make the video play automatically by adding
“&autoplay=1” to the URL of the embed code.

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