Like many Internet users, I’ve been addicted to YouTube recently. My subscriptions are so out of control; scrolling doesn’t do it anymore, I have to search through them. But when you watch a lot of YouTube videos, you start to run into problems, quite fast. We have posted on improving YouTube Buffering, Performance & Speed. Today we will talk about some browser extensions and quick settings for Chrome to make your YouTube experience better.
Improve YouTube Streaming & Experience
The sheer size of YouTube seems incomprehensible sometimes, and with something this big, things do go wrong. So here are some of the extensions (they are available for most modern browsers, but I used Chrome for my testing) which have improved my YouTube experience drastically.
SmartVideo to make YouTube better
Use SmartVideo to make the experience a lot better. SmartVideo (Chrome, Firefox) is one of the all-in-one tools that work. There are a couple of things you can do with it. From here you can configure videos not only on the YouTube website but also the ones embedded on other websites.
- Auto Buffer: You can start the buffering as soon as the page loads which decreases the waiting time. If you have a fast connection, you can Auto play the videos as well. There are many buffering options available. SmartVideo can start playback after its buffered a given percentage.
- Keep on buffering: One of the best features SmartVideo has is that it will keep on buffering YouTube videos even if you’ve paused it. After an update a while ago YouTube videos would only be buffered a couple of seconds when you paused it, no matter how for how long you paused it. SmartVideo brings back this much-appreciated feature so while you go to the kitchen to make some popcorn, the video will be all loaded and ready for you.
- Video Quality: Another great feature that used to require a different extension. You can specify a default resolution for watching all the YouTube videos. This again something very helpful as YouTube would sometimes load videos at 240p or even (gasp!) 144p while plenty of bandwidth was available.
These two extensions coupled with the aforementioned tweaks will itself improve your YouTube experience drastically, but here are some more extensions you should check out.
- Lyrics Here by Rob W (Chrome, Firefox) will show you lyrics for YouTube Music videos in the same windows.
- YouTube Smart Pause (Chrome, Firefox) will pause your video when you switch to a different tab or when the current tab becomes inactive.
- Turn off the lights (Chrome, Firefox) fades out everything on the page except the video giving you a true cinema feel.
After testing a couple of different extensions, these are the ones I found to work best (YouTube Options did not live up to the hype).
Take a look at these YouTube extensions for Chrome to improve viewing experience too.
Did I miss something? Feel free to share your YouTube workflow in the comments below.